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Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou

Morocco
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Erosion and siltation/ deposition
  • Flooding
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Partial abandonment of the property
  • Gully erosion leading to rock falls
  • Increased offences in old Ksar and degradation
  • Delays in the establishment of a technical and administrative structure responsible for the property
  • Uncontrolled tourism and visitor pressure
  • Floods at the end of 2014
  • Possible impact due to the opening of the bridge connecting the two banks of the Wadi el-Maleh on the property
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 3 (from 2001-2007)
Total amount approved : 52,333 USD
Missions to the property until 2017**

September 2003: Reactive Monitoring mission; November 2003: World Heritage Centre mission; April 2006: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; February 2007: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 22 March 2017, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/444/documents/, and which reported on the following progress:

  • The management plan is being finalized by the Centre for the Conservation and Rehabilitation of the Architectural Heritage of the Atlas and Sub-Atlas Regions (CERKAS) in collaboration with civil society and other stakeholders. This management plan is based on the creation of income-generating cultural activities and the realization of facilities that have the potential to enhance the site and its presentation. It will be submitted to the competent authorities for approval in October 2017 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the inscription of the property on the World Heritage List;
  • The special financial account intended to facilitate the financing of interventions for the restoration and rehabilitation of the property has been submitted to the Ministry of the Interior and does not appear to be operational at this time;
  • A pedestrian footbridge, prohibited to all vehicles, connecting the two banks of the Wadu el-Maleh has been built in the buffer zone in the narrowest part of the Wadi with the aim of facilitating access to the ancient Ksar and encouraging the return of the inhabitants to the old Ksar. It will also serve tourists and help to improve access to the old Ksar and facilitate the installation of the necessary infrastructure and the creation of income-generating activities;
  • In September 2016, the State Party initiated a first phase of restoration of Ksar dwellings for an amount of 2 million dirham (roughly USD 200,000) for an eight-month period. This operation will be followed by two next phases for a total amount of 7 million dirham (approx. USD 700,000) financed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Policy and the National Agency for Development of Oasian and Argan Zones. The specifications for this restoration work have been prepared by CERKAS and will be followed up together with other partners;
  • Also in 2016, the report indicates that work to extend and reinforce the 1506 provincial road leading to the Aït Benhadou site and the development of the séguia (irrigation canal) through the Ksar have been conducted by the State Party.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

The restoration work undertaken in collaboration with CERKAS since September 2016, the report of which does not provide any details, would require consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for technical advice prior to the work. Therefore, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, to transmit to the World Heritage Centre all information and technical details of such restoration work as well as that envisaged for the second and third phases before their implementation, for consideration by the Advisory Bodies. The same applies to projects concerning the roads and the irrigation canal carried out in 2016 within the property or its buffer zone.

Concerning the construction of a footbridge linking the two banks of Wadi el-Maleh that corresponds to the alternative chosen by the State Party to replace the bridge project, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to confirm the sustainability of this choice and its actual impact on the Ksar by conducting an impact assessment on the property to ensure that it will not affect its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).

Given that the special financial account is not yet operational, it would be important to know whether the State Party will be able to undertake the necessary measures for the conservation and management of the property. It is also recommended that the Committee reiterate to the State Party its recommendation to adopt the historic urban landscape approach as an additional tool for the sustainable management of the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7B.84
Ksar Ait Ben Haddou (Morocco) (C 444)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.58, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Encourages the State Party to continue the finalization of the management plan and the timetable for its implementation and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre for consideration by the Advisory Bodies;
  4. Noting with concern that restoration works have been carried out in the property since September 2016, with no details having been provided to the World Heritage Centre in advance, requests the State Party, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, to provide further details on the restoration work undertaken since 2016 and to transmit the technical details of the work planned for the second and third phases of this project prior to their implementation for consideration by the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to provide additional information on the special financial account for the conservation of the property;
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre information on the commissioning of the bridge between the two banks of Wadi el-Maleh within the property, accompanied by a heritage impact assessment, for examination by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Reiterates its recommendation to the State Party to adopt an integrated approach focusing on the historic urban landscape as an additional tool for sustainable management of the property;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 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 43rd session in 2019.
Draft Decision: 41 COM 7B.84

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.58, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Encourages the State Party to continue the finalization of the management plan and the timetable for its implementation and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre for consideration by the Advisory Bodies;
  4. Noting with concern that restoration works have been carried out in the property since September 2016, with no details having been provided to the World Heritage Centre in advance, requests the State Party, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, to provide further details on the restoration work undertaken since 2016 and to transmit the technical details of the work planned for the second and third phases of this project prior to their implementation for consideration by the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to provide additional information on the special financial account for the conservation of the property;
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre information on the commissioning of the bridge between the two banks of Wadi el-Maleh within the property, accompanied by a heritage impact assessment, for examination by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Reiterates its recommendation to the State Party to adopt an integrated approach focusing on the historic urban landscape as an additional tool for sustainable management of the property;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 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 43rd session in 2019.
Report year: 2017
Morocco
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)(v)
Documents examined by the Committee
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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