1.         Old Walled City of Shibam (Yemen) (C 192)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1982

Criteria  (iii)(iv)(v)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2015-present

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

Corrective measures identified

Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Not yet identified

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/192/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1982-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 121,966
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/192/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

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

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/192/

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 the physical circumstances of the property, and lack of organizational support and resources, continues to thwart effective heritage management and physical conservation works within the property. However, the efforts of both local technical actors and the Shibam community in damage assessment, documentation, first-aid interventions, capacity building and continuous communication with the World Heritage Centre, UNESCO Doha and the Advisory Bodies, are commendable.

Support from the international community, through projects such as the proposed ‘Shibam Oases Development Project’ and ‘Recovery and Skills Sharing in Yemen and Sudan’, remains essential for capacity building and adequate preventive and conservation measures at the property. It would be appropriate that further information about these programmes be submitted by the State Party to the World Heritage Centre, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

Although future financial or practical support is necessarily constrained unless and until the security situation improves, the international community can and should continue to express its support for the local technical actors and communities, and where possible offer technical assistance.

It remains desirable for a Reactive Monitoring mission to visit the property in order to advise on short-term repair works and to identify, both 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.39

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.53, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Expresses its continuing concern at the recent damage caused to the cultural heritage of the property as a result of natural elements and ongoing armed conflict, and that the property continues to be vulnerable, owing to the residual impact of previous flooding, as well as 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 technical actors and other parties involved in damage assessment, documentation and emergency interventions, and for its communication with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies and acknowledges the efforts of the General Organization for the Preservation of Historic Cities in Yemen (GOPHCY), the community and the other concerned stakeholders of Shibam to protect and conserve the property despite the very difficult conditions;
  5. Requests the State Party to submit, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, details for the ‘Shibam Oases Development Project’;
  6. Reiterates the need for a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to advise on 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;
  7. 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;
  8. 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 the State Party with technical assistance and support where needed;
  9. 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;
  10. Decides to retain the Old Walled City of Shibam (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: