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Tyre

Lebanon
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Erosion and siltation/ deposition
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Human resources
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water (rain/water table)
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Need for an international safeguarding campaign (issue resolved)
  • Construction of a tourist complex (land fill of the bay) (issue resolved)
  • Construction project of a large fish market (issue resolved)
  • Construction project of a coastal motorway (issue resolved)
  • Project to build a new tourist marina (issue resolved)
  • Road construction project (issue resolved)
  • Need for an Urban Master Plan for the city
  • Lack of management mechanism (including legislation) 
  • Housing: Uncontrolled housing development next to the property
  • Management systems/ management plan: Absence of a management plan, unclear property boundaries and legal status on the extent of the property
  • Legal framework: Insufficient legal framework for an efficient buffer such as lack of a maritime protection zone around the seashores of Tyre
  • Human Resources: Management system affected by the shortage of human resources directly leading to insufficient maintenance, vegetation control and fire prevention and lack of consistent preservation plan
  • Transport infrastructure: planning of major highway near the property and repeated local intentions of the redevelopment of the port
  • Sea-shore environmental local conditions affecting physical fabric, especially soft stone surfaces
  • Insufficient drainage of stagnating waters and uncontrolled surface water flows undermine wall foundations and stability of structures
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2021

Total amount granted: USD 19,173 (1997-2001) for the International Safeguarding Campaign; USD 362,391 (2015-2017) from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation through the Lebanese Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR); USD 320,673 from the Lebanese Government for capacity- building exercise

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 4 (from 1986-2001)
Total amount approved : 29,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

2004: Evaluation mission by the UNESCO Office in Beirut; September 2006: UNESCO mission following the 2006 summer conflict; February 2009: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; September 2012: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; February 2017: visit of the property by the World Heritage Centre; October 2018: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 4 March 2021, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/299/documents. Information regarding several conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:

  • The development of the land earmarked for car parking adjacent to the World Heritage component of Al-Bass has been put on hold. As recommended by the Committee, the negotiations with the municipality on car parking management details are ongoing and have been partially completed;
  • The Management Plan Framework document is being revised in collaboration with international experts to incorporate the Committee recommendations. A planned series of activities, including a workshop with the UNESCO office in Beirut, had to be postponed due to the pandemic, and it is expected that the Management Plan will be adopted in 2021;
  • The identification of boundaries of the property and buffer zone has been conducted based on the 2002 Urban Plan of the city of Tyre in consultation with various governmental bodies, and is expected to be finalized in 2022;
  • A planned and budgeted survey to determine the Maritime Protection Zone's boundaries had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and is re-scheduled for 2021;
  • Since 2000, various conservation measures have been planned and completed, taking into account several international expert missions' comments. The current focus is on local staff qualification through collaboration with ICCROM and the Getty Conservation Institute under the MOSAIKON initiative;
  • The Tyre Transport and Mobility Plan has not been amended and remains in place as previously reported.

In February 2020, the World Heritage Centre received information from a third party about a project proposal within the Cultural Heritage and Urban Development Project (CHUD) of Tyre programme, which proposes an 'upgrade' of the coastline adjacent to the archaeological area of the World Heritage component of the old city of Tyre. It is proposed to make the isolated land tip accessible to car traffic, create parking places, and replace the current thirty-year-old seasonally used restaurant bungalows with upgraded restaurant terraces built directly atop and in between the underwater archaeological remains. The World Heritage Centre requested clarification from the State Party in that regard.

The State Party reports that the country has been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing economic crisis.

In February 2021, an oil spill in the Mediterranean Sea reached the southern coast of Lebanon, impacting the Tyre Coast Nature Reserve. According to information received by the World Heritage Centre, the property was not directly impacted, however the underwater archaeological remains pertaining to the World Heritage property may have been affected, for which an assessment may be necessary.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the national economic crisis are severely affecting both the public and private sectors. It is noted that these external factors have slowed down many activities of the State Party.

