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

Palestine
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • 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
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2019
Requests approved: 1 (from 2016-2016)
Total amount approved : 30,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2019**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

On 6 February 2019, 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 previously addressed by the Committee is presented, as follows:

  • A draft Management and Conservation Plan (MCP) was submitted to the World Heritage Centre in 2018 and reviewed by ICOMOS. Response to the technical review was submitted for further review in December 2018. The MCP will be endorsed and implemented by the State Party once final feedback is received;
  • The new Decree Law on Tangible Cultural Heritage no. 11/2018 requires that a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) and/or Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) be conducted prior to any significant intervention or proposed development within the property;
  • Progress is made towards the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and in implementing corrective measures:
    • Dismissal of plans to build a “Wall” along the property, or within its surroundings. No progress has been made, since this is dependent on actions and decisions that are beyond the control of the State Party,
    • Adequate conservation of the agricultural terraces and their associated components. Key stakeholders have implemented projects toward achieving this objective, which are anticipated to be completed by 2024,
    • Adequate restoration of the irrigation system and the development of a sufficient sewage system. A Water and Sewage Unit has been established for managing sewage water within the property and for seeking funds to develop an adequate sewage system,
    • Protection methods are in place for the property and its buffer zone. The MCP will provide strong guidance for several management issues and activities within the property. This desired state of conservation and its related corrective measures are planned to be completed by 2021,
    • Adoption of a management plan and monitoring system, and a sustainable management structure. Once the MCP is adopted and the management system is operational, a monitoring system will be established for the property and its buffer zone. A specialized “General Directorate of the World Heritage Sites in Palestine” will be established within the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA), with the primary responsibility of conserving the State Party’s properties on the World Heritage List and Tentative List;
  • The State Party draws attention to the negative impacts of several constructions undertaken in and near the property during 2018.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2019

After taking into account the April 2018 ICOMOS technical review, the State Party has improved the draft Management and Conservation Plan (MCP), on which the Advisory Body may provide additional comments as necessary. It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee congratulate the State Party on this achievement, and encourage it to take a participatory approach to the MCP’s implementation, whereby the municipality, local inhabitants, and stakeholders are fully involved and committed (e.g. by means of a signed declaration or inter-institutional agreement).

It is also recommended that the Committee express satisfaction with the new Decree Law on Tangible Cultural Heritage’s requirement that HIAs and/or EIAs be prepared for all potential developments within the State Party’s World Heritage properties in order to evaluate effectively the potential impacts on their Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).

The State Party continues to work on the implementation of the corrective measures adopted in 2015 to achieve the DSOCR, among them the finalization of the MCP and rehabilitation of the agricultural terraces and dry-stone walls.

It is reported that little progress has been made on the development of a sufficient sewage system, though a Water and Sewage Unit has been established to manage sewage water within the property and to seek funds to develop an adequate system. It is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to continue seeking, on a priority basis, the required funds for this corrective measure. It is also noted that the dismissal of plans to build a “Wall” along the property, or within its surroundings, is essentially beyond the State Party’s control.

Finally, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre of any proposed 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 2019
43 COM 7A.30
Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Palestine) (C 1492)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.29 adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Acknowledges the efforts made by the State Party to improve the state of conservation of the property;
  4. Congratulates the State Party for its progress towards finalizing the Management and Conservation Plan (MCP), and encourages the State Party to take a participatory approach to its implementation, whereby the municipality, local inhabitants, and stakeholders are fully involved and committed;
  5. Notes with satisfaction that the State Party’s new Decree Law on Tangible Cultural Heritage includes a requirement for the preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) and/or Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) to evaluate effectively the impact of potential developments on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of its World Heritage properties;
  6. Welcomes 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), and urges the State Party to continue seeking, on a priority basis, the required funds to undertake the development of a sufficient sewage system and the adequate restoration of the irrigation system;
  7. Requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre of any proposed 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;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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 44th session in 2020;
  9. Decides to retain Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Palestine) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
43 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/19/43.COM/7A, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3 and WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3.Corr),
  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 43 COM 7A.41)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision43 COM 7A.42)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 43 COM 7A.45)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 43 COM 7A.48)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.5)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.8)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.9)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.10)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.11)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 43 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.4)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 43 COM 7A.1)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 43 COM 7A.18)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 43 COM 7A.19)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 43 COM 7A.20)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 43 COM 7A.22)
  • Kenya, Lake Turkana National Parks (Decision 43 COM 7A.12)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 43 COM 7A.23)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 43 COM 7A.24)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 43 COM 7A.25)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 43 COM 7A.26)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 43 COM 7A.27)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 43 COM 7A.13)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 43 COM 7A.53)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 43 COM 7A.54)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 43 COM 7A.55)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 43 COM 7A.43)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 43 COM 7A.14)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 43 COM 7A.30)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 43 COM 7A.29)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 43 COM 7A.50)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 43 COM 7A.51)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.15)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 43 COM 7A.46)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 43 COM 7A.2)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 43 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 43 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 43 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 43 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 43 COM 7A.35)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 43 COM 7A.36)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 43 COM 7A.56)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 43 COM 7A.47)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.16)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.3)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 43 COM 7A.44)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 43 COM 7A.52)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 43 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 43 COM 7A.39)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 43 COM 7A.40)
Draft Decision: 43 COM 7A.30

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.29 adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Acknowledges the efforts made by the State Party to improve the state of conservation of the property;
  4. Congratulates the State Party for its progress towards finalizing the Management and Conservation Plan (MCP), and encourages the State Party to take a participatory approach to its implementation, whereby the municipality, local inhabitants, and stakeholders are fully involved and committed;
  5. Notes with satisfaction that the State Party’s new Decree Law on Tangible Cultural Heritage includes a requirement for the preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) and/or Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) to evaluate effectively the impact of potential developments on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of its World Heritage properties;
  6. Welcomes 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), and urges the State Party to continue seeking, on a priority basis, the required funds to undertake the development of a sufficient sewage system and the adequate restoration of the irrigation system;
  7. Requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre of any proposed 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;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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 44th session in 2020;
  9. 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: 2019
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 (2019) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 43COM (2019)
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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