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The Persian Qanat

Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Factors identified at the time of inscription in 2016:

  • Management activities (Need to collect data related to each qanat and make it accessible to members of the local communities; Lack of permanent marking of the boundaries of property components and buffer zones on the ground)
  • Management systems / Management Plans (Need to extend the management strategy and plans to include a risk preparedness strategy and a comprehensive tourism strategy for all property components; Need to extend the monitoring system to identify the responsible authority for each key indicator)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 4 December 2017, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1506/documents/. The report presents the State Party’s progress with a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions, as follows:

  • The improvement and development of documentation centres accessible to the local public, along with a database centre supporting international access to the information, remains underway and is included in management plans as both a short- and long-term priority;
  • Extending the management strategy and plans to include a risk preparedness strategy and a comprehensive tourism strategy for all property components remains unrealized. Related short-, mid- and long-term goals identified in a proposed update of the Management Plan include installing “risk facilities” such as oxygen masks, signing Memoranda of Understanding for police and emergency services, monitoring earthquake stability, improving signboards and visitor paths, and producing and encouraging promotional and educational materials, programmes and events, tour packages and tourism facilities;
  • Several meetings have been held regarding management approaches and monitoring systems, and a number of key monitoring indicators proposed by different stakeholders are currently under discussion;
  • The boundaries of the property and the Buffer Zone are being marked by permanent steel rods placed within the most visited areas where this is physically possible. The marking has not yet been completed because of the large areas to be covered;
  • The inner surfaces of the qanat galleries are being dredged periodically to enhance water flow.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

The State Party reports that many efforts have been made since the inscription of this still-active serial property to engage the stakeholders and local communities and encourage them to implement an integrated management system. The State Party specifically highlights an addition to the plans proposed within the 2016 Management Plan to include references to sustainable tourism management and risk management, though limited progress has been reported concerning this important recommendation made by the Committee at the time of inscription. Recalling the fundamental value of an overarching integrated management system and of appropriate control mechanisms for the property, it is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to include, as a matter of priority, risk management and sustainable tourism management sections in the integrated management system. Moreover, these sections should be strategic in character, with clear objectives that are related to sustaining the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), including authenticity and integrity, of the property, and with indicators to measure the success of each strategy.

While some progress has been made regarding the other recommendations made by the Committee at the time of inscription, actions such as improving the collection and accessibility of data, improving the monitoring system and permanently marking the boundaries of the property and its buffer zones have yet to be fully realized. It is recommended that the Committee reiterate its previous recommendations concerning these important activities and request information on the expected timeframe(s) for their completion.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7B.9
The Persian Qanat (Iran, Islamic Republic of) (C 1506)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 40 COM 8B.21 and 41 COM 8B.49 adopted at its 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 41st (Krakow, 2017) sessions respectively,
  3. Urges the State Party to include, as a matter of priority, sections on strategic risk management and sustainable tourism management in the integrated management system, with clear objectives related to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, notably its authenticity and integrity, and relevant monitoring indicators;
  4. Reiterates its recommendations to the State Party to:
    1. Continue enriching the documentation centres with collected data related to each qanat in the relevant regional offices of the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts & Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), and ensure the availability of this data to members of the local communities and internationally,
    2. Extend the monitoring system to identify the responsible authority for each key indicator,
    3. Complete the permanent marking of the boundaries of property components and buffer zones on the ground;
  5. Requests the State Party to provide an indication of the expected timeframe(s) for the completion of the above-mentioned actions;
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, 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 44th session in 2020.
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7B.9

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 40 COM 8B.21 and 41 COM 8B.49 adopted at its 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 41st (Krakow, 2017) sessions respectively,
  3. Urges the State Party to include, as a matter of priority, sections on strategic risk management and sustainable tourism management in the integrated management system, with clear objectives related to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, notably its authenticity and integrity, and relevant monitoring indicators;
  4. Reiterates its recommendations to the State Party to:
    1. Continue enriching the documentation centres with collected data related to each qanat in the relevant regional offices of the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts & Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), and ensure the availability of this data to members of the local communities and internationally,
    2. Extend the monitoring system to identify the responsible authority for each key indicator,
    3. Complete the permanent marking of the boundaries of property components and buffer zones on the ground;
  5. Requests the State Party to provide an indication of the expected timeframe(s) for the completion of the above-mentioned actions;
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, 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 44th session in 2020.
Report year: 2018
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Date of Inscription: 2016
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2017) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 42COM (2018)
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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