1.         Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) (C 211rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2002

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2002-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

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/1286  

Corrective measures identified

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1286  

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

In progress

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/211/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2002-2015)
Total amount approved: USD 93,750
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/211/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

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.

Previous monitoring missions

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.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/211/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 23 February 2016, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/211/documents. However, the document details a series of the activities that need to be carried out rather than providing an update on work that has been undertaken, and is identical to the one submitted in 2015.

The report indicates that the Afghan Government has identified a range of mitigation measures, including a monitoring system for the Minaret, through regular topographic measurements; capacity building programmes for national experts; topographic and archaeological surveys to redefine core and buffer zones; a damage assessment report; the protection of the site against illicit excavations; consolidation of the minaret structure; and emergency restoration of the surface decoration of the Minaret. The report further states that the South bank of the Hari Rud River should be consolidated through the extension of gabions and the planting of trees upstream of the Minaret.

The report also emphasizes the need to repair the guest houses and the importance of constructing a foot bridge over the Hari Rud, to enable year-round access for inhabitants of nearby villages and for conservation work.

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

It is deeply regrettable that the State Party has submitted almost identical state of conservation reports for several consecutive years, summarizing only the works which are required.

The need for construction of a footbridge over the Hari Rud River and the repair of the guest house, which was donated by UNESCO in 2003, was already noted in previous state of conservation. It is of concern that the State Party has to date not made any progress with the construction of the footbridge and not repaired the guest house, nor has the State Party provided any justification for the delay or problems encountered. Furthermore, the report provided no information on how the security of the site is being maintained and monitored.

Regarding the need for accurate mapping of the archaeological remains and for the definition of appropriate boundaries and buffer zones for the property, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies would like to draw the attention of the Afghan Government to the detailed topography produced in 2012 as part of the UNESCO/Italy Funds-in-Trust project for Jam and Herat. The comprehensive topography provided detailed boundaries for both the property and the buffer zone, which were elaborated taking into account surrounding archaeological remains. The adoption of the topographic map, as well as new boundaries proposed, by the relevant authorities would constitute an essential step towards developing and implementing 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. Therefore, it is regrettable that the State Party has not yet proceeded with the adoption of this detailed topography for Jam.

It is noted that a Conservation Action Plan is being elaborated by the UNESCO Office in Kabul, in co-operation with the State Party and the World Heritage Centre, following the approval, in March 2015, of an Emergency International Assistance Request (IAR) under the World Heritage Fund (USD 73,750). It is strongly hoped that, on the basis of the Conservation Action Plan elaborated under the IAR, the State Party will (i) establish a concrete work plan for emergency conservation work as well as a regular monitoring system, (ii) have them approved and an appropriate budget allocated; and (iii) start implementing these actions as soon as possible.

Upon the approval by the Government of the budget necessary to carry out such a work plan, the State Party shall be able to propose a revised timeframe for the implementation of 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 (DSOCR).

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 7A.27

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.38, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Deeply regrets that neither emergency measures nor conservation work have been undertaken in situ, and that no concrete report has been submitted providing precise and up-to-date information on the state of conservation of the property, including the security situation;
  4. Also regrets that the State Party has neither adopted the detailed topographic map of the property, produced in 2012, nor submitted a proposal for minor boundary modification at this point in time, and requests the State Party to adopt the 2012 topographic map of the property and to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, a proposal for a minor boundary modification, in accordance with Paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines, for review by ICOMOS;
  5. Strongly urges the State Party to establish, on the basis of the Conservation Action Plan elaborated as part of the Emergency International Assistance granted under the World Heritage Fund, a realistic and concrete emergency and conservation work plan, including measures for site security, and also requests that this plan be approved along with the necessary budget in order to commence its implementation as soon as possible;
  6. Calls upon the international community for technical and financial support, in co-operation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, for the implementation of abovementioned Action Plan, which will be part of a Strategy to implement the corrective measures identified by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007);
  7. Further requests the State Party, upon development of the Conservation Strategy and Action Plan and in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to revise the timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017;
  8. Requests furthermore 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;
  9. Decides to retain Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 8C.2

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: