1.         Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications (Sri Lanka) (C 451)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1988

Criteria  (iv)

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/451/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1997-1997)
Total amount approved: USD 3,334
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/451/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

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;

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.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/451/

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 Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

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.

Decision Adopted: 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 World Heritage Committee at its 34th session for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.