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World Heritage Convention

Decision 40 COM 7A.25
Old Walled City of Shibam (Yemen) (C 192)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 22 BUR V.B.72 and 39 COM 7B.60, adopted at the 22nd session of its Bureau (UNESCO, 1998) and at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015) respectively,
  3. Expresses its concern at the recent damage caused to the Old Walled City of Shibam as a result of armed conflict, and that the property continues to be subject to significant threats from natural elements, and a lack of organisational support and material resources for physical conservation projects;
  4. Acknowledges the efforts of the General Organization for the Preservation of Historic Cities in Yemen (GOPHCY), the local authorities, and the community of Shibam to protect and conserve the property despite the very difficult conditions in the city;
  5. Notes with regret that, owing to the security situation in Yemen, it has not been possible to prepare a management plan for the property, nor to progress on the draft ‘National Strategy for the Preservation of the Historic Cities, Sites and Monuments 2016 – 2020’ nor to prepare a complementary Action Plan and requests the State Party to ensure that both the management plan and the Action Plan, when prepared, should address the current situation and include provisions for conservation of damaged buildings, local community awareness, and should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, once the security situation has improved, to assess current conditions at the property, to advise on short-term repair and conservation works and to contribute to the development of a set of corrective measures and a timeframe for their implementation, as well as the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  7. Welcomes the continuing support of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) for Yemeni cultural heritage;
  8. Calls on the international community to provide financial support for the implementation of the Emergency Action Plan for the Safeguarding of Yemen’s cultural heritage, adopted at the UNESCO Expert meeting in July 2015;
  9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, 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 41st session in 2017;
  10. Decides to retain the Old Walled City of Shibam (Yemen) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
40 COM 7A.25
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2016 Old Walled City of Shibam
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision