1.         Ouadi Qadisha (the Holy Valley) and the Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab) (Lebanon) (C 850)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1998

Criteria  (iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/850/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1993-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 45,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/850/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

June 2003: World Heritage Centre reactive monitoring mission.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/850/

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.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 27 COM 7B.103

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.