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Susa

Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • Commercial development
  • Housing
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water (rain/water table)
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Threats identified at the time of inscription of the property in 2015:

  • Management activities (Insufficient protection measures for archaeological remains and mounds within the buffer zone)
  • Management systems/Management Plan (Lack of risk preparedness considerations in the Susa Development Plan and in the management framework of the property)
  • Housing, Commercial Development (Urban pressure)
  • Water (rain/water table) (Extreme climatic conditions (erosion due to heavy rains))
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2017**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 30 November 2016, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of this property, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1455/documents. This report provides information on the progress achieved with the implementation of the recommendations adopted by the Committee at the time of inscription of the property on the World Heritage List at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015), as follows:

  • In 2015, surveys were conducted in the buffer and landscape zones to update information on archaeological sites and assess the potential significance and current status of certain areas. Additionally, planning provisions were verified, providing elements to prioritize future geomagnetic surveys so as to ascertain their archaeological potential. This documentation forms the basis for a possible future listing as a protected monument or archaeological site at national level, and for negotiations with landowners to create a buffer zone around the sites. This activity favoured rescue operations at Ayadana mound (landscape zone) and to mark its physical boundaries with the owners’ consent;
  • The land ownership clarification process (property and buffer zone) began in 2015-2016 with a view to marking the boundaries of protected sites and to determining possibilities and/or priorities for land acquisition by the Susa World Heritage Base;
  • A taskforce for awareness raising among local stakeholders was set up and held meetings to explain the significance and vulnerabilities of Susa’s archaeological heritage. Locals are being involved in on-site monitoring;
  • Following detection of the effects of seismic disturbances, storage reordering and restoration of stored objects were carried out at Susa Castle. Some of these objects will be exhibited at the museum;
  • Capacity building programmes for associations were developed to prepare tourist guides and obtain their cooperation to in monitor seasonal tourism pressures;
  • A Technical Committee and a Board of Trustees were established to support the Susa World Heritage Base; city and provincial officials are represented therein and, when necessary, representatives from relevant institutions are invited to ensure consistent decision-making processes;
  • The ad-hoc Secretariat of the Higher Council of Architecture and Urban Development (HCAUD, appointed 15 September 2014) organizes meetings with representatives of the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts & Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), the Department of Environment and the Ministry of Interior to examine work plans and to ensure that they respect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and the requirements of the Convention;
  • Several additional measures have been integrated in the revised implementation calendar.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

The State Party has taken important initiatives to effectively address the Committee’s recommendations: the clarification of the ownership of land plots, the delimitation of the boundaries for known archaeological sites and negotiations with owners on the definition of buffer zones and related measures around specific archaeological sites are key steps for enforcing protection measures. The reorganization and maintenance of the storage rooms, and the cataloguing and conservation of the objects preserved therein, also represent important activities that contribute to improving knowledge of the property.

However, the report documenting the activities carried out since the inscription of the property also clarifies that enhancing protection implementation requires significant and lengthy preparatory work, which needs to be continued and supported through the steady allocation of human and financial resources. 

It is noted that mechanisms are being considered to ensure that representatives of the municipality are involved in the Technical Committee and the Board of Trustees, to guarantee coordination with the municipality. A list of members has been provided, although since it only lists names and not roles; it would be helpful if members of the aforementioned bodies were identified by their institutional position rather than in a personal capacity. A high-level working group has also been established, including representatives from the HCAUD, the ICHHTO, the Department of Environment and the Ministry of Interior, to examine whether the proposed work plans respect the OUV of the property before they are submitted to HCAUD for approval. This represents an important step to achieve better coordination, yet it would be important that existing spatial plans be harmonized by integrating the OUV of the property and the related regulations, also with regard to the buffer zone and landscape zone.

Initial steps have been put in place to integrate risk preparedness considerations in the Susa Development Plan and the Management Framework of the property; these need to be further developed, paying particular attention to the property and its attributes, in order to reduce impacts from nature- or human-induced disasters.

Finally, it is noted that awareness-raising activities for the population and local stakeholders have begun and need to be continued to increase the local stakeholders’ understanding of the significance of the property and ensure their support to the Susa World Heritage Base.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7B.93
Susa (Iran (Islamic Republic of)) (C 1455)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 8B.13, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Notes with appreciation the initiatives undertaken by the State Party to strengthen the protection of the archaeological remains and sites contained within the buffer and landscape zones, and encourages the State Party to continue its work in order to finalize the updated mapping of archaeological sites within the two zones and provide them with the necessary protection measures;
  4. Requests the State Party to continue harmonizing existing territorial and urban planning instruments by integrating the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property into the regulations related to the property and the buffer and landscape zones;
  5. Encourages the State Party to:
    1. Continue defining indicators to measure the effectiveness of the inter-institutional agreement,
    2. Address risk preparedness and integrate the necessary measures in the Susa Development Plan and in the Management framework;
  6. Also request the State Party to continue with the implementation of the recommendations adopted in Decision 39 COM 8B.13;
  7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, an updated, detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020.
Draft Decision: 41 COM 7B.93

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 8B.13, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Notes with appreciation the initiatives undertaken by the State Party to strengthen the protection of the archaeological remains and sites contained within the buffer and landscape zones, and encourages the State Party to continue its work in order to finalize the updated mapping of archaeological sites within the two zones and provide them with the necessary protection measures;
  4. Requests the State Party to continue harmonizing existing territorial and urban planning instruments by integrating the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property into the regulations related to the property and the buffer and landscape zones;
  5. Encourages the State Party to:
    1. Continue defining indicators to measure the effectiveness of the inter-institutional agreement,
    2. Address risk preparedness and integrate the necessary measures in the Susa Development Plan and in the Management framework;
  6. Also request the State Party to continue with the implementation of the recommendations adopted in Decision 39 COM 8B.13;
  7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, an updated, detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020.
Report year: 2017
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Date of Inscription: 2015
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2016) .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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