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Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam

Afghanistan
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Civil unrest
  • Erosion and siltation/ deposition
  • Flooding
  • High impact research / monitoring activities
  • Illegal activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Inclination of the Minaret

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Political instability;
  • Inclination of the Minaret;
  • Lack of management plan;  
  • Illicit excavations and looting.
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Lack of legal protection;
  • Lack of an effective monuments protection agency;
  • Lack of adequate protection and conservation personnel;
  • Lack of a comprehensive management plan.
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2014

Total amount granted: USD 844,901 (2003-2012) from the Italian Funds-in-Trust; USD 124,300 (2003-2012) from the Swiss Funds-in-Trust.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 1 (from 2002-2002)
Total amount approved : 20,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2014**

Several annual UNESCO expert missions took place between 2002 and 2006 in order to implement the operational projects for the property. After a period of three years of inactivity from 2007 to 2009, due to the security situation, UNESCO dispatched a mission in cooperation with an Afghan local NGO in 2010 to resume the on-site operations.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 28 January 2014, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report (available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/211/documents) on work carried out for the implementation of corrective measures for the property as follows:

  • Conservation and management: A team of police officers has been placed at the site, in particular to control site looting. The report mentions that deterioration of the Minaret has increased and urgent treatment for the structure and decoration is needed.
  • River Defence Project: Part of the walls that protect the Minaret from seasonal floods, built during the River Defence Project 2006-2008, were damaged during the devastating floods of 2012. A temporary retaining gabion wall was constructed in the bank of Jam Rud River, but now needs to be removed, and the damaged existing retaining wall has to be treated. 
  • Mapping and condition survey: The Department of Historical Monuments, the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC), carried out a survey mission in October 2013 and made a photographic documentation of the area, undertook a survey of the Minaret’s structure and decoration status, determined a spot for the placement of a footbridge on the Hari Rud River and took GPS coordinates of some additional spots to be added to the buffer zone.
  • Action Plan: based on the technical mission undertaken,  work on the following has been identified as a priority:

-  Remove the new gabion wall constructed in the Jam Rud River,

-  Treatment of the existing retaining stone masonry wall on the bank of Jam Rud,

-  Construction of flood breakers at several points on the Jam Rud River to reduce the power of the flood,

-  Consolidate the South bank of the Hari Rud with gabions and planting of tress upstream of the minaret,

-  Institute a system of recording the height and flow of both rivers to facilitate planning for future seasonal flooding,

-  Carry out structural and surface intervention on the Minaret including the decorative elements.

 

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

The State Party’s efforts in the implementation of corrective measures, in particular for site security, as well as for the protection of the property against floods and river erosion are recognized.

The completion of the topographic and archaeological survey of Jam was an essential step to properly plan for, and implement, an effective conservation strategy for the property. This strategy should include the important ancient settlement, the precise extent and remains of which have yet to be defined. It is therefore recommended that the survey work is continued. The State Party also needs to adopt the detailed topography for Jam produced in 2012 within the UNESCO/Italy Funds in Trust for Jam and Heart, and to submit a minor boundary modification request to the World Heritage Centre for consideration by the World Heritage Committee.

While acknowledging that the series of activities that are currently planned are important for the conservation of the Minaret of Jam, it is crucial to establish a long-term conservation policy and action plan not only for the Minaret of Jam, but also for archaeological remains such as Jewish cemetery with Hebrew inscriptions and Ghurid castles/fortification walls and towers. Such a long-term conservation policy should be in line with the Recommendations adopted by the 3rd Expert Working Group Meeting for Herat and Jam World Heritage Property in 2012. Furthermore, the formulation of a long-term conservation policy and action plan should be undertaken using a multidisciplinary approach to address all the relevant issues in a holistic way. It is recommended that a multidisciplinary team of international experts such as hydrological engineers and architects, as well as archaeologists, assist the government of Afghanistan in these efforts. For this propose, it would be desirable to use the World Heritage Funds through International Assistance, taking into account that currently there are no extrabudgetary funds available for this property.

