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Kathmandu Valley

Nepal
Factors affecting the property in 1998*
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Land conversion
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Need for restoration/consolidation works

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Collapse of the roof of the Patan Temple (issue resolved)
  • Landslide
  • Need to revise the implementation of the Action Plan
  • Need for restoration/consolidation works
  • Encroachment
  • Rebuilding
  • Traffic pressures 
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1998
Requests approved: 14 (from 1979-1998)
Total amount approved : 315,679 USD
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1998

A UNESCO/ICOMOS/Government of Nepal Joint Mission was undertaken in March - April 1998, to report on the state of conservation of the seven Monument Zones of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage site and to elaborate a programme of corrective measures, following the request of the World Heritage Committee at its twenty-first session.  A full state of conservation report will be submitted by His Majesty's Government of Nepal before the twenty-second extraordinary session of the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee.  A programme of corrective measures with fixed deadlines for enhanced management of the seven Monument Zones is being finalised.

Action Required

In view of the continued demolition of traditional buildings of architectural value and illegal new development within the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage site, despite the building control efforts made by His Majesty's Government of Nepal and the concerned local authorities, the Bureau requests that the Report of the Joint Mission be submitted to its members well in advance of the twenty-second extraordinary session to enable a careful examination of the progress made in building control and the programme of corrective measures. On the basis of this examination, the Bureau will then formulate a conclusive recommendation to enable the Committee to decide whether or not to inscribe this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger and to consider actions it may wish to take in regard to the programme of corrective measures, as well as on the pending nomination submitted by the State Party to inscribe Kokhana as an additional Monument Zone of the site.


22nd extraordinary session of the Bureau in 1998:

 The Committee, at its seventeenth session, expressed deep concern over the state of conservation of the Kathmandu Valley site and considered the possibility of placing this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger, following discussions on the findings of the 1993 Joint UNESCO-ICOMOS Review Mission (hereafter referred to as the 1993 Mission).

At its twenty-first session, the Committee examined the state of conservation report of this site, and in view of the continued deterioration of the World Heritage values in the Bauddhanath and Kathmandu Monument Zones, affecting the integrity and inherent characteristics of the site, the Committee requested the Secretariat, in collaboration with ICOMOS and His Majesty’s Government (HMG) of Nepal, to study the possibility of deleting selected areas within some Monument Zones, without jeopardizing the universal significance and value of the site as a whole. This review was to take into consideration the intention of HMG of Nepal to nominate Kokhana as an additional Monument Zone.

The Committee authorized up to US$ 35,000 from the World Heritage Fund technical co-operation budget for a Joint UNESCO-ICOMOS-HMG of Nepal team to conduct a thorough study and to elaborate a programme for corrective measures in accordance with paragraphs 82-89 of the Operational Guidelines. Based upon the information of this study and recommendations of the Bureau, the Committee, at its twenty-first session, decided that it could consider whether or not to inscribe this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-second session.

Following this decision, a Joint UNESCO-ICOMOS-HMG of Nepal Mission (hereafter referred to as Joint Mission) was organized in March-April 1998, which resulted with the adoption by HMG of Nepal of 55 Recommendations of the Joint Mission and a Time-Bound Action Plan of Corrective Measures. The findings and results of the Joint Mission, recommendations, and the Time-Bound Action Plan of Corrective Measures are presented in Information Document WHC-98/CONF.202/INF.6.

Decision required:
The Bureau may wish to consider the information presented in WHC-98/CONF.202/INF.6, transmit the above report to the Committee for examination and recommend the following for adoption:
“The Committee examined the findings and results of the Joint UNESCOICOMOS-HMG of Nepal Mission. The Committee expresses appreciation to HMG of Nepal for its efforts in strengthening the management of the Kathmandu Valley site as well as in mobilizing international assistance from the World Heritage Fund and other sources. However, in view of the increased deterioration of the World Heritage values within the seven Monument Zones composing Kathmandu Valley site, affecting the integrity and inherent characteristics of the site, the Committee decides to inscribe the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee furthermore recommends that HMG of Nepal take appropriate measures to ensure that adequate protection and management are put into place at Kokhana before it is nominated as an additional Monument Zone to the Kathmandu Valley site.

