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Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus

Libya
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Human resources
  • Illegal activities
  • War
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Vandalism
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Human Resources
  • Conflict situation prevailing in the country
  • Illegal activities
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
Conflict situation prevailing in the country
Corrective Measures for the property

Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Not yet identified

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

January 2011: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 30 January 2018, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/287/documents/. Progress in a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:

  • The Department of Antiquities (DOA) has undertaken monitoring activities on the state of conservation of the property, restored protection fences and established and maintained contact with active civil society organizations;
  • The main threats to the property are related to uncontrolled human activities and environmental threats. Water flow, humidity and salt affect the microclimate in the caves, causing erosion and pigment loss, but the major damage is caused by graffiti, vandalism, looting and theft. The lack of effective management, inadequate security conditions, difficult access and the large size of the property have resulted in 95 percent of the paintings being damaged in some areas. In addition, entire fragments of rock art have been cut from the rock and looted;
  • Despite the difficulties faced, a map of the property showing the boundaries and the buffer zone has been submitted. The process of elaborating the map was based on satellite images and field assessment work;
  • Based on studies made by the Sapienza University in Rome, the DOA is considering declaring the area an archaeological natural reserve in order to improve its protection. The DOA intends to coordinate with the Libyan-Italian mission in Acacus to define the steps necessary for the protection of the property;
  • A strategy to protect Libyan World Heritage properties, based on Presidential Decree No. 1355/2017, is currently being implemented by the Engineering Consulting Office of Utilities (ECOU) under the supervision of the DOA. Funds have been allocated for the elaboration of the studies and plans needed to implement the strategy, which is based on eight pillars: protection from human encroachment; protection from natural factors; tourism; attracting and developing human resources; strengthening infrastructure and environment; recording and monitoring archaeological sites; supporting the environment; and administration.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

The information provided by the State Party demonstrates its commitment for the conservation of the Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus, despite the prevailing conflict in the country. Notwithstanding its efforts, the lack of effective management, the security conditions and the size of the property remain challenges in terms of vigilance to prevent vandalism and thus ensure the state of conservation of the property and its Outstanding Universal Value.

The current state of conservation of the property, especially the widespread damage caused by graffiti and the looting of cultural goods, is of great concern. It is recommended that the Committee request the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention to support the Libyan authorities by providing funds and specialized assistance to undertake urgent conservation activities, and to cooperate in the fight against illicit trafficking and the protection of Libyan cultural heritage.

The efforts made, despite the difficult situation, to elaborate maps showing the boundaries and the buffer zone are recognized as an indispensable step forward for the protection and management of the property. The ongoing close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS in this regard is highly appreciated. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to continue the close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, and submit a Boundary Clarification followed by a Minor Boundary Modification, in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines for review by the Advisory Bodies.

It is also recommended that the important efforts made by the State Party for the elaboration of a strategy for the protection of Libyan World Heritage properties build on the short- and medium-term measures identified during the International Meeting on the Safeguard of Libyan Cultural Heritage, held in Tunis in May 2016. The report is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1496.

Other sources report that there is an increasing awareness at the level of the civil society and local authorities about the necessity to protect cultural heritage in Libya, including the properties inscribed on the World Heritage List. The meeting of the five-member Union of Libyan World Heritage Municipalities (Sabratha, March 2018) called for government measures to protect Libyan properties and stressed the need for coordination and coherence between the relevant authorities in this matter.