Upon establishing a long-term conservation policy, the government of Afghanistan shall be able to propose a revised time frame for implementing the corrective measures identified by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007) so as to achieve the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7A.14
Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) (C 211 rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.29, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013);
  3. Acknowledges the efforts made by the State Party in the implementation of the corrective measures adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007) and urges it to sustain these efforts to work on all corrective measures identified;
  4. Reiterates its request to the State Party to adopt the detailed topographic map of the property produced in 2012, and finalise the buffer zone, and to submit a proposal for a minor boundary modification, in accordance to paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines , by 1 February 2015, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  5. Requests the State Party to consider submitting an International Assistance request for the preparation of a long term conservation strategy for the whole property and the development of a multidisciplinary action plan for the stabilisation of the Minaret, in order to mobilize international expertise and comply with the recommendations adopted by the Third Expert Working Group Meeting in Turin (September 2012);
  6. Also requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to revise the timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures upon development of the conservation strategy and action plan;
  7. Encourages the State Party to elaborate and implement, with the support of international donors, a capacity building programme to strengthen local and national capacity in heritage conservation and management including developing the capacity of local communities to contribute to safeguarding the site;
  8. Calls upon the international community to continue its technical and financial support, in co-operation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, in the implementation of corrective measures and in the development of a long term conservation strategy and action plan and a project to stabilize the Minaret;
  9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2015, a detailed report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the progress achieved in the state of conservation of the property, along with a revised timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session 2015;
  10. Decides to retain the Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

 

1.       Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Afghanistan) (C 208 rev)
38 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (retained sites)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-14/38.COM/7A and WHC-14/38.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 38 COM 7A.14)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 38 COM 7A.15)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 38 COM 7A.31)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.34)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 38 COM 7A.21)
  • Colombia, Los Katíos National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.32)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.35)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.36)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.37)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.38)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.39)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.41)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 38 COM 7A.1)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.43)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 38 COM 7A.16)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 38 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.33)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 38 COM 7A.28)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 38 COM 7A.2)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 38 COM 7A.3)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 38 COM 7A.4)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 38 COM 7A.44)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 38 COM 7A.24)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 38 COM 7A.25)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 38 COM 7A.45)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 38 COM 7A.5)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 38 COM 7A.20)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 38 COM 7A.22)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.46)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 38 COM 7A.18)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 38 COM 7A.29)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 38 COM 7A.26)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 38 COM 7A.19)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.30)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 38 COM 7A.23)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 38 COM 7A.13)
Draft Decision:   38 COM 7A.14

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A,

2.  Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.29, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013);

3.  Acknowledges the efforts made by the State Party in the implementation of the corrective measures adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007) and urges it to sustain these efforts to work on all corrective measures identified;

4.  Reiterates its request to the State Party to adopt the detailed topographic map of the property produced in 2012, and finalise the buffer zone, and to submit a proposal for a minor boundary modification, in accordance to paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines, by 1 February 2015, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;

5.  Requests the State Party to consider submitting an International Assistance request for the preparation of a long term conservation strategy for the whole property and the development of a multidisciplinary action plan for the stabilisation of the Minaret, in order to mobilize international expertise and comply with the recommendations adopted by the Third Expert Working Group Meeting in Turin (September 2012);

6.  Also requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to revise the timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures upon development of the conservation strategy and action plan;

7.  Encourages the State Party to elaborate and implement, with the support of international donors, a capacity building programme to strengthen local and national capacity in heritage conservation and management including developing the capacity of local communities to contribute to safeguarding the site;

8.  Calls upon the international community to continue its technical and financial support, in co-operation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, in the implementation of corrective measures and in the development of a long term conservation strategy and action plan and a project to stabilize the Minaret;

9.  Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2015, a detailed report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the progress achieved in the state of conservation of the property, along with a revised timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session 2015;

10.  Decides to retain the Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2014
Afghanistan
Date of Inscription: 2002
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2002-present
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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