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Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir

Palestine
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Invasive/alien terrestrial species
  • Other Threats:

    Potential construction of a separation fence (wall)

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Potential construction of a separation fence (wall)
  • Abandonment of terraces and afforestation
  • Impact of socio-cultural and geo-political transformations
  • Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Invasive/alien terrestrial species
  • New constructions within the property’s boundaries
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Potential construction of a separation fence (wall)
  • Abandonment of terraces and afforestation
  • Impact of socio-cultural and geo-political transformations
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted; see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6989, but must be updated by the State Party

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 1 (from 2016-2016)
Total amount approved : 30,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

In March 2018, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1492/documents. Progress in a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:

  • A draft comprehensive Management and Conservation Plan (MCP) prepared by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities with the cooperation of key stakeholders was submitted to the World Heritage Centre in January 2018 and has been appended to the present state of conservation report. The final document is scheduled to be completed by the end of April 2018. It takes into account the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in danger (DSOCR) and the related corrective measures set out for the property. The State Party has committed to put an effective interim management system for the property in place until the MCP is established and operational;
  • Due to the lack of funds and resources allocated to the property, the key stakeholders recommend keeping a 10-year timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures, rather than attempting an accelerated pace. This 10-year timeframe is integrated within the draft MCP’s objectives, strategies, and Action Plan;
  • The Battir municipality’s strategic plan for 2018-2021 is being prepared in close collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to ensure its consistency with the MCP;
  • In 2017, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and other key stakeholders implemented three projects aimed at addressing some of the corrective measures concerning the rehabilitation of agricultural drystone walls and irrigation canals, the reclamation and repair of agricultural land, and the enhancement of the local socio-economic situation as well as public awareness. About a dozen other rehabilitation and community projects undertaken by various individuals and agencies in 2017 are also highlighted;
  • The State Party considers that the Israeli High Court’s January 2015 dismissal of the case for the construction of a “wall” in or around the Battir site does not yet represent a binding decision stipulating that no wall shall ever be constructed in or around the site, and additionally that construction of settlements on surrounding hills is negatively affecting the visual and ecological quality of the landscape;
  • The project to protect water quality by means of a proposed environmental sewage system is still unfunded.

The State Party requests that the property be retained on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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

The State Party continues to make efforts on a number of fronts to improve the state of conservation of the property. The draft MCP, which, thanks to the efforts of its authors, is at an advanced stage of development should be noted. A preliminary analysis by ICOMOS (with detailed recommendations forthcoming) includes advice that should further improve the MCP: the structure of the document should be clarified; the key components should be linked together more clearly, such as the significance, the attributes, the objectives, and the measures for improving the property; the legal and institutional framework section should be more informative; the Action Plan should set out priorities and discuss funding, particularly when related to achieving the DSOCR; and a risk-management strategy should be integrated into the MCP. It is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to complete and implement the MCP, taking into account the preliminary analysis and forthcoming detailed recommendations by ICOMOS.

Some progress has also been made in achieving the DSOCR:

  • Dismissal of plans to build a “Wall” along the property, or within its setting: This element of the DSOCR being essentially beyond the State Party’s control is noted;
  • Adequate conservation in place of the agricultural terraces and their associated components, including watchtowers and drystone walls throughout the property: The initial progress reported by the State Party on the rehabilitation of agricultural drystone walls and the reclamation and repair of agricultural land is welcomed;
  • Adequate restoration in place of the irrigation system and the development of an adequate sewage system to protect water quality in the property: The progress reported by the State Party on the rehabilitation of irrigation canals is also welcomed, but the lack of progress on a sewage system, mainly due to lack of funds, remains of concern;
  • Protection in place for the property and its buffer zone: The drafting of a new law for the Protection and Conservation of Tangible Cultural Heritage Resources, which is considered for ratification, is noted;
  • Management plan and monitoring systems adopted and sustainable management system in place: The completion of a draft MCP, which includes references to a sustainable management structure and a chapter on implementation and monitoring, is also noted.

The State Party is actively working on the implementation of corrective measures adopted in 2015 to achieve the DSOCR; progress needs to be made to put in place an adequate sewage system (measure iv).

It is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to continue its efforts to implement the key corrective measures, with additional attention paid to allocate adequate funds to repair the sewage system that has thus far witnessed no progress since 2015.

Finally, it is recommended that the Committee invite the State Party to inform it, through the World Heritage Centre, of any future plans for major restoration or new construction projects that may affect the OUV of the property, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse.

Considering the above-mentioned information, it is recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7A.29
Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Palestine) (C 1492)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 41 COM 7A.43 and 41 COM 8C.2 adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Acknowledges the efforts made by the State Party to improve the state of conservation of the property;
  4. Notes that the State Party has achieved good progress in preparing the comprehensive Management and Conservation Plan (MCP) for the property and encourages it to complete and implement the MCP, taking into account the preliminary analysis by ICOMOS and its forthcoming detailed recommendations;
  5. Welcoming the efforts being made by the State Party to implement the corrective measures to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), urges the State Party to pay additional attention to measure (iv) through allocating funds to put in place an adequate sewage system, which has thus far witnessed no progress;
  6. Invites the State Party to inform it, through the World Heritage Centre, of any future plans for major restoration or new construction projects that may affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse;
  7. 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;
  8. Decides to retain Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Palestine) 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.29

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 41 COM 7A.43 and 41 COM 8C.2 adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Acknowledges the efforts made by the State Party to improve the state of conservation of the property;
  4. Notes that the State Party has achieved good progress in preparing the comprehensive Management and Conservation Plan (MCP) for the property and encourages it to complete and implement the MCP, taking into account the preliminary analysis by ICOMOS and its forthcoming detailed recommendations;
  5. Welcoming the efforts being made by the State Party to implement the corrective measures to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), urges the State Party to pay additional attention to measure (iv) through allocating funds to put in place an adequate sewage system, which has thus far witnessed no progress;
  6. Invites the State Party to inform it, through the World Heritage Centre, of any future plans for major restoration or new construction projects that may affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse;
  7. 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;
  8. Decides to retain Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Palestine) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2018
Palestine
Date of Inscription: 2014
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)(v)
Danger List (dates): 2014-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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