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Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela

Ethiopia
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Legal framework
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Lack of clearly defined boundaries for the property and the buffer zone;
  • Impact of the four temporary shelters constructed in 2008;
  • Absence of a Management Plan for the property;
  • Insufficient urban and architectural regulations;
  • Urban development and encroachment around the property;
  • Impact of rainwater and humidity;
  • Impact of earthquakes;
  • Geological and architectural characteristics of the property.
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2014

Total amount provided to the property: USD 800,000 for the « Conservation Action Plan for Lalibela » -Phase 1 and Phase 2 (Norwegian Funds-in-Trust).

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 3 (from 1980-2000)
Total amount approved : 93,300 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 28 January 2014, in accordance with Decision 36 COM 7B.42, adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session (Saint Petersburg, 2012), the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, which is available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/18/documents/. It also submitted the Management plan for the property.

The State Party reports that, concerning the maps of the property’s boundaries and its buffer zone, all data required were obtained and will be included in the draft law for the management of the property, expected to be endorsed by the Council of Ministers. No additional information is provided on the specific provisions of this law in relation to the property.

Regarding the Management Plan, it was developed with a participative process and a validation workshop took place in December 2013 for its finalization. It considers the management of the property as a cultural landscape to include natural corridors and associated hills and valleys as well as intangible elements associated to the property. Regarding the resettlement plan, the State Party indicates that it is one of the four components of the World Bank project and that relocation from the inscribed property has commenced to the newly designed settlement zone. Concerning the assessment of the temporary shelters, actions started in January 2014 and a first draft of the report has been received. Information about the implementation of the World Bank Tourism Development project is also included. Following the report made by the State Party, the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage has accepted the pilot project on the Biet Gabriel Rufael Church and works are expected to begin shortly. Finally, a Heritage Impact Assessment for on-going project proposals has been conducted to the Lalibela Churches in August 2012 and is attached to the State of Conservation report.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2014

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that a subsequent report to the Committee is not necessary at this stage, in order to provide more time to the State Party to finish the shelters evaluation and assess potential courses of action. They will continue with the exchange of information with the State Party on the evaluation of the management plan, on the expected law for the management of the property and on in the implementation of the specific projects to ensure that the Outstanding Universal Value of the property is adequately protected and sustained.

 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7B.98
Omnibus Decisions

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Takes note with satisfaction of the measures taken by the States Parties concerned to address its previous requests to mitigate the threats on the Outstanding Universal Value of the following World Heritage properties:
  • Town of Luang Prabang (Lao People's Democratic Republic),
  • Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments (Russian Federation),
  • Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison (Barbados),
  • Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena (Colombia),
  • Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan (Mexico),
  • Historic Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay),
  • Royal Palaces of Abomey (Benin),
  • Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela (Ethiopia),
  • Aapravasi Ghat (Mauritius);
  1. Encourages the States Parties concerned to pursue their efforts to ensure the conservation of World Heritage properties;
  2.  Reminds the States Parties concerned to inform the World Heritage Centre in due course about any major development project that may negatively impact the Outstanding Universal Value of a property, before any irreversible decisions are made, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

Draft Decision:  38 COM 7B.98

The World Heritage Committee,

  1.  Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2.  Takes note with satisfaction of the measures taken by the States Parties concerned to address its previous requests to mitigate the threats on the Outstanding Universal Value of the following World Heritage properties :
  • Town of Luang Prabang (Lao People's Democratic Republic),
  • Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments (Russian Federation),
  • Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison (Barbados),
  • Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena (Colombia),
  • Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan (Mexico),
  • Historic Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay),
  • Royal Palaces of Abomey (Benin),
  • Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela (Ethiopia),
  • Aapravasi Ghat (Mauritius);

3.          Encourages the States Parties concerned to pursue their efforts to ensure the conservation of World Heritage properties;

4.          Reminds the States Parties concerned to inform the World Heritage Centre in due course about any major development project that may negatively impact the Outstanding Universal Value of a property, before any irreversible decisions are made, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

Report year: 2014
Ethiopia
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2014) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 38COM (2014)
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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