Bam and its Cultural Landscape

Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Factors affecting the property in 2010*
  • Housing
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Lack of a comprehensive management plan
  • The boundaries of the property inscribed on an emergency basis were not aligned with the written text of the original Nomination File
  • Development pressure related to the post-disaster reconstruction process
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Severe damage to the property caused by the earthquake in December 2003
  • Development pressures related to the post-disaster reconstruction process
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

a) Conservation of the Arg-e-Bam and other cultural heritage assets within the World Heritage property;

b) Completion of necessary scientific studies for the recognition, registration, and legal protection of properties with historical, cultural, and natural significance within the cultural landscape zone, as well as marking the protective boundaries around each property within this zone;

c) Implementation of the Management Plan;

d) Precise understanding and definition of the outer boundaries of the heritage areas surrounding the property;

e) Adequate security of the heritage areas within the World Heritage property in addition to the Arg-e Bam.

Corrective Measures for the property

a) Stabilisation and protection of the Arg-e-Bam and other significant cultural heritage assets within the World Heritage property by:

(i)  Stabilisation of both the lower and upper parts of the citadel;

(ii) Removal and documentation of debris;

b) Completion of necessary scientific studies for the recognition, registration, and legal protection of properties with historical, cultural and natural significance within the cultural landscape zone, as well as marking the protective boundaries around each property within this zone;

c) Management Plan implemented by:

(i)  Approval at final stakeholders meeting;

(ii) Legal Adoption by late 2007;

d) Precise definition of the outer boundaries of the heritage areas surrounding the property by completing the mapping of the archaeology and geomorphology of Bam and its Cultural Landscape;

e) Adequate security of the heritage areas within the World Heritage property in addition to the Arg-e Bam by increased number of guards and vehicles.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
2010
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2010

Total amount provided to the property: USD 568,000 (2004-2007) from the UNESCO-Japan Funds-in-Trust; USD 300,000 (2005-2008) from the UNESCO Italy Funds-in-Trust; USD 20,000 (2004) from the World Bank Italian Trust Funds. 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2010
Requests approved: 1 (from 2004-2004)
Total amount approved : 50,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2010**

Since January 2004: several UNESCO missions. 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010

In reply to the decisions taken by the World Heritage Committee in 2009 (Decision 33 COM 7A.22) the State Party submitted, on 29 January 2010, a comprehensive report on the activities undertaken at Bam and its Cultural Landscape; an updated Nomination file; and a proposal for the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value. The report was accompanied by a letter containing further information on the state of conservation of the property.

The updated Nomination file had been requested by the World Heritage Committee to ensure completeness, following the inscription of the property in 2004 according to the emergency procedure. The text contained in the original file concerned only a small part of the current property - the Citadel. Following a recommendation by ICOMOS, the World Heritage Committee subsequently decided to inscribe a much larger area, including the wider cultural landscape of Bam. As a result, it was necessary to update and complete the Nomination documents with information regarding this larger extent. This has now been done by the State Party.

With respect to the corrective measures identified by the World Heritage Committee, the State Party notes the following:

a) Further progress has been made during 2009 concerning the emergency conservation, extensive stabilization, and restoration of Arg-e-Bam area. This work concentrated on the remaining areas within the Citadel, and included emergency stabilization to prevent further structural collapse, debris removal, conservation and reconstruction.

b) Archaeological finds, discovered during the removal of debris, have been conserved and documented.

c) In January 2010, the Iranian Higher Council for Architecture and Urban Planning approved the Bam and its Cultural Landscape Comprehensive Management Plan as an Annex to the existing Bam Special Structural Master Plan for BamCity. This was developed, over a period of five years, with support from the UNESCO Japan Funds-in-Trust, and UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office. 

d) Regarding the precise definition of protective boundaries for the property, and following the approval by the World Heritage Committee of an extension to its buffer zone in 2007, archaeological studies and surveys of the cultural landscape have been completed. Currently, final drawings are being prepared.

e) As reported in 2009, the measures taken to safeguard the property include the formation of a security unit with 11 permanent guards, equiped with vehicles, that has been operational since 2007.