In taking this decision, the Committee encourages HMG of Nepal to continue implementing the Time-Bound Action Plan of Corrective Measures for Enhanced Management of the Kathmandu Valley site, as proposed by the Joint Mission and adopted by HMG of Nepal in July 1998. Furthermore, following paragraph 87 of the Operational Guidelines, the Committee recommends that HMG of Nepal requests further international assistance from the World Heritage Fund to be approved by the Committee for putting into place, necessary and adequate building control measures to safeguard the traditional buildings composing the historical architectural fabric of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage site.”

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1998

The Committee, at its seventeenth session, expressed deep concern over the state of conservation of the Kathmandu Valley site and considered the possibility of placing this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger, following discussions on the findings of the 1993 Joint UNESCO-ICOMOS Review Mission (hereafter referred to as the 1993 Mission).

At its twenty-first session, the Committee examined the state of conservation report of this site, and in view of the continued deterioration of the World Heritage values in the Bauddhanath and Kathmandu Monument Zones, affecting the integrity and inherent characteristics of the site, the Committee requested the Secretariat, in collaboration with ICOMOS and His Majesty’s Government (HMG) of Nepal, to study the possibility of deleting selected areas within some Monument Zones, without jeopardizing the universal significance and value of the site as a whole. This review was to take into consideration the intention of HMG of Nepal to nominate Kokhana as an additional Monument Zone.

The Committee authorized up to from the World Heritage Fund technical co‑operation budget for a Joint UNESCO-ICOMOS-HMG of Nepal team to conduct a thorough study and to elaborate a programme for corrective measures in accordance with paragraphs 82-89 of the Operational Guidelines. Based upon the information of this study and recommendations of the Bureau, the Committee, at its twenty-first session, decided that it could consider whether or not to inscribe this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-second session. Following this decision, a Joint UNESCO-ICOMOS-HMG of Nepal Mission (hereafter referred to as Joint Mission) was organized in March-April 1998.

The Bureau examined the findings of the Joint Mission, the 55 recommendations of the Joint Mission and the Time-Bound Action Plan of Corrective Measures adopted by HMG of Nepal, presented in Information Document

The Bureau, while noting concern over the gravity of the situation, recognized that HMG of Nepal had made considerable efforts in implementing ten out of twelve actions within the Action Plan, with deadlines of 30 November 1998. Furthermore, the Bureau members and observer States Parties remarked on the positive actions taken by HMG of Nepal in the past five months to enhance management at the Kathmandu Valley site. It was noted that the results of the Joint Mission and the possibility of the site’s inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger had encouraged the authorities concerned to take concrete actions to implement the 16-point recommendations of the 1993 Mission. Therefore, the Bureau concluded that the positive momentum achieved should not be undermined by immediate inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

ICOMOS stated that it had strongly recommended inscription of this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1992 and 1993, in view of the urgency to redress the situation endangering the integrity of the site. However, ICOMOS supported the Bureau’s positive view to allow more time for the current momentum to lead to tangible results in the preservation of the site.

The Observer of HMG of Nepal, representing the Honourable Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, thanked the Committee, Bureau, and the Secretariat for their continued support since 1993 for preserving the Kathmandu Valley site. He expressed appreciation to the Bureau for its understanding of the difficulties being encountered by HMG of Nepal in the context of the rapid urban development since the site’s inscription in 1979. He underlined the very positive developments which had taken place since July 1998, especially the creation of the inter-ministerial Heritage Conservation Unit within the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, and the participation of the local municipalities and communities concerned, as well as in the conservation process. The Observer assured the Bureau, that within the next six months, the threats on the Kathmandu Valley site would be seriously addressed and mitigated.

The Chairperson referred to a letter addressed to the Director-General of UNESCO from the Honourable Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture reporting on recent measures taken to safeguard the Kathmandu Valley site, which had all been mentioned in the Information Document.


The Bureau decided to defer consideration of inscription of the Kathmandu Valley site on the List of World Heritage in Danger until its twenty-third session in June 1999. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1998
22 BUR V.B.55
Kathmandu Valley (Nepal)

The Bureau expressed concern over the continued demolition of traditional buildings of architectural value and illegal new development within the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage site, despite the building control efforts made by His Majesty's Government of Nepal and the concerned local authorities. It requested that the Report of the Joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/Government of Nepal Mission be submitted to its members well in advance of the twenty-second extraordinary session of the Bureau to enable a careful examination of the progress made in building control and the programme of corrective measures. On the basis of this examination, the Bureau will then formulate a conclusive recommendation to enable the Committee to decide whether or not to inscribe this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. It will also consider actions it may wish to take in regard to the programme of corrective measures, as well as on the pending nomination submitted by the State Party to inscribe Kokhana as an additional Monument Zone of the site.

