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Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam

Afghanistan
Factors affecting the property in 2009*
  • Civil unrest
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Illegal activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Inclination of the Minaret

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Political instability

b) Inclination of the Minaret

c) Lack of management plan

d) Illicit excavations and looting

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Lack of legal protection
  • Lack of an effective monuments protection agency
  • Lack of adequate protection and conservation personnel
  • Lack of a comprehensive management plan
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

a) Increased capacity of the staff of the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture in charge of the preservation of the property ensured;

b) Precisely identified World Heritage property and clearly marked boundaries and buffer zones;

c) Long-term stability and conservation of the Minaret of Jam ensured;

d) Site security ensured;

e) A comprehensive management system including a long-term conservation policy developed and implemented.

Corrective Measures for the property

a) Development of adequate capacity of the staff of the Ministry of Information and Culture by developing and implementing an adequate training programme in conservation and management;

b) Precise identification of the World Heritage property and clearly marked boundaries and buffer zones by:

(i) Undertaking topographic and archaeological surface surveys and re- defining the property and buffer zones, as well as identifying zones affected by illicit excavations;

(ii) Marking of the property as "World Heritage protected area";

(iii) Officially revising the boundaries of the World Heritage property according to the results of the relevant surveys in order to complement the already identified outstanding universal value;

c) Long-term consolidation and conservation of the Minaret and the archaeological remains by:

(i) Completing the documentation and recording of the Minaret and the archaeological remains;

(ii) Undertaking soil investigation in the vicinity of the monument in order to obtain information on the cause of the inclination of the Minaret and to define the long-term consolidation measures;

(iii) Regular and systematic monitoring of the Minaret's inclination;

(iv) Establishing a full inventory of decoration including digitalization and reference system for all eight sides of the base of the Minaret;

(v) Implementing emergency restoration of the surface decoration of the Minaret.

d) Ensuring site security by:

(i) Exerting strict control of illicit excavations and protecting the site against looting, notably through hiring of an adequate number of trained site guards;

(ii) Implementing measures for enforcing the 2004 Preservation Law for Cultural and Historical Monuments.

e) Development and implementation of a management system by undertaking appropriate training for the staff of the Ministry of Information and Culture in charge of the property.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
A minimum of four years has been agreedin 2007, i.e. by 2011
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2009

Total amount provided to the property: USD 845,000 provided by the Government of Italy and USD 138,000 by the Government of Switzerland. 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2009
Requests approved: 1 (from 2002-2002)
Total amount approved : 20,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2009**

Although there has been no reactive monitoring mission as such, there were several UNESCO expert missions sent every year since 2002 in order to implement the operational project for the property, except in 2007 and 2008, due to the deteriorated security situation and UN Security restrictions.  

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2009

The Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam was inscribed on both the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2002. In April 2007, the property sustained damage to the gabion walls on the Hari Rud River side from flash flooding. The Government of Afghanistan urgently mobilized USD 200,000 from the national budget in order to carry out emergency conservation work including the replacement of existing gabion walls with new stone walls to protect the Minaret from future flooding events.

As of 21 April 2009, the State Party has not submitted a progress report on the implementation of corrective measures, nor a draft Statement of outstanding universal value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session (Decision 32 COM 7A 20).

However, updated information on the state of conservation of the property has been received by the UNESCO Kabul office, which has kept in close contact and co-operation with the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture (hereafter called MoIC). Conservation progress has been reported as follows:

a) After the reconstruction of the stone walls on the Hari Rud side of the minaret in 2007, the MoIC decided to carry out further preventive conservation work in 2008 on the gabion walls on the Jam Rud side, funded with the remaining amount from the initial USD 200,000. The MoIC elaborated a work plan which was provided to UNESCO Kabul office and the World Heritage Centre for technical advice and comment. After having received clearance from UNESCO experts, MoIC started conservation work in situ in August-September 2008. The existing gabions on the Jam Rud side have been removed and new stone retaining walls were built to a length of 35 metres, with the use of lime mortar to prevent water infiltration. In November 2008, walls were further extended to 55 metres in length. It is hoped that the 2008 conservation work will prevent any further serious damage from future flooding.

b) The UNESCO Expert Working Group on the Preservation of Jam and Herat took place in Rome (9-10 June 2008), which adopted a series of recommendations for the property. The recommendations address a range of conservation issues. As a follow-up to the recommendations, the World Heritage Centre, in close consultation with the relevant authorities in Afghanistan and UNESCO Kabul office, is planning to carry out the following activities in 2009-2010, within the framework of the Italy/UNESCO and Swiss/UNESCO Funds-in-Trust projects:

i. Completion of the river defense wall with the construction of a diaphragm under the retaining wall along the rivers, in order to prevent the erosion of the soil underneath the Minaret resulting from underwater currents, and the setting up of a monitoring system for the water currents;

ii. Monitoring of the inclination of the Minaret and assessment of its state of conservation including through geotechnical investigation of the foundations;

iii. Mapping of the area surrounding the Minaret with a view to clearly identify the boundaries of the World Heritage property; and

iv. Training of site guards and staff from the MoIC. This activity will benefit from the involvement of ICCROM.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the ongoing efforts of the State Party to ensure the preventative conservation of the property against future flood events, as well as the continued technical and financial support and commitment of the international community to achieving the Desired state of conservation of Jam. However, they also note that no state of conservation report, nor Statement of outstanding universal value, have been submitted, and therefore no further information from the State Party is available regarding the progress on the implementation of the corrective measures for the property. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies will be able to provide assistance to the State Party in the preparation of the Statement of outstanding universal value within the framework of the upcoming Periodic Reporting for the Asia Pacific region.

 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2009
33 COM 7A.20
Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) (C 211 rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7A.20, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Takes note of the report provided by the State Party on the state of conservation of the property, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session;

4. Notes the State Party's efforts and resources deployed to safeguard the property in extremely difficult circumstances and the commitment of the international community in reaching the desired state of conservation for this property;

5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to continue its efforts towards the implementation of the corrective measures adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007);

6. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, for examination by the World Heritage Committee;

7. Recognizing the support of the governments of Italy and Switzerland, calls upon the international community, in co-operation with the World Heritage Centre, to continue its technical and financial support with an aim to implement the agreed corrective measures, and particularly those identified as priorities in the recommendations of the Expert Group meeting in Rome (June 2008);

8. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a progress report on the implementation of the corrective measures, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010;

9. Decides to retain the Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) 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.20

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7A.20, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Regrets that the State Party did not submit the state of conservation report, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session;

4. Notes the State Party’s efforts and resources deployed to safeguard the property in extremely difficult circumstances and the commitment of the international community in reaching the Desired state of conservation for this property;

5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to continue its efforts towards the implementation of the corrective measures adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007);

6. Also reiterates its requests to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies, a draft Statement of outstanding universal value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, for examination by the World Heritage Committee;

7. Calls upon the international community, in co-operation with the World Heritage Centre, to continue its technical and financial support with an aim to implement the agreed corrective measures, and particularly those identified as priority in the recommendations of the Expert Group meeting in Rome (June 2008);

8. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a progress report on the implementation of the corrective measures, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010;

9. Decides to retain the Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2009
Afghanistan
Date of Inscription: 2002
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2002-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.


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