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Temple of Preah Vihear

Factors affecting the property in 2010*
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Tensions regarding border claims in the vicinity of the property;

b) Absence of a finalized and operative site management plan; 

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2010

Total amount provided to the property: EUR 30,500 under the UNESCO-France Convention (including EUR 18,500 for the preparation of the nomination dossier and EUR 12,000 as Technical Cooperation).

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2010
Requests approved: 1 (from 2009-2009)
Total amount approved : 30,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2010**

March/April 2009, joint UNESCO-ICOMOS reinforced monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010

On 1 February 2010, a report on the state of conservation of the Temple of Preah Vihear was submitted by the State Party, together with a copy of the Management Plan for the World Heritage property. This report includes information regarding the perimeters of the inscribed property and of its buffer zone; the progress made on the preparation of the Management Plan; activities carried out in 2009; landscaping and enlargement of the buffer zone; and a project for the development of an eco-global Museum.

a) Perimeters of the inscribed property and of its buffer zone

The report of the State Party recalls that the inscribed property includes a smaller area compared to the original proposal reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in 2007. It contains, moreover, a `zoning plan delineating the buffer zone` addressing the request by the Committee in 2008 (paragraph 15 of Decision 32 COM 8B.102) to provide “additional details of the inscribed property and (...) delineating the buffer zone identified in the RGPP”. The World heritage Committee had also requested “a full Management Plan for the inscribed property, including a finalized map” (paragraph 16 of Decision 32 COM 8B.102).

Indeed, the RGPP (revised graphic plan of the property), i.e. the cartographic document on the basis of which the Committee had inscribed the property in 2008, did not clearly indicate the perimeter of the buffer zone. The zoning plan submitted by the State Party is reproduced here below for examination by the Committee.

The State Party of Cambodia, in its report, clarifies that a finalized map will be only possible when the demarcation of the border is materialized on the ground upon the agreement by the States Parties of Cambodia and Thailand of the final results of the work of the Joint Boundary commission (JBC).

b) Progress made on the preparation of the Management Plan

The State Party notes that the Management Plan was completed during 2009 and benefited from several technical missions on the site by a team of international experts. The Management Plan is structured around seven chapters over 115 pages, ranging from a discussion of the significance of the site (Chapter two) to the identification of conservation issues and recommendations (Chapter three), to an explanation of how the Plan would be implemented (Chapter six) and to a proposed programme for action (Chapter seven).


c) Activities carried out in 2009

In terms of actions undertaken on the ground, the State Party reported the establishment of specialised teams on archaeology, architectural conservation and planning, by the National Authority for the Protection of Preah Vihear (ANPV). The State Party refers as well to the technical missions undertaken by a team of international experts (in part funded through International Assistance under the World Heritage Fund). On 2 April 2009, these experts had formulated some recommendations meant to provide guidance to the ANPV, covering aspects such as the planning and management of the setting of the property (1 to 3); access to the site (4 and 5); the strengthening of the capacity of the ANPV, including in terms of documentation (6 and 7); the conservation of the architectural elements of the temple (8 and 9); and environmental issues. A list of specific actions to safeguard the architectural components of the Temple is also provided in the State Party’s report. The State Party informs that the implementation of these activities has started.

d) Landscaping and enlargement of the buffer zone

The State Party report noted that a new village, located some twenty kilometres to the south of the Temple (in the direction of Saem, a village located in Cambodia) has been created. This is meant to accommodate all those who had recently settled, in a disordered fashion, in the plane to the south of the World Heritage property, including in areas of considerable archaeological significance. Moreover, the State Party informs that the Military Command stationed in the vicinity of the site, has been moved near the new village, over twenty kilometres from the World heritage property. These decisions should allow, in the future, the enlargement of the buffer zone of the World Heritage property towards the south, as suggested by the international experts. Indeed, according to the State Party, the relative legal and administrative procedures are already under way. Finally, the State Party notes that the reconstruction of the market destroyed during the events of 2 April 2009, located near the foot of the north-south stairs leading to the Temple, is being finalised.

e) Development of an eco-global Museum

Thanks to a contribution from a Japanese donor, and to an amount of USD 500,000 provided by the Royal Government of Cambodia, the State Party has been developing and will continue to develop an Eco-Global Museum, to be located some thirteen kilometres to the south from the Temple, in the direction of the new village. This will present the Temple and its region in their natural, social and cultural contexts.

Following the submission of the State Party report and Management Plan, the Cambodian authorities have addressed a letter, dated 10 February 2010, to the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture, requesting UNESCO’s cooperation in convening an international coordinating committee for Preah Vihear, as requested by the World Heritage Committee in paragraph 14 of its Decision 32 COM 8B.102. At the time of drafting of the present report (June 2010), discussions were underway between UNESCO, the Cambodian authorities and other concerned parties regarding the appropriate process for establishing this mechanism.


The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note with satisfaction the steps undertaken by the State Party to enlarge the buffer zone of the World Heritage property to the south, since this would contribute to preserving the visual integrity of its wider natural setting. The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS also welcome the measures taken by the State Party to preserve the environment surrounding the World Heritage property towards the south, provide a solution for the relocation of some of the recent settlers that occupied areas of archaeological significance, as well as the ongoing establishment of an eco-global Museum.

With regard to the Management Plan, the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS consider that it provides a good vision for the conservation of the World Heritage property as well as a solid basis on which the ANPV can develop its policies and operational procedures. They note, at the same time, that many of the very important recommendations made in the Management Plan are yet to be implemented, and encourage the State Party to make every effort to this end, in cooperation with the international community.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, moreover, welcome the steps taken by the State Party of Cambodia to convene a preliminary meeting for the setting up of an international coordinating committee, acknowledge the efforts deployed by it in that regard, and hope that the ongoing discussions will lead to positive results.



Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2010
34 COM 7B.66
Temple of Preah Vihear (Cambodia) (C 1224rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having received Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add.3,

2. Recalling Decisions 31 COM 8B.24, 32 COM 8B.102, and 33 COM 7B.65, adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007), 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008), and 33rd session (Seville, 2009) respectively,

3. Takes note that the World Heritage Centre has the documents submitted by the State Party;

4. Further welcomes the steps taken by the State Party towards the establishment of an international coordinating committee for the sustainable conservation of the Temple of Preah Vihear;

5. Decides to consider the documents submitted by the State Party at its 35th session in 2011.

Report year: 2010
Date of Inscription: 2008
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 34COM (2010)

* : 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.