22 COM VII.37
SOC: Kathmandu Valley (Nepal)

VII.37 Kathmandu Valley (Nepal)

The Committee, at its seventeenth session, expressed deep concern over the state of conservation of the Kathmandu Valley site and considered the possibility of placing this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger, following discussions on the findings of the 1993 Joint UNESCO-ICOMOS Review Mission.

At its twenty-first session, the Committee examined the state of conservation report of this site, and in view of the continued deterioration of the World Heritage values in the Bauddhanath and Kathmandu Monument Zones, affecting the integrity and inherent characteristics of the site, the Committee requested the Secretariat, in collaboration with ICOMOS and His Majesty's Government (HMG) of Nepal, to study the possibility of deleting selected areas within some Monument Zones, without jeopardizing the universal significance and value of the site as a whole. This review was to take into consideration the intention of HMG of Nepal to nominate Kokhana as an additional Monument Zone.

The Committee authorized up to US$ 35,000 from the World Heritage Fund Technical Co-operation budget for a Joint UNESCO-ICOMOS-HMG of Nepal team to conduct a thorough study and to elaborate a programme for corrective measures in accordance with paragraphs 82-89 of the Operational Guidelines. Based upon the information of this study and recommendations of the Bureau, the Committee, at its twenty-first session, decided that it could consider whether or not to inscribe this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-second session. Following this decision, a Joint UNESCO-ICOMOS-HMG of Nepal Mission was organized in March-April 1998.

The Committee examined the findings and results of the Joint UNESCO-ICOMOS-HMG of Nepal Mission, and the 55 recommendations and Time-Bound Action Plan adopted by HMG of Nepal. The Committee commended HMG of Nepal for its efforts in strengthening the management of the Kathmandu Valley site with the creation of the Heritage Conservation Unit. The Committee took note of the special efforts made by the local authorities to raise awareness amongst the private home owners to prevent further illegal demolition and inappropriate new constructions, which destroys the essential historical urban fabric of the Kathmandu Valley site.

The Committee decided to defer consideration of the inscription of the Kathmandu Valley site on the List of World Heritage in Danger until its twenty-third session. However, the Committee requested HMG of Nepal to continue implementing the 55 recommendations of the Joint Mission and to respect the deadlines of the Time-Bound Action Plan adopted by HMG of Nepal. In addition, the Committee recommended that HMG of Nepal adopt the three additional ICOMOS recommendations annexed to the 55 recommendations adopted by HMG of Nepal. Moreover, the Committee requested HMG of Nepal to submit a report on the progress made in implementing the 55 recommendations before 15 April 1999 for examination by the twenty-third session of the Bureau in June 1999.

Finally, the Committee requested HMG of Nepal to take measures to ensure that adequate protection and management are put into place at Kokhana, prior to its nomination as an additional Monument Zone to the Kathmandu Valley site.

It decided to transmit the Joint Mission report presented in to the Committee for examination, and to recommend the following for adoption:

“The Committee examines the findings and results of the Joint ICOMOS-UNESCO HMG of Nepal Mission, the 55 recommendations and Time-Bound Action Plan adopted by HMG of Nepal. The Committee commends HMG of Nepal for its efforts in strengthening the management of the Kathmandu Valley site with the creation of the Heritage Conservation Unit. The Committee takes note of the special efforts made by the local authorities to raise awareness amongst the private home owners to prevent further illegal demolition and inappropriate new constructions, which destroys the essential historical urban fabric of the Kathmandu Valley site.

The Committee decides to defer consideration of inscription of the Kathmandu Valley site on the List of World Heritage in Danger until its twenty-third session. However, the Committee requests HMG of Nepal to continue implementing the 55 recommendations of the Joint Mission and to respect the deadlines of the Time-Bound Action Plan. In addition, the Committee recommends that HMG of Nepal adopt the three additional ICOMOS recommendations presented in Annex 1 of Chapter 12 of the Joint Mission report. Moreover, the Committee requests HMG of Nepal to submit a report on the progress made in implementing the 55 recommendations before 15 April 1999 for examination by the twenty-third session of the Bureau in June 1999.

Finally, the Committee requests HMG of Nepal to take measures to ensure that adequate protection and management are put into place at Kokhana, prior to its nomination as an additional Monument Zone to the Kathmandu Valley site.”

Report year: 1998
Nepal
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)(vi)
Danger List (dates): 2003-2007
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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