The prevailing situation continues to raise high concern, as it prevents the State Party from undertaking substantial actions to ensure the protection and conservation of the property. It remains essential that the joint mission requested by the Committee at its 40th and 41st sessions (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016; Krakow, 2017) be sent to the property as soon as the security conditions permit. In the meantime, it is important that the State Party pursue its efforts to keep the World Heritage Centre updated on the situation on the ground, as well as on the further implementation of the measures it has launched, while addressing, to the extent possible, the comments and requests made by the Committee.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7A.26
Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Libya) (C 287)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 41 COM 7A.41 and 41 COM 8C.2 adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Commends the State Party for the important efforts made to elaborate the strategy to protect Libyan World Heritage properties, despite the prevailing unstable situation and difficult working conditions on the ground;
  4. Notes the activities undertaken by the State Party to address the conservation threats in the property despite the numerous difficulties faced, and requests it to continue its efforts in this regard;
  5. Expresses deep concern over the increase in vandalism at the property and the looting of entire fragments of rock art;
  6. Also commends the State Party for the important advances in the definition of the buffer zone of the property, and encourages it to pursue the finalization of the boundary clarification and the minor boundary modification in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Reiterates its request to the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre regularly informed of the evolution of the situation at the property and of any new measures undertaken to ensure its protection and conservation, and to continue to provide detailed information on the works carried out, including technical explanations justifying the interventions;
  8. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, as soon as the security conditions permit;
  9. Calls for an increased mobilization of the international community to provide more financial and technical support to the State Party, including through the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund, to implement the short- and medium-term measures identified during the International Meeting on the Safeguard of Libyan Cultural Heritage (Tunis, May 2016);
  10. Launches an appeal to all Member States of UNESCO to cooperate in fighting against the illicit trafficking of cultural heritage coming from Libya in engaging in the protection of cultural heritage during armed conflict as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2347 of March 2017, the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Heritage during times of Armed Conflict and the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, and also encourages the State Party to consider ratifying the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on stolen or illegally exported cultural objects;
  11. Also 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 Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Libya) 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)
42 COM 8D
Clarifications of property boundaries and areas by States Parties

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/8D,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 8D, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Acknowledges the excellent work accomplished by States Parties in the clarification of the boundaries of their World Heritage properties and commends them for their efforts to improve the credibility of the World Heritage List;
  4. Recalls that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are not able to examine proposals for minor or significant modifications to boundaries of World Heritage properties whenever the delimitations of such properties as inscribed remain unclear;
  5. Takes note of the clarifications of property boundaries and areas provided by the States Parties as presented in the Annex of Document WHC/18/42.COM/8D:

    ARAB STATES

    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha
    • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès
    • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus

    EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA

    • Netherlands, Defence Line of Amsterdam
    • Spain, Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture

    LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

    • Haiti, National History Park – Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers
    • Mexico, Pre-Hispanic Town of Uxmal;
  6. Requests the States Parties which have not yet answered the questions raised in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory to provide all clarifications and documentation as soon as possible, and by 1 December 2018 at the latest, for their subsequent examination, if the technical requirements are met, by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019.
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7A.26

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 41 COM 7A.41 and 41 COM 8C.2 adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Commends the State Party for the important efforts made to elaborate the strategy to protect Libyan World Heritage properties, despite the prevailing unstable situation and difficult working conditions on the ground;
  4. Notes the activities undertaken by the State Party to address the conservation threats in the property despite the numerous difficulties faced, and requests it to continue its efforts in this regard;
  5. Expresses deep concern over the increase in vandalism at the property and the looting of entire fragments of rock art;
  6. Also commends the State Party for the important advances in the definition of the buffer zone of the property, and encourages it to pursue the finalization of the boundary clarification and the minor boundary modification in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Reiterates its request to the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre regularly informed of the evolution of the situation at the property and of any new measures undertaken to ensure its protection and conservation, and to continue to provide detailed information on the works carried out, including technical explanations justifying the interventions;
  8. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, as soon as the security conditions permit;
  9. Calls for an increased mobilization of the international community to provide more financial and technical support to the State Party, including through the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund, to implement the short- and medium-term measures identified during the International Meeting on the Safeguard of Libyan Cultural Heritage (Tunis, May 2016);
  10. Launches an appeal to all Member States of UNESCO to cooperate in fighting against the illicit trafficking of cultural heritage coming from Libya in engaging in the protection of cultural heritage during armed conflict as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2347 of March 2017, the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Heritage during times of Armed Conflict and the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, and also encourages the State Party to consider ratifying the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on stolen or illegally exported cultural objects;
  11. Also 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 Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Libya) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2018
Libya
Date of Inscription: 1985
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)
Danger List (dates): 2016-present
Documents examined by the Committee
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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