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Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications

Sri Lanka
Factors affecting the property in 2011*
  • Housing
  • Illegal activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Marine transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Need for development and management plan;

b) Intrusive and illegal constructions within the Galle cricket ground impacting on the integrity of the property;

c) Potential impacts of a proposed port construction on the integrity of the property.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2011
Requests approved: 1 (from 1997-1997)
Total amount approved : 3,334 USD
Missions to the property until 2011**

2002: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission; November 2007: UNESCO expert advisory mission; April/May 2008: UNESCO New Delhi Office advisory mission; 2010 World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission February;

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

In Decision 34 COM 7B.72, the World Heritage Committee, regretted that the State Party had not provided a conservation report with responses to requests of the Committee at its 33rd session to provide plans for the property boundary and buffer zone, including an extension to embrace the maritime archaeology of the bay, reduced proposal for the Port and details of other developments which may impact on the property, including any further building on the cricket ground.

The State Party did not submit a state of conservation report as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010). 

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2011

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that for the second consecutive year the State Party has not submitted a state of conservation report. They recall that the reactive World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the Old Town of Galle, Sri Lanka (13-20 February 2010) had been unable to make a full assessment because the State Party failed to provide all of the plans and other documents that had been requested.

The mission reported there had been disappointingly little progress in tackling the outstanding issues: development at the International cricket ground and at the Port, as well as the inadequacy of the buffer zone surrounding the old town and fortifications. 

In the absence of any response to the mission report, and in the light of threats identified by the 2010 mission relating to lack of conservation and management as well as development, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies wish to highlight the potential vulnerability of the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2011
35 COM 7B.78
Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications (Sri Lanka) (C 451)

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.72, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Expresses its deep regret that the State Party has not submitted a state of conservation report, that it did not submit one to the 34th session, and that therefore no response has been provided to the recommendations of the 2010 reactive monitoring mission;

4. Also expresses deep concern at the potential vulnerability of the property from proposed development, from the absence of effective conservation control in the Old Town and from the lack of a conservation management plan;

5. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and responses to the requests of the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.

Draft Decision: 35 COM 7B.78

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B 72, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Expresses its deep regret that the State Party has not submitted a state of conservation report, that it did not submit one to the 34th session, and that therefore no response has been provided to the recommendations of the 2010 reactive monitoring mission;

4. Also Expresses deep concern at the potential vulnerability of the property from proposed development, from the absence of effective conservation control in the Old Town and from the lack of a conservation management plan;

5. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and responses to the requests of the Committee at its 34th session for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.

Report year: 2011
Sri Lanka
Date of Inscription: 1988
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 35COM (2011)
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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