1.         Um er-Rasas (Kastrom Mefa'a) (Jordan) (C 1093)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2004

Criteria  (i)(iv)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1093/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2007-2009)
Total amount approved: USD 34,750
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1093/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 6,000 from the Italian Funds-in-Trust

Previous monitoring missions

March-April 2005: ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; November 2006: Joint World Heritage Centre/ ICOMOS mission; March 2008: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission; July 2008: World Heritage Centre expert mission for the Stylite tower

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1093/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

On 1 February 2019, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1093/documents/ and presents progress in addressing a number of conservation issues identified by the Committee at its previous sessions, as follows:

Furthermore, the State Party offers the following updates on the implementation of the Management Plan:

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

The State Party should be congratulated on the adoption and the first results of the 2018 Management Plan. However, in support of this management planning process, three supporting documents have been requested in recent years, but have not been provided. In its report, the State Party refers to existing documentation it has already provided:

The State Party reports that it is finalizing the design for the Stylite Tower’s urgent structural conservation, with assurances that this project will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre before it is implemented. It is important that wider analysis of archaeological, historical and other dimensions should be taken into consideration and inform the design, as recommended by the Committee in 2015.

Although the State Party reports that the Castrum is constantly monitored, the 2018 Management Plan states that its south wall in particular “requires immediate attention to avoid catastrophic collapses”. No action to address this urgent situation is reported. The restoration work at the Twin Churches, which lie within the Castrum, is briefly mentioned, but with no details provided and no reference to the rest of this ten-hectare area of the archaeological site.

With regard to the boundaries and the buffer zone, the State Party reports that plans to extend the buffer zone are primarily based on land acquisition, a process that is currently underway.

Decision Adopted: 43 COM 7B.47

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.55, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Congratulates the State Party on beginning to implement the Management Plan for Um er-Rasas and, while acknowledging the documents and other information provided with regard to the previously-requested Conservation Plan including a detailed work-plan, Public Use Plan and archaeological research policy, reiterates its request that these aspects of site management are explored in more detail;
  4. Requests the State Party to submit the final conservation project proposal for the Stylite Tower as soon as possible for review by the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies, and urges the State Party to continue monitoring the conservation situation closely;
  5. Expressing concern that urgent conservation work at the Castrum does not appear to have taken place, also urges the State Party to undertake all needed temporary and reversible consolidation interventions of the fragile attributes across the whole property while planning for longer-term conservation;
  6. Encourages the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission to support the finalization of such projects if deemed necessary;
  7. Also requests the State Party to provide updated information with regard to the plans currently underway to enlarge the buffer zone;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 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 45th session in 2021.