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Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir

Palestine
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Invasive/alien terrestrial species
  • Other Threats:

    Potential construction of a separation fence (wall)

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Potential construction of a separation fence (wall)
  • Abandonment of terraces and afforestation
  • Impact of socio-cultural and geo-political transformations
  • Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Invasive/alien terrestrial species
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Potential construction of a separation fence (wall)
  • Abandonment of terraces and afforestation
  • Impact of socio-cultural and geo-political transformations
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted; see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6245 

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted; see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6245

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

In progress

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 1 (from 2016-2016)
Total amount approved : 30,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 28 January 2016, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1492/documents/, providing information on the corrective measures undertaken to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and other key corrective measures, which were adopted by the World Heritage Committee (Decision 39 COM 7A.29), as follows:

  • The construction of the Wall by the Israeli Government has been frozen by the Israeli Court of Justice on January 2015. However, a binding decision stipulating that no Wall shall be constructed in the property or its immediate setting has not been adopted yet;
  • A Conservation and Management Plan (CMP) is being prepared addressing management and conservation policies as well as factors such as sewage and water network, and will include a timeframe to implement the corrective measures of DSOCR;
  • The illegal construction of settlements that negatively affect the property is reported as a consequence of geopolitical and socio-cultural factors threatening the integrity of the property and limiting or preventing the maintenance of agricultural practices by the farmers;
  • A list of envisaged, initiated or completed local-community funded projects and initiatives has been provided. Projects completed in 2015 include rehabilitation of stretches of dry stone walls, agricultural terraces, water channels, pools and springs, historic buildings and roads, as well as the water network in Battir. Ongoing works concern the rehabilitation of the school, the open garden and shops. Battir 2020, a promotional initiative to foster culture and tourism development, has been initiated, whilst other projects are pending, in the absence of funds (water supply and sanitation, sewage network, waste water treatment plant, rehabilitation of road surfaces, irrigation system);
  • The UNESCO Ramallah office proposed and submitted, within the United Nations Development Assistance Framework 2014-2016 (UNDAF), an integrated project for the Bethlehem Western Villages (including Battir), addressing environmental protection, agriculture and livelihood support, heritage preservation, landscape planning and community empowerment. It involves UNESCO, FAO, and UN-Habitat. The project is pending awaiting feedback from potential donors.

Following the submission of the report, the State Party informed the World Heritage Centre that the new constructions presented in its report are minor, and expressed its awareness of the need to halt such practices.

To prepare the CMP in accordance with the DSOCR, the State Party submitted in November 2015 an International Assistance Request, which was approved and whose implementation is due to start mid-2016. 

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

The report shows the efforts of the State Party to manage the threats and begin to address the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee and the DSOCR. The report describes actions undertaken by the national and local authorities and community with regard to conservation actions and awareness-raising initiatives.

It is acknowledged that addressing the management and conservation of the property requires a holistic approach that also tackles socio-economic factors. The CMP needs to involve the relevant bodies and stakeholders that can guarantee its proper implementation and effectiveness, and shall include legal and regulatory protection, so far not in place, for the property and its buffer zone, so as to lay down a complete array of measures to safeguard the OUV of the property and its attributes. The effectiveness of the CMP will be strengthened by adequately integrating within it, the corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session. A timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures is of utmost importance to achieve the DSOCR but so far has not been submitted.

The elaboration of the CMP is expected to integrate infrastructure and economic revitalisation improvements. The six projects mentioned include one for Bethlehem Western Villages that could trigger mechanisms of economic revitalisation and one for the revival of agricultural practices, but of these only one has funding from the World Bank and is being implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Local Development.

It is crucial that measures are now taken to put in place a robust management system as soon as possible with adequate staff who can take forward responsibility for driving forward the development and adoption of the management plan and the projects needed to allow sustainable management of the property – regardless of whether external funding is achieved.

Meanwhile until the CMP is agreed, all projects for new constructions should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review, prior to their implementation, in order to ensure that they do not have negative impacts on the OUV of the property.

The Committee might wish to express its disappointment that two years after inscription, no clear timetable for implementing the corrective measures has been submitted by the State Party, as was requested at the time of inscription.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7A.15
Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Palestine) (C 1492)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.29, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Takes notes of the actions undertaken by the State Party to initiate the implementation of the corrective measures adopted to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  4. Expresses its disappointment that a timeframe for implementing the agreed corrective measures has not been submitted as requested, and reiterates its request to the State Party to develop and submit a timeframe for the full implementation of the adopted corrective measures by 1 February 2017, for examination by the Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  5. Notes progress with the process to elaborate the Conservation and Management Plan (CMP), with funding through International Assistance, and recommends that the corrective measures are adequately integrated into the CMP under elaboration;
  6. Urges the State Party to put in place, as soon as possible, a robust management system for the property and its buffer zone, for taking forward the defined infrastructure and other projects needed to support traditional agricultural systems with or without external funding and, until the CMP is established and operational, to submit all construction projects to the World Heritage Centre for review;
  7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  8. Decides to retain Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Palestine) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
40 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/16/40.COM/7A, WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add and WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 40 COM 7A.26)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 40 COM 7A.27)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 40 COM 7A.32)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 40 COM 7A.1)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.34)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 40 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.35)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.36)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.37)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.38)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.39)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.41)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 40 COM 7A.9)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.43)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 40 COM 7A.28)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.33)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 40 COM 7A.48)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 40 COM 7A.10)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 40 COM 7A.11)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 40 COM 7A.12)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 40 COM 7A.13)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 40 COM 7A.44)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 40 COM 7A.6)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 40 COM 7A.7)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 40 COM 7A.45)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 40 COM 7A.14)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 40 COM 7A.15)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 40 COM 7A.3)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 40 COM 7A.4)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.46)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 40 COM 7A. 30)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 40 COM 7A.49)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 40 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 40 COM 7A.17)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 40 COM 7A.18)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 40 COM 7A.19)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 40 COM 7A.20)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 40 COM 7A.21)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 40 COM 7A.8)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 40 COM 7A.31)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.47)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.50)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 40 COM 7A.5)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 40 COM 7A.23)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 40 COM 7A.24)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 40 COM 7A.25).
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7A.15

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.29, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Takes notes of the actions undertaken by the State Party to initiate the implementation of the corrective measures adopted to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  4. Expresses its disappointment that a timeframe for implementing the agreed corrective measures has not been submitted as requested, and reiterates its request to the State Party to develop and submit a timeframe for the full implementation of the adopted corrective measures by 1 February 2017, for examination by the Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  5. Notes progress with the process to elaborate the Conservation and Management Plan (CMP), with funding through International Assistance, and recommends that the corrective measures are adequately integrated into the CMP under elaboration;
  6. Urges the State Party to put in place, as soon as possible, a robust management system for the property and its buffer zone, for taking forward the defined infrastructure and other projects needed to support traditional agricultural systems with or without external funding and, until the CMP is established and operational, to submit all construction projects to the World Heritage Centre for review;
  7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  8. Decides to retain Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Palestine) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2016
Palestine
Date of Inscription: 2014
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)(v)
Danger List (dates): 2014-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2016) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 40COM (2016)
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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