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Ouadi Qadisha (the Holy Valley) and the Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab)

Lebanon
Factors affecting the property in 2003*
  • Housing
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Legal framework
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2003
Requests approved: 3 (from 1993-2001)
Total amount approved : 45,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2003**

June 2003: World Heritage Centre reactive monitoring mission.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003

In June 2003, the Centre organized and carried out a mission to the site, in close collaboration with the responsible Lebanese authorities, in order to assess its state of conservation. The findings of the mission can be resumed as follows:

- Legal framework

The site is not protected by any legal instrument at the national level. No building regulations exist within the perimeter of the WH property. As a consequence, according to the current legislation, any building can be constructed within the site if a permit is granted. In addition, four new constructions have been illegally erected within the site, without any building permit.

- Management

The Management Plan presented at the time of the inscription of the site on the World Heritage List is not operational. The villages developing on the edge of the Valley have a negative visual impact on the site, do not have a proper waste water treatment system, and in some cases are built on unstable soil, constituting a serious threat for the inhabitants and the site itself.

At the request of the General Directorate for the Antiquities (DGA), the site should be included in the scope of a study carried out by the General Directorate for Urban Planning, with a view to determine the appropriate land use of the area (building coefficients should not exceed 0,01-0,05). Moreover, the Mission was also informed of a proposed project, funded by the Government of Japan, for the tourist development of the Valley of Qadisha, for an amount of one million dollars.

The Mission met with the Minister of Culture, the Minister of Environment and the Maronite Patriarch. During these meetings, the national authorities have all recognized the urgent need to designate the World Heritage site of Oadi Qadisha as a National Reserve, thus ensuring its legal protection, and to develop an appropriate Management Plan. They also stressed the need to integrate into the objectives of the Management Plan concerns for the socio-economic context around the site, with particular reference to the importance of ensuring that the site constitutes a sustainable resource for the well-being of the local population.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2003
27 COM 7B.103
Ouadi Qadisha (the Holy Valley) and the Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab) (Lebanon)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Takes note of the report on the state of conservation of Ouadi Qadisha presented by the World Heritage Centre;

2. Invites the State Party to establish, in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre, an appropriate legal framework for the protection of the property, designating the World Heritage property of the Ouadi Qadisha as a National Reserve, and to develop a detailed management plan;

3. Invites the State Party to establish a co-ordination mechanism involving all the parties concerned in the elaboration and implementation of the management plan of the property;

4. Requests with regard to illegal constructions within the World Heritage property, that the State Party re-establish the integrity of the property and take the necessary measures to ensure its protection.

Draft Decision : 27 COM 7 (b) 103

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Takes note of the report on the state of conservation of Oadi Qadisha World Heritage site presented by the Secretariat;

2.   Invites the State Party, in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre, to establish an adequate legal framework for the protection of the site, designating the World Heritage site of Oadi Qadisha as a National Reserve, and to develop a comprehensive Management Plan;

3.   Invites the State Party to consider the possibility to establishing an Inter-ministerial Committee to coordinate and oversee the implementation of the future Management Plan;

4.   Requests the State Party, with respect to the illegal constructions within the perimeter of the World Heritage property, to re-establish the integrity of the site and take all measures to ensure its protection. 

Report year: 2003
Lebanon
Date of Inscription: 1998
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 27COM (2003)
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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