In 2009, the State Party anticipated difficulties in completing the corrective measures approved by the World Heritage Committee by 2010, but did not offer an alternative proposal. The 2010 report, submitted by the State Party, does not provide any further clarification on this point. 

Finally, recent information provided by UNESCO Tehran Office following a mission to Bam carried out in February 2010 in the framework of the Funds-in-Trust projects, has drawn attention to some demolition work and encroachments within the property that appear not to be in line with planning controls and might have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. 

Although it is clear that the rehabilitation of Bam and its Cultural landscape will require additional time and support, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that most, if not all, of the identified corrective measures have been implemented, or are under way, thanks to the financial support provided through the Japanese and Italian-Funds-in-Trusts. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that this is the first Iranian World Heritage Management Plan that was developed through a participatory approach.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies therefore consider that it would be justified to carry out a reactive monitoring mission to the property in late 2010 aimed at reviewing the current state of conservation, including the demolitions and encroachment within the property, as well as to verify whether the Desired state of conservation has been achieved. In the affirmative, the World Heritage Committee might consider removing the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2011. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2010
34 COM 7A.24
Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Islamic Republic of Iran) (C 1208)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7A.22, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Notes with satisfaction the dedication and the determined efforts of the State Party, with the support of the international community, to implement the corrective measures for the conservation of the property;

4. Also notes the submission of an updated nomination file on 29 January 2010 based on the property's boundaries approved in Decision 31 COM 8B.59;

5. Encourages the international community to continue supporting the important conservation works at the property in terms of technical expertise and funding;

6. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property in 2010, aimed at reviewing the current state of conservation, including the demolitions and encroachment within the property, as well as to verify whether the Desired State of Conservation has been achieved, with a view in the affirmative, to consider removing the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 35th session in 2011;

7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a progress report on the implementation of the correctives measures, by 1 February 2011, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011;

8. Decides to retain Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Islamic Republic of Iran) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

34 COM 8C.2
Establishment of the World Heritage List in Danger (Retained Properties)

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-10/34.COM/7A, WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add and WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add.2),

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

  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 34 COM 7A.22)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 34 COM 7A.23)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 34 COM 7A.13)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 34 COM 7A.29)
  • Colombia, Los Katios National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.14)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 34 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Virunga National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Garamba National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Salonga National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 34 COM 7A.8)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 34 COM 7A.17)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.9)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 34 COM 7A.27)
  • India, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (Decision 34 COM 7A.12)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 34 COM 7A.18)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 34 COM 7A.19)
  • Islamic Republic of Iran, Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Decision 34 COM 7A.24)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 34 COM 7A.20)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 34 COM 7A.10)
  • Pakistan, Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Decision 34 COM 7A.25)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 34 COM 7A.30)
  • Philippines, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Decision 34 COM 7A.26)
  • Senegal, Niokolo Koba National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.11)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 34 COM 7A.28)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 34 COM 7A.16)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 34 COM 7A.31)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 34 COM 7A.21)
Draft Decision: 34 COM 7A.24

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7A.22, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Notes with satisfaction the dedication and the determined efforts of the State Party, with the support of the international community, to implement the corrective measures for the conservation of the property;

4. Also notes the submission of an updated Nomination file on 29 January 2010 based on the property’s boundaries approved in Decision 31 COM 8B.59;

5. Encourages the international community to continue supporting the important conservation works at the property in terms of technical expertise and funding;

6. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property in 2010, aimed at reviewing the current state of conservation, including the demolitions and encroachment within the property, as well as to verify whether the Desired state of conservation has been achieved, with a view in the affirmative, to consider removing the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 35th session in 2011;

7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a progress report on the implementation of the correctives measures by 1 February 2011 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011;

8. Decides to retain Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Islamic Republic of Iran) on the List of World Heritage in Danger. 

Report year: 2010
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Date of Inscription: 2004
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)(v)
Danger List (dates): 2004-2013
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 34COM (2010)
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.