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Stećci Medieval Tombstone Graveyards

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Housing
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Threats identified at the time of inscription in 2016: 

  • Lack of consistency of mapping and cataloguing of the selected components of the serial property 
  • Lack of conservation programmes at selected components, based on the advice of skilled conservators
  • Lack of monitoring indicators to assess the impact of development and tourism
  • Lack of operational coordination of the various bodies involved in the management of each of the components
  • Lack of planning instruments
  • Heritage Impact Assessment and Disaster Risk Management tools approach not integrated into the management system
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 30 November 2017, a state of conservation report was submitted by the four States Parties, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1504/documents/, to respond to the Committee’s decision on concerns raised at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016), at the time of the inscription of this transnational serial property. The States Parties’ response has largely focused on establishing coordination mechanisms and shared capacity building activities, as follows:

  • Establishment of the International Coordination Committee (ICC) and its Secretariat (the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe through its Antenna in Sarajevo is an observer to the ICC, and regularly participates in the meetings);
  • Establishment of the needed organizational arrangements in each of the four States Parties, including: the appointment of site managers and municipal focal points; training and monitoring procedures for the site managers; coordination between relevant State Party institutions; and strengthening of cooperation with tourism organisations;
  • Development of a Communication Strategy and associated promotional and awareness raising activities (such as media, website content, filming, harmonisation of the appearance of signs);
  • Planning for the system of mapping and cataloguing of the stećci;
  • Workshop on stone conservation attended by representatives of the four States Parties;
  • Workshop on Managing Disaster Risks attended by representatives of the four States Parties;
  • Development of monitoring indicators associated with the impacts of development and tourism initiated by some States Parties, but not all of them.

The Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) was coordinated between the four States Parties, and adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017) (Decision 41 COM 8B.49).

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

The ICC has been established, and regular meetings have taken place since the property was inscribed. Meetings have focused on the functions of the coordination mechanism, including communications and promotion of the property.

The report noted that the approaches towards improving the consistency of mapping and cataloguing of elements found within the 28 components differ between the four States Parties. Documentation is reported to be well-advanced for the components located in Serbia and Croatia, but is still in the planning and financing stages for Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. There is a need to ensure the consistency of the methods being employed across the four States Parties. 

The state of conservation of the stećci varies across the 28 components, and different priorities are expected. Some of the components had been the subject of active conservation programmes prior to inscription in the World Heritage List; while in others, there have been ‘trial’ activities to establish active programmes. However, for many other components, no programmes are yet in place. Active monitoring and conservation programmes are required, the workshop held in Montenegro in November 2017 on stone conservation contributes to this goal, but continued capacity building support to site managers and local authorities is needed.

The report states that regular monitoring is occurring and that no new issues that could impact the OUV of the property are identified. However, there has been modest progress in relation to the elaboration of monitoring indicators related to sustainable development and tourism. The components of the serial property vary in terms of their current visitor levels, and many are in remote locations. Nevertheless, it is of some concern that the development of monitoring indicators is apparently occurring without a coordinated process between the four States Parties and that it is considered unnecessary to develop indicators associated with visitor pressure for the components located in Croatia on the basis of low current visitor levels. It is recommended that the Committee recall the need to develop these indicators due to the proximity of these sites to well-developed tourism areas in Croatia and the possibility of increased future visitor pressure.

Several Disaster Risk Management workshops/discussions have been organised, involving all four States Parties, and further capacity building in this area is planned. Disaster Risk Management and Heritage Impact Assessment tools are therefore in an early stage of development.

As a number of the measures described by the States Parties in response to the Committee’s Decision at the time of inscription, are still in the process of elaboration, the States Parties are strongly encouraged to continue with the actions focused on their completion and implementation as soon as possible, and to keep the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies informed of their progress.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7B.19
Stećci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia) (C 1504)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 8B.24, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO 2016),
  3. Welcomes the information provided by the States Parties concerning the establishment of the International Coordination Committee (ICC) and associated coordination mechanisms ;
  4. Requests the States Parties to continue to progress on the issues identified by the World Heritage Committee at the time of the inscription of the property, including:
    1. Continue implementing a consistent mapping and cataloguing system for the components of the serial property,
    2. Developing active conservation programmes for the stećci, based on monitoring outcomes, and utilising the advice of skilled conservators,
    3. Developing and implementing monitoring indicators that include the impacts of development and tourism,
    4. Developing and implementing consistent Heritage Impact Assessment and Disaster Risk Management approaches within the transnational management system,
    5. Continuing to organize and provide capacity development activities for site managers in relation to these objectives;
  5. Also requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, a consolidated progress report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, and by 1 December 2020, a consolidated report on the completed measures, for examination by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7B.19

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 8B.24, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO 2016),
  3. Welcomes the information provided by the States Parties concerning the establishment of the International Coordination Committee (ICC) and associated coordination mechanisms ;
  4. Requests the States Parties to continue to progress on the issues identified by the World Heritage Committee at the time of the inscription of the property, including:
    1. Continue implementing a consistent mapping and cataloguing system for the components of the serial property,
    2. Developing active conservation programmes for the stećci, based on monitoring outcomes, and utilising the advice of skilled conservators,
    3. Developing and implementing monitoring indicators that include the impacts of development and tourism,
    4. Developing and implementing consistent Heritage Impact Assessment and Disaster Risk Management approaches within the transnational management system,
    5. Continuing to organize and provide capacity development activities for site managers in relation to these objectives;
  5. Also requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, a consolidated progress report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, and by 1 December 2020, a consolidated report on the completed measures, for examination by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.
Report year: 2018
Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatia Montenegro Serbia
Date of Inscription: 2016
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(vi)
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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