The Bureau was informed of the findings of the UNESCO-Vietnam expert team concerning the impact on the World Heritage values of the site caused by the heavy rainfall and floods of October-December 1999, which was the worst flood recorded since 1886. This technical study co-financed from World Heritage Fund’s emergency assistance, noted the gravity of the erosion, particularly along the left bank of the Perfume River, and the urgent need for riverbank consolidation to mitigate the risks of further damage from future floods. The long-term damage of the monuments and houses from humidity and timber decay if left untreated, was also noted by the Bureau. Several delegates, including Hungary and Zimbabwe, noted the high quality of the crisis management plan and indicated the possibility of using it as a model elsewhere.
The Secretariat distributed to the Bureau members a document containing 19 project proposals (15 for Hué and 4 for Hoi An) for urgent rehabilitation and disaster mitigation activities. The total amounted to US$ 6 million and was prepared by the UNESCO-Vietnam expert team. Another project proposal for the establishment of a housing improvement fund for urban heritage conservation prepared by the Caisse des Depôts et Consignation (CDC) of France under the Hue-Lille Metropole Decentralized Cooperation Progamme, established by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre was also included. The Bureau remarked on the exemplary quality of the project proposals and the integrated approach, but requested the official association of ICOMOS, as the advisory body to the Committee, to evaluate the projects and the need for inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The Bureau noted with deep concern, the report on the gravity of the damage caused to the monuments and the urban heritage of the Hué World Heritage site by the November 1999 floods. The Bureau expressed appreciation for the efficient manner in which the Vietnamese authorities have handled emergency actions to prevent further damage to the site and for their efforts in preparing the project proposals, despite priorities for relief to the inhabitants. The Bureau requested UNESCO, notably its Bureau for Extrabudgetary Funding (BER) to co-operate with the World Heritage Centre in seeking donors for these projects. In view of the damage and the important funding support required to redress the situation and to mitigate risks from future seasonal floods, the Bureau requested ICOMOS to undertake a reactive monitoring mission to prepare a recommendation for the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. It requested the Secretariat to seek the views of the State Party by 15 September 2000 in this regard. The Representative of ICOMOS agreed to undertake a reactive monitoring mission to the site and to formulate a recommendation for consideration by the Bureau at its twenty-fourth extraordinary session for decision by the World Heritage Committee at its twenty-fourth session in 2000.