1.         Ruins of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur (Bangladesh) (C 322)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1985

Criteria  (i)(ii)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/322/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1986-2005)
Total amount approved: USD 100,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/322/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 800,000 from UNDP, UNESCO, Japan Funds-in-Trust, France UNESCO Cooperation Agreement and NORAD

Previous monitoring missions

October 2002: ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; February 2003: UNESCO expert mission; February/March 2009: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Lack of an effective management system;

b) Lack of adequate human and financial resources;

c) Property and buffer zone boundaries not clearly defined;

d) Drainage and internal moisture contents problem.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/322/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

The World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009) urged the State Party of Bangladesh, as a matter of priority, to address the recommendations made by the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission carried out in February-March 2009.

The State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 24 March 2011 through the UNESCO Dhaka Office, which reported progress made to implement Decision 33 COM 7B.64.

a) Management plan

The State Party indicated that a comprehensive management plan including conservation policies and provisions for a buffer zone will be drafted under the project “South Asia Tourism Development Project - Bangladesh portion 2009-2014” financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The State Party, through the Department of Archaeology, will consult over development of the management plan with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.

b) Refraining from carrying out major conservation works

The State Party in the report noted the decision of the World Heritage Committee to refrain from carrying out any major conservation works until the management plan has been developed.

With regards to the removal of the incompatible light fittings installed within the courtyard of the monastery, the State Party reported that the lights are not removed yet and noted that these light fittings will be removed after introducing a better alternative system for lighting the temple wall. The report mentioned that the Department of Archaeology has planned to request consultation under the ADB financed project for alternative light fittings.

c) Personnel

The State Party further indicated that in responding to the need to recruit necessary professional staff, the Department of Archaeology has been able to fill 24 vacant posts and to engage 6 additional guards at the property. The State Party is also planning to recruit one institutional expert, within the ADB financed project, to revise the organisational charts of the Department with a view of improving the management of the property.

The State Party provided also information regarding the capacity-building activities and listed two activities which have been organised by the Department of Archaeology together with UNESCO: Value-based management of Cultural Heritage (May 2009) and Ethics-based management for Cultural Heritage sites of Bangladesh (December 2009).

The Report also mentioned plans for future capacity-building workshops to be organised by UNESCO under a project funded by the Norwegian Funds-in-Trust and under the ADB financed project.

d) Statement of Outstanding Universal Value

As a part of the Periodic Reporting exercise, the State Party submitted a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value on 1 February 2011 which has been forwarded to ICOMOS for review.

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that while the authorities took some steps to implement the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee, a large number of key conservation and management issues have not been resolved and urge the State Party to pursue its efforts to implement the measures proposed by the Committee.

They also note that the two projects financed by the Asian Development Bank and the Norwegian Government are important opportunities to elaborate a comprehensive management plan for the property and for capacity-building purposes. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that it would be important that these projects be implemented by the State Party in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7B.61

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.64, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Acknowledges the steps taken by the State Party to pursue the implementation of the Committee decision and urges the State Party to implement the rest of the measures proposed by the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission carried out in February-March 2009;

4. Encourages the State Party to draft the management plan of the property under the project "South Asia Tourism Infrastructure Development Project - Bangladesh Portion 2009-2014" in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

5. Welcomes the information that the Norwegian Funds-in-Trust, is supporting a capacity-building project for long term management, conservation and preservation of World Heritage properties in Bangladesh, which may contribute to improving the property's protection and management;

6. Requests the State Party to undertake its capacity-building activities on management and conservation of cultural heritage properties, in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies;

7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, a detailed report on the progress achieved in the implementation of the above.