1.         Historic Town of Zabid (Yemen) (C 611)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1993

Criteria  (ii)(iv)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2000-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

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/4357

Corrective measures identified

Adopted; see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1282

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Identified; see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4357

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/611/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1994-2014)
Total amount approved: USD 188,997
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/611/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 14,000 from the Italian Funds-in-Trust and the France-UNESCO Co-operation Agreement

Total amount granted to Yemeni cultural properties: USD 194,836 from the European Union for damage assessments, capacity development and emergency stabilization of damaged buildings and protection of archaeological sites

Total amount of USD 35,000 from UNESCO Regular Programme for the Sustainable Management of Tangible Heritage in the GCC and Yemen

Previous monitoring missions

2002 and 2003: international expertise; December 2004: World Heritage Centre mission; January 2007: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; January 2009: World Heritage Centre mission; January 2011: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/611/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

Local sources provided a report on the property’s state of conservation, which contains the following information:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The security situation in Yemen, in combination with a lack of organisational support and resources, continues to obstruct both effective heritage management and physical conservation works within the property. However, the efforts of technical actors and local communities, in damage assessment, documentation, first-aid interventions and awareness raising are commendable.

Recent information in the media reported an escalation of the conflict near Hodeida region, where Zabid is located. It is recommended that the Committee urge all parties involved in the conflict to refrain from any further action that would cause damage to the cultural heritage of Yemen and the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and to fulfil their obligations under international law by taking all possible measures to protect such heritage.  

Support from the international community remains essential for technical and financial resources, and capacity building to conduct adequate preventive and restoration measures at the property. Owing to the security situation, there has been no progress with the preparation of a management plan, nor with finalising the draft National Strategy for the Preservation of the Historic Cities, Sites and Monuments 2016 – 2020, nor with the implementation of the Emergency Action Plan for the Safeguarding of Yemen’s Cultural Heritage, adopted at the UNESCO expert meeting in July 2015. Prospects for practical and/or financial assistance within Yemen are necessarily constrained until the security situation improves. However, it would be appropriate for the international community to continue to express its support and where possible to offer technical assistance.

It remains necessary for a Reactive Monitoring mission to visit the property in order to advise on short-term repair works and to assist with the identification of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and associated corrective measures, as soon as the security situation allows.

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7A.37

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.51, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017);
  3. Expresses its continuing concern at the recent damage caused to the cultural heritage of the Historic Town of Zabid as a result of ongoing armed conflict, and that the property continues to be threatened by the current security situation, ongoing social change and continuing lack of organisational support and resources for both heritage management and physical conservation;
  4. Commends the local actors and the communities of Zabid for efforts to protect and conserve the property despite the very difficult conditions;
  5. Reiterates the need for a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to advise on short-term repair and conservation works, and to contribute to the development of a set of corrective measures and a timeframe for their implementation, as well as the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), as soon as the security situation in Yemen has improved;
  6. Urges all parties involved in the conflict to refrain from any further action that would cause damage to the cultural heritage of Yemen and the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and to fulfil their obligations under international law by taking all possible measures to protect such heritage, in particular the safeguarding of properties on the World Heritage List and those included in the Tentative List of Yemen, and encourages all concerned stakeholders to unite for the preservation of cultural heritage in Yemen;
  7. Reiterates its previous calls for the international community to provide technical and financial support, including through the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund, for the implementation of the Emergency Action Plan for the Safeguarding of Yemen’s Cultural Heritage, adopted at the UNESCO expert meeting in July 2015, including funding for capacity building and first-aid restoration and protection measures, and calls on the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to continue providing technical assistance and support;
  8. Reiterates its request to the State Party to submit details of the buffer zone and other technical requirements for a minor boundary modification proposal as soon as the conditions allow it, for adoption by the World Heritage Committee;
  9. 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;
  10. Decides to retain the Historic Town of Zabid (Yemen) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 8C.2

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: