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Site of Palmyra

Syrian Arab Republic
Factors affecting the property in 1999*
  • Air pollution
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Localised utilities
  • Major linear utilities
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Temperature
  • Water (rain/water table)
  • Other Threats:

    serious weathering of many stone blocks

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • serious weathering of many stone blocks due to capillary rising and variations in humidity and temperature
  • urban growth of the neighbouring agglomeration
  • international tarmac road crosses the site
  • heavy automobile and truck traffic (vibrations, pollution, risk of accidents...)
  • pipeline crossing the southern necropolis
  • brightly-coloured antenna on hill
  • construction of an hotel close to the thermal springs
  • need for an overall management plan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1999
Requests approved: 3 (from 1989-1999)
Total amount approved : 50,000 USD
Missions to the property until 1999**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Summary of previous deliberations: Following the recommendation of the mission in December 1997, the Syrian authorities requested the Secretariat to assist them in preparing an overall management plan for the site of Palmyra. At its twenty-second session, the Bureau supported the continuation of the work for the development of a full-fledged integral management plan covering the oasis, the town and the archaeological zone. It finally requested the Secretariat to continue collaboration with the Syrian authorities.

New Information: Early in 1999, as the first phase of the present technical co-operation project for 1999, approved under the World Heritage Fund, the Centre organised an expert mission to Palmyra in March, to assist the Department of Antiquities and Museums. The mission completed a geographical study on the site and a detailed action plan. It was also reported by the mission that, within the site, some inappropriate interventions such as the construction of new hotels were still progressing.

Action Required

The Bureau, having examined the state of conservation of the property, considers that the primary action for the site is the establishment of the necessary regulations together with an on site management office, to avoid further inappropriate interventions within the site. The Bureau recommends to the Syrian authorities to collaborate with the Secretariat in completing the draft management plan, including the proposal for the regulations. It also recommends that in continuing its collaboration, the Syrian authorities increase their financial contribution for the co-operation programme and establish a special committee to start the implementation of the recommended actions.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1999
23 BUR IV.B.84
Site of Palmyra (Syrian Arab Republic)

Having examined the state of conservation of the property, the Bureau considered that the primary action for the site is the establishment of the necessary regulations together with the creation of an on-site management office, to avoid further inappropriate interventions within the site.  The Bureau recommended to the Syrian authorities to collaborate with the Secretariat in completing the draft management plan, including the proposal for the regulations.  It also recommended that in continuing its collaboration, the Syrian authorities increase their financial contribution for the co-operation programme.

23 BUR VII.19
International Assistance

The Bureau examined specific requests for international assistance and took the following decisions.

NATURAL HERITAGE

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - "Training for Nomination of Natural and Mixed Properties as World Heritage in Central Asia" (Training Assistance) - US$ 29,440 requested

The Bureau approved an amount of US$ 29,440 from the natural heritage training funds for this project, subject to the WWF Russia Programme (WWF-PRO) confirming, before 31 October 1999, that it has been successful in raising the balance of US$ 29,900 needed for the implementation of the project.

The Bureau also recommended that WWF-PRO submit to the World Heritage Centre, a list of organisations providing cash and in-kind contributions to meet the balance of US$ 29,900 needed for the project and a full list of the central Asian participants to be involved in the implementation of the project.

Regional - "Asia Pacific Training Workshop on Integrated Conservation and Development Planning: the role of Multilateral Agreements Related to Biological Diversity" (Training Assistance) - US$ 30,000 requested

The Bureau approved a sum of US$ 30,000 for this project and requested the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to negotiate with developed States Parties in Europe and North America to support the participation of their site managers and use the savings thus obtained to support as many site managers as possible from developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The Bureau also recommended that preference be given to choosing managers of sites that have the twin designations of World Heritage and Biosphere Reserves, to the extent possible.

Democratic Republic Republic of Congo - "Support to Resident Staff in the World Heritage sites in Danger – Garamba, Kahuzi Biega and Virunga National Parks and the Okapi Faunal Reserve" (Emergency Assistance) - US$ 105,000 requested

The Bureau approved the sum of US$ 105,000 for paying staff salaries allowances, purchase of equipment and  undertaking training, construction of guard posts and monitoring activities benefiting the four sites.

The Bureau decided that US$ 105,000 shall comprise of the following budget components:

  • US$ 75,000 as emergency assistance using the US$ 50,471 of non-earmarked funds available under the 1999 allocation and transferring US$ 24,529 from the unspent amount of US$ 167,863 available under technical co-operation for natural heritage;
  • US$ 30,000 as technical co-operation from the remaining balance of US$ 143,334 remaining unspent under technical co-operation for natural heritage, after a sum of US$ 24,529 has been transferred to emergency assistance as indicated above.

In addition the Bureau:

  • commended the dedication of the staff resident in all four sites;
  • commended the commitment of the Task Force comprising Institut Congolaise pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), GTZ (Germany) and several international nongovernmental organisations supporting the conservation of the four sites, and endorsed their efforts to develop proposals to raise support from the international community for the sites over the medium term (3-4 years); and
  • requested the Centre and IUCN to report to the twenty-third session of the Committee, in Marrakesh, Morocco (29 November–4 December 1999) an assessment of the effectiveness of the delivery of these funds to site staff with the assistance of the Task Force and recommendations concerning possible additional assistance to the four sites that may be considered by the Committee for the year 2000.  
     

United Republic of Tanzania - "Strengthening Protection Infrastructure of Tanzanian World Heritage sites – Serengeti and Kilimanjaro National Parks" (Technical Co-operation) - US$ 50,000 requested

The Bureau requested the Centre to co-operate with the equipment purchase unit of UNESCO, in order to transfer the two vehicles, purchased in 1998 for two sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) but are currently stored in Mombassa, Kenya, to the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro National Parks of Tanzania.

The Bureau requested the Centre to cooperate with the UN Resident Co-ordinator’s Office as well as the UNESCO Office in Nairobi, and the Kenyan Government to request the Kenyan Government to waive vehicle-storage charges payable to the Ports authorities in Kenya and the cost of the transport of the vehicles to the United Republic of Tanzania.

In the event that such costs cannot be waived, the Bureau authorised the Chairperson to approve the amount needed to pay storage and transport charges, upon the submission of detailed invoices by the Centre, under the technical co-operation funds available for natural heritage projects in 1999.

CULTURAL HERITAGE

Cuba - "Training course in preventive conservation" (Training Assistance) - US$ 30,000 requested

The Bureau recalled that the Committee at its twenty-second session had set aside US$ 30,000 for a training activity  proposed by Cuba.

The Bureau examined a revised proposal for a training course in preventive conservation that had been prepared by Cuba in collaboration with an ICCROM expert.

Subsequently, the Bureau approved the implementation of this assistance for an amount of US$ 30,000 as proposed by Cuba.

Lithuania - "Vilnius Old Town Revitalization Programme" (Technical Co-operation) - US$ 30,000 requested

The Bureau thanked the Delegate of Italy for his generous offer and requested the Secretariat to pursue this matter urgently in close collaboration with the Permanent Delegations of Italy and Lithuania.

Syrian Arab Republic - «Establishing an overall management plan of Palmyre – 2nd phase» (Technical Co-operation) - US$ 30,000 requested

The Bureau recommended that the Committee approve an amount of US$ 20,000 from the 2000 budget of the World Heritage Fund.

The Bureau also recommended that, during the next mission, contacts be made with the funding sources to obtain the necessary resources for the implementation of this management plan.

Report year: 1999
Syrian Arab Republic
Date of Inscription: 1980
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2013-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 23COM (1999)
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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