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World Heritage Convention

Decision 31 COM 7A.19
Historic Town of Zabid (Yemen) (C 611)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 30 COM 7A.21, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),
  3. Regrets that the main recommendations made by the World Heritage Committee at its 29th (Durban, 2005) and 30th (Vilnius, 2006) sessions - notably the completion of an urban conservation plan, and a socio-economic revitalization action plan - have not been implemented;
  4. Notes with great concern the continuing decline of the city, the lack of a conservation framework, the loss of possibly up to 50% of the traditional urban fabric within the city walls, the lack of active maintenance and the poor quality and uncontrolled nature of modern construction;
  5. Urges the State Party to consider how the Urgent Action Plan set out by the mission could be implemented and in particular how the activities foreseen for the first year can be completed:

    a) Adequate legal and institutional framework set up in one year:

    (i) Re-issuance of Cabinet Decree No.425 - 2006;
    (ii) Government provision to GOPHCY in Sana'a and Zabid of adequate budget to stabilise the degradation of the World Heritage property;
    (iii) Completion of heritage protection laws;
    (iv)Completion of the draft Conservation Plan, with translation into Arabic. Provision of short version for wide dissemination;

    b) Physical degradation stopped immediately and reversed within two years:

    (i) Stopping of poor new construction and further degradation of protected heritage assets,

    (ii) Approval of contractors and individual specialists for carrying out emergency conservation works,

    (iii)Appropriate house improvement design - bathrooms and kitchens, infrastructure and air conditioning,

    (iv)Good designs for new houses within Zabid,

    (v)Starting demolition of the concrete walls on the streets and other public spaces and replacing with brick walls,

    (vi) Planned, costed and programmed schedule of medium and long-term actions,.

    (vii)Prescription rules and regulations to be followed by inhabitants and owners,

    (viii)Adoption of Zabid Urban Development Plan,

  6. Requests the World Heritage Centre to contact the German Development Agency to explain the outstanding universal value of the property and encourage the protection of these values in the urban development plan;

  7. Calls upon the States Parties to the Convention, especially from the region, to consider extra-budgetary funding to implement urgent action to ensure retention of the outstanding universal value of the property;

  8. Requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, to develop a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008;

  9. Also requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, to develop a draft statement of the desired state of conservation for the property based on its Outstanding Universal Value;

  10. Further requests the State Party to submit, by 1 February 2008, a progress report on the implementation of the above activities, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008;

  11. Decides to retain the Historic Town of Zabid (Yemen) on the List of World Heritage in Danger for a further two-year period, subject to regular reporting on the part of the State Party as to the progress in the implementation of the activities listed in paragraph 5 above. The State Party reports shall be reviewed by the Committee on a yearly basis.  The Committee shall consider the possibility of eventual deletion of the property from the World Heritage List at its 33rd session in 2009. 

Decision Code
31 COM 7A.19
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2007 Historic Town of Zabid
Decisions adopted at the 31st Session of the World Heritage Committee (Christchurch, 2007)
Context of Decision