Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1979
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger 2003-2007
Previous Committee Decisions see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/121/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 417,619
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/121/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Total amount granted: USD 10 million (1979-2001) from the International Safeguarding Campaign; USD 45,000 (2005) and USD 20,000 (2011) from UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust. Several UNESCO extra-budgetary projects have been approved in 2015-2016 for the emergency safeguarding, conservation and rehabilitation process of the Kathmandu Valley after the 2015 earthquake. They include USD 1 million from the Chinese Hainan Airlines Group (Cihang Foundation), USD 250,000 from the Hong Kong based Fok Foundation, USD 145,000 from the UNESCO Japanese Funds-in-Trust, USD 100,000 from the Nepal Investment Bank and USD 18,000 from voluntary contributions.
Previous monitoring missions
February 2003: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission; April 2007: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; March 2011: UNESCO Advisory Mission with international experts; November 2011: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; October-November 2015: joint World Heritage Centre /ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission; March 2017: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission.
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/121/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018
On 31 January 2018, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/121/documents and highlights the following:
The report also provides some details of the progress accomplished for individual monuments of the seven Protected Monument Zones of the property.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
It is recommended that the Committee acknowledge the commitment of the State Party and the considerable amount of work that it has undertaken for the recovery of the property, particularly its capacity-building efforts, and the work undertaken by other international agencies. However, it must be acknowledged that scale and scope of the disaster, goes well beyond the capacity and resources of the DoA to deliver an adequate response or to coordinate the work of others.
At the time of drafted this document, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies have received neither the invitation nor the Terms of the Reference for an Advisory mission to the property, as strongly encouraged by the Committee in its previous decision.
The detailed results of the Reactive Monitoring missions of October 2015 and March 2017 clearly highlight that the property is facing serious deterioration of its architectural and town-planning coherence. This has arisen not only from the immediate impact of the earthquakes, but worryingly also from most of the work undertaken during the subsequent recovery process, which is adding to the erosion of the property’s integrity and authenticity. The 2017 mission report describes in clear details the scale and scope of damage to all the monument zones two years after the earthquake, the lack of any support or protection for many damaged areas, the demolition of ancillary structures, and the degradation of housing areas and commercial properties. The slow pace of recovery and the damaging restoration work carried out on some of the monuments appears to reflect the current management weaknesses across the property, the lack of adequate planning or coordination, and the overall lack of capacity to undertake the necessary documentation, research and analyses that should underpin all of the work. It is regrettable that the recommendations of both missions have not been systematically and fully followed and implemented by the State Party.
The potential and ascertained threats identified by the aforementioned missions are so considerable that the recovery process needs to be quickened and made more effective. To achieve the considerable amount of work that remains to ensure recovery, the property needs more support and more structures that allow a proportionate response to the significant threats that it faces; and it needs the development of a coherent and coordinated overall Recovery Master Plan, along with Recovery Plans for individual monument zones. It also needs stronger mechanisms to coordinate and control projects undertaken by international agencies, over-arching guidance within which all projects should be undertaken and the development of clear justifications for interventions based on evidence and documentation. To these ends, it is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to initiate, with technical support from the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, an International Scientific Steering Coordination Mechanism tasked with assisting the State Party with developing structures to coordinate and guide the recovery of the property and its OUV and balance the needs of the fabric of the property with the social and economic needs of its communities.
Notwithstanding the good measures adopted by the State Party, the recovery process is not currently at an adequate scale to deal with the major challenges that have arisen following the earthquake. Worryingly there is a lack of evidence to support the work undertaken, which often does not respect the distinctive traditional structures, materials and local practices. All of this is impacting adversely on the OUV of the property and has potential to inflict even greater damage in the future. Therefore, the property is clearly currently facing actual and potential threats to its OUV, in accordance with Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines.
In line with the above, it is strongly recommended that the Committee consider inscribing the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in order to ensure that immediate measures can be taken to focus recovery on projects that sustain the attributes of OUV, particularly the distinctive building structures and materials, in order to avoid reconstruction and conservation that is problematic and damaging to authenticity. It is also recommended that the same support from the international community should be encouraged to support local communities in terms of their housing and social needs, as well as for conservation and reconstruction.
Finally, it should be noted again that the March 2017 mission discussed in detail with the State Party the technical, planning, legal and management measures necessary to recover the attributes of OUV. These could be considered as a contribution towards a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), which the State Party would need to propose following an inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7B.12
The World Heritage Committee,