It is further noted that agreement has been reached between relevant stakeholders on the management arrangements for the creation of communal car parking within the boundaries of the archaeological area. It is recommended that the Committee request details of this agreement to be submitted for review by the Advisory Bodies.

Although the authorities have taken some steps to implement the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee's decisions, many critical conservation and management issues have not been resolved and the previously identified factors affecting the property remain.

In particular, it is regrettable that no progress has been reported on the implementation of the recommendations of the 2018 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission. The mission identified shortcomings in the property’s management system, partly due to persistent insufficient human resources, resulting in a significant lack of maintenance. Management is also hampered by the inflexible operating rules of the international funding programme for the implementation of conservation measures within the Baalbek Tyre Archaeological Project (BTAP). The State Party has not provided any information as to how the impact of the many previous conservation measures on the archaeological remains is being monitored. In addition to adapted conservation practices for mosaics in situ, an evaluation of the effectiveness of previous conservation measures is required as an evidence base for future decision-making and guidance for ongoing skills training for new staff.

In particular, the approach to partial reconstructions/anastylosis of disassembled archaeological features needs to be urgently reconsidered, focusing on minimal interventions and protection, including the complete re-burial of the Apollo Shrine, in order to maintain the authenticity of the existing archaeological remains. This holistic "lesson's learned" aspect is required for the comprehensive conservation and presentation strategy for the entire property beyond single interventions suggested by the 2018 mission.

In light of the third-party information, it remains unclear how the State Party enforces legal mechanisms to protect certain sensitive archaeological areas and the property's wider setting.

The existing and unchanged Tyre Transport and Mobility Plan has been of particular concern to the Committee, as it lacks a comprehensive study of the entire urban road network and the highway project and its potential impact on the World Heritage property. It is recalled that a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) and the results from geophysical surveys and archaeological investigation are to be taken into account in the study.

It is further recalled that these clarifications are considered an essential part of the development of a Minor Boundary Modification as previously recommended by the Committee, and that, in addition to the establishment of the property boundaries, the adoption of a maritime protection zone has been a persistent request of the Committee for many years.

It is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to give the highest priority to the completion of the Management Plan Framework document, as it is the guiding document for addressing issues affecting the property, and to submit the revised document to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies.

It is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to address its previous requests (Decisions 39 COM 7B.54, 41 COM 7B.83, 43 COM 7B.50), and implement the recommendations of the 2018 mission.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.132
Tyr (Lebanon) (C 299)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 37 COM 8B.45, 39 COM 7B.54, 41 COM 7B.83, and 43 COM 7B.50 adopted at its 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013), 39th (Bonn, 2015), 41st (Krakow, 2017) and 43rd (Baku, 2019) sessions respectively,
  3. Taking note of the establishment of a partial agreement between the primary stakeholders (DGA, Municipality of Tyre) for the creation of municipal parking within the Archaeological Zone, encourages the State Party to submit the details of this arrangement and design details to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  4. Urges the State Party to implement the decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee, in particular Decisions 39 COM 7B.54, 41 COM 7B.83 and 43 COM 7B.50, and in line with the reporting requirements under the World Heritage Convention;
  5. Requests the State Party to submit as a priority the revised Management Plan Framework to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies and to expedite completion and implementation of the Management Plan; and also urges the State Party to continue its efforts to provide sufficient resources to the property to ensure regular maintenance in the long term, including vegetation control, fire prevention and the safeguarding of the mosaics, based on successful practices established through the Baalbek and Tyre Archaeological Project;
  6. Reiterates its request to the State Party to implement the 2018 Reactive Monitoring mission recommendations, with particular attention to the following:
    1. Establish a comprehensive management strategy for the property that covers all aspects of documentation, conservation and monitoring, summarizing the knowledge on techniques and procedures in a manual, with an updated Action Plan, as a core component of the future Management Plan for the property, including:
      1. Approaches to improving current maintenance practices concerning vegetation, drainage and sewage control through appropriate preventive measures,
      2. Principles of minimal interventions in the conservation of mosaics and structures as lessons learnt from the pilot projects,
      3. A monitoring protocol to be available for scientific conservation research and to enable evaluation of the efficacy of conservation measures,
      4. A comprehensive presentation strategy for the property to reflect the actual understanding of its values as reflected in the various architectonic technologies and funerary practices of past generations, as well as conservation challenges,
    2. Consider integrating the Management Plan with regional and urban development and traffic-mobility plans to manage the development pressures in the long term;
  7. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to revise the proposed boundary of the property, identify a buffer zone and develop regulations and procedures for the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property in accordance with Decision 37 COM 8B.45, and to submit a Minor Boundary Modification, in line with Paragraphs 107, 164 and Annex 11 of the Operational Guidelines, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Further reiterates its request to the State Party to establish a maritime protection zone around the seashores of Tyre;
  9. Reiterates furthermore its request to initiate an in-depth study of traffic and the urban road network, and to submit this study to the World Heritage Centre for examination by the Advisory Bodies, and reminds the State Party of its obligations to submit, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, details for proposed road and infrastructure projects at the property, including Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) for the Coastal Highway and other planned major infrastructure projects, conducted in accordance with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties;
  10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, a progress report and by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session.
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.132

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. RecallingDecisions 37 COM 8B.45, 39 COM 7B.54, 41 COM 7B.83, and 43 COM 7B.50 adopted at its 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013), 39th (Bonn, 2015), 41st (Krakow, 2017) and 43rd (Baku, 2019) sessions respectively,
  3. Taking note of the establishment of a partial agreement between the primary stakeholders (DGA, Municipality of Tyre) for the creation of municipal parking within the Archaeological Zone, encourages the State Party to submit the details of this arrangement and design details to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  4. Urges the State Party to implement the decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee, in particular Decisions 39 COM 7B.54, 41 COM 7B.83 and 43 COM 7B.50, and in line with the reporting requirements under the World Heritage Convention;
  5. Requests the State Party to submit as a priority the revised Management Plan Framework to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies and to expedite completion and implementation of the Management Plan; and also urges the State Party to continue its efforts to provide sufficient resources to the property to ensure regular maintenance in the long term, including vegetation control, fire prevention and the safeguarding of the mosaics, based on successful practices established through the Baalbek and Tyre Archaeological Project;
  6. Reiterates its request to the State Party to implement the 2018 Reactive Monitoring mission recommendations, with particular attention to the following:
    1. Establish a comprehensive management strategy for the property that covers all aspects of documentation, conservation and monitoring, summarizing the knowledge on techniques and procedures in a manual, with an updated Action Plan, as a core component of the future Management Plan for the property, including:
      1. Approaches to improving current maintenance practices concerning vegetation, drainage and sewage control through appropriate preventive measures,
      2. Principles of minimal interventions in the conservation of mosaics and structures as lessons learnt from the pilot projects,
      3. A monitoring protocol to be available for scientific conservation research and to enable evaluation of the efficacy of conservation measures,
      4. A comprehensive presentation strategy for the property to reflect the actual understanding of its values as reflected in the various architectonic technologies and funerary practices of past generations, as well as conservation challenges,
    2. Consider integrating the Management Plan with regional and urban development and traffic-mobility plans to manage the development pressures in the long term;
  7. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to revise the proposed boundary of the property, identify a buffer zone and develop regulations and procedures for the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property in accordance with Decision 37 COM 8B.45, and to submit a Minor Boundary Modification, in line with Paragraphs 107, 164 and Annex 11 of the Operational Guidelines, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Further reiterates its request to the State Party to establish a maritime protection zone around the seashores of Tyre;
  9. Reiterates furthermore its request to initiate an in-depth study of traffic and the urban road network, and to submit this study to the World Heritage Centre for examination by the Advisory Bodies, and reminds the State Party of its obligations to submit, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, details for proposed road and infrastructure projects at the property, including Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) for the Coastal Highway and other planned major infrastructure projects, conducted in accordance with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties;
  10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, a progress report and by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session in 2023.
Report year: 2021
Lebanon
Date of Inscription: 1984
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2021) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
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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