Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Abu Mena

Egypt
Factors affecting the property in 2009*
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water (rain/water table)
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Rise in the water table;

b) Impact on structures due to earth trembling and other forms of damage likely to result from the use of heavy earth-moving equipment;

c) Lack of conservation plan, defining short-, medium-, and long-term objectives and establishing technical parameters (materials, techniques, etc);

d) Need for a management plan, to include research, presentation and interpretation, the role of stakeholders (e.g. the Mar Mena community), staffing, sponsorship, visitor facilities, access, etc.

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • A land-reclamation programme and irrigation scheme with no appropriate drainage mechanism, for the agricultural development of the region has caused a dramatic rise in the water table;
  • The destruction of numerous cisterns, disseminated around the property, has entailed the collapse of several overlying structures. Huge underground cavities have opened in the north-western region of the property;
  • A large, banked road has been built to enable movement within the property. 
Corrective Measures for the property

a) Implementation of a rapid condition survey of all excavated remains and urgent conservation measures in order to provide protection to structures against earth trembling and other forms of damage likely to result from the use of heavy earth-moving equipment;

b) Lowering of the water table by means of drainage ditches and pipes, inside and around the archaeological area;

c) Establishment of an efficient system for monitoring the water table in the archaeological site and in the surrounding zones;

d) Preparation of a conservation plan, defining short-, medium-, and long-term objectives and establishing technical parameters (materials, techniques, etc);

e) Consultations with stakeholders with the objective of preparing a management plan, to include research, presentation and interpretation, the role of stakeholders (e.g. the Mar Mena community), staffing, sponsorship, visitor facilities, access, etc.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
In its report presented in 2007, the State Party announced the completion of the works by 2010.
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2009
Requests approved: 1 (from 2001-2001)
Total amount approved : 7,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2009**

2002: Expert mission; 2005: World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2009

During its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008), the World Heritage Committee took note of the information provided by the State Party on the actions being taken to address the existing threats, and urged the State Party to continue its work on the corrective measures adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006). As well, the World Heritage Committee invited the State Party to consider submitting a request for International Assistance to support the preparation of the conservation and management plans, and reiterated its requests to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, a draft Statement of outstanding universal value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.

The State Party’s report was received on 1 February 2009 and notes the following:

a) Statement of Outstanding Universal Value

The State Party report also includes what is presented as a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, as requested by the World Heritage Committee during its 32nd session. However, although this section of the report provides an interesting account of the principal sources of interest in the history and archaeological excavation of this property, the account provided does not conform to the expectations of the World Heritage Committee (as described in the Operational Guidelines) in preparing a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (reflecting articulation of the criteria identified for inscription, authenticity, integrity and management mechanisms).

b) Rise in the water table

The State Party report also provides an overview of threats posed to the property by the raising of the water table in the vicinity of the property, resulting from a land reclamation programme for agricultural development of the region, and by the building of a large road to facilitate movement through the site. The lowering of the water table has resulted in the property’s dry clay soils becoming semi-liquid and the collapse of a number of structures. Measures taken by the Supreme Council of Antiquities .to counteract this phenomenon has thus far proven insufficient. The State Party concluded this part of its report by summarizing findings of the 2005 mission (which have been previously reported to the World Heritage Committee).and by describing current plans to respond to the problems.

The State Party report notes that a Ministry of Culture project for reducing the water table by 5m has been developed, scheduled to begin soon, has a three year time line for implementation. The report notes the importance of implementing this project in ways cognizant of economic and political aspects and integrating the full participation of the region’s farmers, and which will ensure careful monitoring of hydrological results.

c) Other matters

The State Party report describes preparing a request for an international campaign for 4-5 million dollars along the lines of that the one launched for the Nubian monuments of Abu Simbel in 1959. This international campaign would « support the implementation of a more elaborate site management plan that will not only include restoration and rehabilitation, but also education, training, awareness, local community participation etc. for the conservation and management of the site and its vicinity ».

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies would note that while the effort to launch an ambitious international campaign for the conservation of this property is laudable, that its definition and objectives will be shaped by development of the conservation plan and management plan previously requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session, and described in the State Party report as essential support for long term care of the property’s archaeological resources. Realization of both plans would be best and most expeditiously accomplished by the State Party preparing a request for international assistance from the World Heritage Fund as previously suggested by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies would also note that the preparation of effective conservation and management plans depends on the preparation of a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value approved by the World Heritage Committee, and would urge that preparation of such a statement according to the requirements of the Operational Guidelines be given priority.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2009
33 COM 7A.15
Abu Mena (Egypt) (C 90)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7A.15, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Acknowledges the information provided by the State Party on the actions being taken to implement some of the corrective measures and urges the State Party to continue its work on all the corrective measures adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006);

4. Recognizes the efforts made by the State Party to ensure the safeguarding of the site and encourages it to continue such efforts in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

5. Reiterates its invitation to the State Party to submit a request for International Assistance to the World Heritage Committee to support the preparation of the requested conservation and management plans, and to provide a basis for shaping and articulating priority needs within the context of developing an international appeal;

6. Urges the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM, as well as any other relevant bodies, to cooperate with the State Party to put in place the corrective measures;

7. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to assess progress in the implementation of all the corrective measures, to review the draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, to develop a proposal for the desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, and to revise the timeframe;

8. Also requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, 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 34th session in 2010;

9. Decides to retain Abu Mena (Egypt) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

33 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following the examination of the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-09/33.COM/7A, WHC-09/33.COM/7A.Add and WHC-09/33.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC-09/33.COM/7A.Corr),

2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 33 COM 7A.20)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley, (Decision 33 COM 7A.21)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 33 COM 7A.28)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 33 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 33 COM 7A.8)
  • Ecuador, Galápagos Islands (Decision 33 COM 7A.13)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 33 COM 7A.15)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.9)
  • India, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (Decision 33 COM 7A.12)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 33 COM 7A.16)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 33 COM 7A.17)
  • Islamic Republic of Iran, Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Decision 33 COM 7A.22)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 33 COM 7A.18)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 33 COM 7A.10)
  • Pakistan, Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Decision 33 COM 7A.23)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 33 COM 7A.29)
  • Philippines, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Decision 33 COM 7A.24)
  • Senegal, Niokolo Koba National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.11)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 33 COM 7A.27)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 33 COM 7A.14)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 33 COM 7A.30)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 33 COM 7A.19 )
Draft Decision:  33 COM 7A.15

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7A.15, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Acknowledges the information provided by the State Party on the actions being taken to address some of the corrective measures and urges the State Party to continue its work on all the corrective measures adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006);

4. Reiterates its invitation to the State Party to submit a request for International Assistance to the World Heritage Committee to support the preparation of the requested conservation and management plans, and to provide a basis for shaping and articulating priority needs within the context of developing an international appeal;

5. Requests that the State Party invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to assess progress on the implementation of all the corrective measures, to review the draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, develop a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and revise the timeframe;

6. Also requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, 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 34th session in 2010;

7. Decides  to retain Abu Mena (Egypt) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2009
Egypt
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)
Danger List (dates): 2001-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 33COM (2009)
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.


top