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

Palestine
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • 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
  • New constructions within the property’s boundaries
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

Proposed for adoption in the draft Decision below

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 1 (from 2016-2016)
Total amount approved : 30,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2017**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 30 January 2017, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1492/documents.  Progress in a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:

  • Limited progress has been made in implementing the key corrective measures adopted in 2015 to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  • A timeframe for the full implementation of the adopted corrective measures has been proposed and submitted. This timeframe may be refined once the Management and Conservation Plan (MCP) is finalized. The corrective measures and thus the DSOCR are planned to be achieved within a period of 10 years, or 2026 (“Dismissal of plans to build a ‘Wall’ along the property, or within its surroundings,” is not defined within the timeframe: the State Party observes that this corrective measure is essentially beyond its control);
  • The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, in cooperation with the Battir municipality, the UNESCO Office in Ramallah, and related stakeholders, began preparations for the MCP in November 2016, with completion anticipated in July 2017. The State Party advises that the adopted corrective measures will be integrated into the MCP;
  • The State Party highlights the locally funded “Battir 2020 Initiative,” which aims to implement sustainable cultural activities and tourism infrastructure, and summarizes a half-dozen rehabilitation projects supported by the Battir Municipality and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID);
  • Funds are being sought for a number of initiatives, including a comprehensive project developed by the UNESCO Office in Ramallah, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Battir Municipality, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), entitled “Safeguarding, Rehabilitation, and Promotion of the Agro-Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir”;
  • Submissions of Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) are anticipated for the Water Supply and Sanitation Improvements for West Bethlehem Villages Project and for the wastewater treatment plant for Battir and Hussan, should these projects proceed beyond the conceptual stage.

The State Party requests that the property be retained on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

The State Party has outlined a number of positive efforts made during 2016 to improve the state of conservation and protection of the inscribed property. Notable achievements include developing and submitting a proposed timeframe for the full implementation of the adopted corrective measures; and commencing preparations for the MCP, with its completion anticipated in July 2017.  Positive efforts also include the local “Battir 2020 Initiative,” which thus far has resulted in some maintenance, conservation, and/or rehabilitation of parts of the agricultural terraces, traditional irrigation systems, and abandoned buildings and shops, as well as engagement of the local community and increased awareness and promotion of the property.

Limited progress, however, has been made in implementing the key corrective measures adopted in 2015 to achieve the DSOCR. Moreover, the timeframe for the full implementation of the adopted corrective measures could be seen as long, stretching over the period of a decade to the year 2026. It is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to review the timeframe for implementing the corrective measures to determine whether an accelerated pace for some of the key measures is feasible.

Internal and external socio-cultural and geo-political factors and a lack of funding have hampered the State Party’s ability to move forward on important projects that affect the state of conservation of the property, such as the establishment of an adequate sewage system to improve water supplies and sanitation. It is recommended that the Committee again request the State Party to put in place, as soon as possible, a robust management system with adequate staff who can advance the projects needed to allow sustainable management of the property – regardless of whether external funding is achieved.

On 21-22 March 2017 a Workshop on the Management of Cultural Heritage in Palestine was held in Amman, organized by UNESCO Office in Ramallah and attended by two ICOMOS experts. Discussions were held on the management challenges of the property and the team in charge of developing the management plan explained that there is a need for a strong engagement of the locals – both residents and stakeholders – in the management to accelerate and optimize the process of management planning.

Considering the above-mentioned information, it is thus recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7A.43
Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Palestine) (C 1492)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.15, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Welcomes the timeframe submitted by the State Party for the full implementation of the adopted corrective measures in order to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and encourages the State Party to review this timeframe to determine whether an accelerated pace for any of the key corrective measures is feasible;
  4. Commends the State Party for commencing preparations for the Management and Conservation Plan (MCP), the completion of which is forecast for July 2017, also encourages the State Party to envisage additional means in order to reinforce the engagement of local residents and stakeholders, and reiterates its request that the adopted corrective measures be adequately integrated into the MCP;
  5. Also reiterates its request for the State Party to put in place, as soon as possible, an effective management system for the property and its buffer zone and, until the MCP is established and operational, to submit all construction projects to the World Heritage Centre for review, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  6. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, 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 42nd session in 2018;
  7. Decides to retain Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Palestine) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
41 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/17/41.COM/7A, WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add and WHC/17/41.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 41 COM 7A.54)
    • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 41 COM 7A.55)
    • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 41 COM 7A.2)
    • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 41 COM 7A.23)
    • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.4)
    • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 41 COM 7A.24)
    • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.6)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.7)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.8)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.9)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.10)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.11)
    • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 41 COM 7A.32)
    • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.3)
    • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 41 COM 7A.18)
    • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 41 COM 7A.33)
    • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 41 COM 7A.34)
    • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 41 COM 7A.35)
    • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 41 COM 7A.36)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 41 COM 7A.37)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 41 COM 7A.38)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 41 COM 7A.39)
    • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 41 COM 7A.40)
    • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 41 COM 7A.41)
    • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 41 COM 7A.14)
    • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 41 COM 7A.28)
    • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 41 COM 7A.29)
    • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 41 COM 7A.30)
    • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 41 COM 7A.56)
    • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 41 COM 7A.15)
    • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 41 COM 7A.42)
    • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 41 COM 7A.43)
    • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 41 COM 7A.25)
    • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 41 COM 7A.26)
    • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.16)
    • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 41 COM 7A.21)
    • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 41 COM 7A.19)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 41 COM 7A.44)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 41 COM 7A.45)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 41 COM 7A.46)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 41 COM 7A.47)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 41 COM 7A.48)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 41 COM 7A.49)
    • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 41 COM 7A.31)
    • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 41 COM 7A.22)
    • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.17)
    • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.1)
    • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 41 COM 7A.57)
    • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 41 COM 7A.27)
    • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 41 COM 7A.51)
    • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 41 COM 7A.52)
    • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 41 COM 7A.53)
      Draft Decision: 41 COM 7A.43

      The World Heritage Committee,

      1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A,
      2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.15, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
      3. Welcomes the timeframe submitted by the State Party for the full implementation of the adopted corrective measures in order to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and encourages the State Party to review this timeframe to determine whether an accelerated pace for any of the key corrective measures is feasible;
      4. Commends the State Party for commencing preparations for the Management and Conservation Plan (MCP), the completion of which is forecast for July 2017, also encourages the State Party to envisage additional means in order to reinforce the engagement of local residents and stakeholders, and reiterates its request that the adopted corrective measures be adequately integrated into the MCP;
      5. Also reiterates its request for the State Party to put in place, as soon as possible, an effective management system for the property and its buffer zone and, until the MCP is established and operational, to submit all construction projects to the World Heritage Centre for review, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
      6. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, 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 42nd session in 2018;
      7. 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: 2017
      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 (2007) .pdf
      arrow_circle_right 41COM (2017)
      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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