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

A new timeframe needs to be developed and submitted by the State Party 

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 2017

On 9 April 2017, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report providing information on the implementation of the corrective measures and a Conservation Action Plan for conservation work at Jam, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/211/documents.

The Conservation Action Plan, which was developed in cooperation with UNESCO and is currently being reviewed by the Ministry of Culture, addresses the following four key areas:

A hydrology training workshop is planned in close co-operation with the Aachen Technical University (RWTH) in Aachen (Germany) in April 2017, with the participation of a structural engineer and hydrologists from the Ministries of Information and Culture, Water and Energy.

A team of police officers have been deployed for the protection of the property and to monitor any illicit trafficking of cultural property. Due to heavy rains and snow in 2016, the guesthouse partly collapsed and is no longer usable. Therefore, the State Party needs to build a new guesthouse, which can also serve as a site office for the Department of Historical Monuments, as storage for conservation materials, and as accommodation for experts. In addition, the report stresses the importance of constructing a footbridge over the Hari Rud River to enable year-round access to the property for both the local communities and future conservation works.

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

The information provided by the State Party on the Conservation Action Plan is not sufficiently detailed, and it appears that none of the recommendations made by the Committee at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) have been implemented. Moreover, the State Party has been providing information on the same issues related to the construction of a footbridge and a guesthouse for the last 6 years, with little or no progress reported and no reasons given for the continued delays.

It is recommended that the Committee also deeply regret that the State Party has not adopted the topographic map produced in 2012 within the framework of the UNESCO/Italy Funds in Trust (FiT) project, which took into account the crucial need for accurate mapping of the archaeological remains and for the definition of appropriate boundaries and a buffer zone for the property. As reiterated several times by the Committee, the adoption of the topographic map and the new proposed boundaries by the relevant authorities would constitute an essential step towards developing an effective conservation strategy.

It must be stressed once more that it is of the utmost importance that a realistic Conservation Action Plan, based on the above-mentioned strategy, be established and implemented. This Action Plan might be subdivided into a short-term work plan and a mid- or long-term work plan, with the former comprising a set of actions to be undertaken immediately, such as the installation of a monitoring device at the Minaret of Jam to measure its inclination and emergency stabilization work for the wooden staircases, in order to prevent further destabilization of the Minaret’s structure.

Regrettably, no action has been undertaken at the property since the termination of the UNESCO/Italy FiT and UNESCO/Switzerland FiT projects for the safeguarding the Minaret of Jam, in 2012. In light of this, it is recommended that the Committee strongly urge the State Party to implement, as a matter of urgency, the work plan produced as a result of the Emergency International Assistance and to allocate appropriate budgetary and human resources.

Finally, the comprehensive Conservation Action Plan should serve as the basis to revise the timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures identified by the 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: 41 COM 7A.55

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.27 adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Notes with regret that the State Party has neither adopted the detailed topographic map of the property produced in 2012, nor submitted a proposal for a minor boundary modification, and reiterates its request to the State Party to adopt the 2012 topographic map of the property and to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, a proposal for a minor boundary modification, in accordance with Paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines, for review by ICOMOS;
  4. Regrets that the State Party has not carried out any conservation work at the site since 2012;
  5. Urges the State Party to approve the Conservation Action Plan, which was established as an outcome of the Emergency International Assistance granted from the World Heritage Fund, along with the necessary financial resources, and to start implementing this Action Plan as soon as possible;
  6. Also urges the State Party, as a matter of urgency, to address the two issues that have been reported as urgent for several years already:
    1. The installation of a monitoring instrument on the Minaret of Jam to measure its inclination, and
    2. The emergency stabilization work for the wooden staircases, in order to prevent further destabilization of the Minaret’s structure;
  7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, the detailed Conservation Action Plan along with details on the means allocated towards its implementation, including any financial measure;
  8. Also requests the State Party to construct a footbridge over the Hari Rud River and a guesthouse at the property, in order to improve access to the property and site security, which the State Party itself has highlighted as urgent for a number of years;
  9. Calls upon the international community to provide technical and financial support, in co-operation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, for the implementation of above-mentioned Action Plan, which will be part of a strategy to implement the corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007);
  10. Further requests the State Party to revise the timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2018;
  11. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, an update 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;
  12. Decides to retain the Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 41 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/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: