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Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam

Afghanistan
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Civil unrest
  • Erosion and siltation/ deposition
  • Illegal activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Inclination of the Minaret

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Civil unrest (Political instability)
  • River erosion (Inclination of the Minaret)
  • Management systems/ management plan (Lack of management plan)
  • Illegal activities (Illicit excavations and looting)
  • Erosion and siltation/deposition
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Lack of legal protection
  • Lack of an effective monuments protection agency
  • Lack of adequate protection and conservation personnel
  • Lack of a comprehensive Management Plan
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1286  

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1286  

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

In progress

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2018

Total amount granted: USD 844,901 (2003-2012) from the UNESCO/Italy Funds-in-Trust; USD 124,300 (2003-2012) from the UNESCO/Switzerland Funds-in-Trust; USD 16,800 (2017) from Heritage Emergency Fund.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 2 (from 2002-2015)
Total amount approved : 93,750 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

Several annual UNESCO expert missions took place between 2002 and 2006 in order to implement the operational projects for the property. After a period of three years of inactivity from 2007 to 2009, due to the security situation, UNESCO dispatched a mission in cooperation with an Afghan local NGO in 2010 to resume the on-site operations. The latest mission to Jam was organized within the framework of the Heritage Emergency Fund in September 2017

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 12 February 2018, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/211/documents and provides information on the implementation of the corrective measures and other elements as follows:

  • A capacity building workshop was organized in Germany in April 2017, within the framework of International Assistance under the World Heritage Fund and with the support of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen. One structural engineer from the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture and two hydrologists from the Ministry of Water and Energy attended the training to gain a better understanding of the property’s surroundings in terms of geology, hydrology, conservation, and engineering. The workshop also elaborated numerical modelling of the hydrodynamic processes of Hari and Jam rivers;
  • No progress was reported on the identification of boundaries;
  • The State Party recalls the need for 3D digital data on the status of the property and the in-situ monitoring system to evaluate any structural movement of the property to protect and restore the outer part of the Minaret;
  • The report stresses the existence of 3D data collected in 2009 on the conservation status of the outer and inner parts of the Minaret and surrounding areas, but reports that no activity could be conducted between 2009 and 2017;
  • The deteriorated security situation and lack of electricity have hindered the installation of monitoring instruments on the Minaret to measure its inclination;
  • A team of police officers have been deployed to monitor and safeguard the property and to address the issue of illicit trafficking of movable cultural properties.

The report on activities conducted as part of the Emergency International Assistance to establish the Conservation Action Plan for the property was finalized in October 2017 and mentions the mission to the property carried out in September 2017 with the support of the Heritage Emergency Funds of UNESCO.

The budget allocation required for the construction of the footbridge, which is necessary to enable a year-round access for inhabitants of the nearly villages over the Hari Rud and for future conservation activities, is expected in 2018.The project guest house also needs to be rehabilitated or reconstructed to accommodate experts during the mission seasons at Jam.

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

The lack of progress accomplished with regard to conservation work and the implementation of the corrective measures is unfortunately due to the difficulties encountered in accessing the property, the limited span of time available for field work per year and the lack of resources.

However, a technical mission to the site was conducted in September 2017, for the first time in three years, and is expected to produce a detailed set of data, notably on the condition of external decorations and the surrounding archaeological areas. This constitutes the first thorough survey carried out since the field studies of the 1970s and will provide the basis for the development of a conservation programme. To ensure the use of this important new data, it is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to finalize the conservation programme and begin fieldwork after having allocated appropriate and sustainable financial and human resources.

The Conservation Action Plan (CAP), finalized as an outcome of the Emergency International Assistance approved in 2014, was submitted to the World Heritage Centre in February 2018. The activities outlined in the CAP should be implemented accordingly, including the installation of a monitoring device at the Minaret of Jam to measure its inclination and emergency stabilization work for the wooden staircases, in order to prevent further destabilization of the Minaret’s structure. The CAP should serve as the basis to revise the timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures adopted by the Committee at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007 – see Decision 31 COM 7A.20), so as to achieve the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR).

The workshop held in Germany in April 2017 contributed to developing the capacities of national experts by improving their scientific understanding and technical skills. Further capacity building for national experts should be carried out, as it remains very difficult to send international experts on site.

In view of the Committee’s previous recommendations and the corrective measures, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to increase its efforts to clearly   delineate the boundaries of the minaret and the other three components of the property and its encompassing buffer zone, taking the topographic map produced in 2012 into consideration, and to submit a minor boundary modification to allow consideration of the rationale for the boundaries in relation to archaeological investigations that have been undertaken since inscription. As has been repeatedly pointed out by the Committee, the adoption of clear boundaries would constitute an essential step towards developing an effective conservation strategy.

In conclusion, it is recommended that the Committee note with concern that no actual conservation work has been undertaken at the property since 2012, and that it strongly urges the State Party to seek further international assistance and deploy efforts in sustainably securing the required financial and human resources to implement, as a matter of urgency, the priority actions set by the CAP.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7A.2
Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) (C 211 rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.55, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Notes that the Conservation Action Plan (CAP) was finalized as an outcome of the Emergency International Assistance granted under the World Heritage Fund and submitted to the World Heritage Centre in February 2018 and urges the State Party to start implementing the short- and medium-term actions specified by this CAP and to secure the necessary financial and human resources;
  4. Also notes that the first field visit to the property in three years was conducted in September 2017, with support from the Heritage Emergency Fund, and will provide detailed scientific data to further inform the implementation of the CAP;
  5. Further notes the capacity-building workshop conducted in Germany in April 2017 to reinforce the scientific and technical skills of national engineers in view of the upcoming conservation activities in and around the property;
  6. Regrets that the boundaries of the World Heritage property and its buffer zone remain to be precisely defined and, recalling that a topographical map was realized for this purpose as part of a UNESCO/Italy Funds-in-Trust project in 2012, also urges the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, a proposal for a minor boundary modification, in conformity with the CAP and in accordance with Paragraphs 163-164 of the Operational Guidelines, for review by ICOMOS;
  7. Further urges the State Party to address the following three critical issues:
    1. The installation of a monitoring instrument on the Minaret of Jam to measure its inclination,
    2. The emergency stabilization work for the wooden staircases, in order to prevent further destabilization of the Minaret’s structure,
    3. The construction of a footbridge over the Hari Rud River and a guesthouse at the property, in order to improve access to the property and site security;
  8. Encourages the State Party to capitalize on the capacity-building activities made possible via international cooperation mechanisms in order to further develop and strengthen the theoretical and technical knowledge and capacities of national heritage experts and encourage their participation in the training activities provided;
  9. Calls upon the international community to provide technical and financial support, in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, for the implementation of above-mentioned CAP, which will be part of a strategy to implement the corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007);
  10. Also requests the State Party to revise the timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2019, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  11. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 43rd session in 2019;
  12. Decides to retain the Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
42 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/18/42.COM/7A, WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add and WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 42 COM 7A.1)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 42 COM 7A.2)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 42 COM 7A.5)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 42 COM 7A.8)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.45)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 42 COM 7A.9)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.46)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.47)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.48)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.49)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.50)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.51)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 42 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.44)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 42 COM 7A.40)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 42 COM 7A.18)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 42 COM 7A.19)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 42 COM 7A.20)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 42 COM 7A.21)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 42 COM 7A.22)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 42 COM 7A.23)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 42 COM 7A.24)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 42 COM 7A.25)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 42 COM 7A.26)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 42 COM 7A.53)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 42 COM 7A.13)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 42 COM 7A.14)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 42 COM 7A.15)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 42 COM 7A.3)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 42 COM 7A.54)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 42 COM 7A.27)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 42 COM 7A.29)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 42 COM 7A.28)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 42 COM 7A.10)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 42 COM 7A.11)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.55)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 42 COM 7A.6)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 42 COM 7A.41)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 42 COM 7A.30)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 42 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 42 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 42 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 42 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 42 COM 7A.35)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 42 COM 7A.16)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 42 COM 7A.7)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.56)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.42)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 42 COM 7A.4)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 42 COM 7A.12)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 42 COM 7A.37)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 42 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 42 COM 7A.39)
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7A.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.55, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Notes that the Conservation Action Plan (CAP) was finalized as an outcome of the Emergency International Assistance granted under the World Heritage Fund and submitted to the World Heritage Centre in February 2018 and urges the State Party to start implementing the short- and medium-term actions specified by this CAP and to secure the necessary financial and human resources;
  4. Also notes that the first field visit to the property in three years was conducted in September 2017, with support from the Heritage Emergency Fund, and will provide detailed scientific data to further inform the implementation of the CAP;
  5. Further notes the capacity-building workshop conducted in Germany in April 2017 to reinforce the scientific and technical skills of national engineers in view of the upcoming conservation activities in and around the property;
  6. Regrets that the boundaries of the World Heritage property and its buffer zone remain to be precisely defined and, recalling that a topographical map was realized for this purpose as part of a UNESCO/Italy Funds-in-Trust project in 2012, also urges the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, a proposal for a minor boundary modification, in conformity with the CAP and in accordance with Paragraphs 163-164 of the Operational Guidelines, for review by ICOMOS;
  7. Further urges the State Party to address the following three critical issues:
    1. The installation of a monitoring instrument on the Minaret of Jam to measure its inclination,
    2. The emergency stabilization work for the wooden staircases, in order to prevent further destabilization of the Minaret’s structure,
    3. The construction of a footbridge over the Hari Rud River and a guesthouse at the property, in order to improve access to the property and site security;
  8. Encourages the State Party to capitalize on the capacity-building activities made possible via international cooperation mechanisms in order to further develop and strengthen the theoretical and technical knowledge and capacities of national heritage experts and encourage their participation in the training activities provided;
  9. Calls upon the international community to provide technical and financial support, in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, for the implementation of above-mentioned CAP, which will be part of a strategy to implement the corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007);
  10. Also requests the State Party to revise the timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2019, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  11. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 43rd session in 2019;
  12. Decides to retain Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2018
Afghanistan
Date of Inscription: 2002
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2002-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2018) .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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