8. Evaluation of the World Heritage Committee and the missions of UNESCO and ICOMOS

The assessments of the monitoring international organisations are to be found in: the decisions of the 34th session (2010) and of the 35th (2011) of the World Heritage Committee and in the report of the reactive monitoring mission of the UNESCO World heritage Centre and ICOMOS (2010).

The general positive assessment of the World Heritage Committee and of the Mission is that “despite the various problems and challenges identified by the mission the value for which this property was inscribed on the World Heritage List is substantially maintained”.

Along, the conclusion of the 34th session of the World Heritage Committee for “the various problems” is disturbing. The Committee expresses its “deep concern” for the general state of the conservation of the property and especially – for “serious changes due to unacceptable development of the urban fabric that are a threat to the outstanding universal value, integrity and authenticity of the property.” It recommends “necessary measures” for “monitoring and survey of the urban fabric”. The 35th session draws the attention to the fact that on the territory of the property exist both as “illegal” and as “inappropriate” (meaning – legal but inharmonious) structures that have to be “removed or demolished”.

The World Heritage Committee points out the following reasons for the present state of the property result of the applied policy and the quality of its instruments:

  • The 35th session stresses on the necessity of “policy and legislative initiatives intended to enhance protection of the World Heritage property”. As negative effect is pointed the lack of “protection regime for the buffer zone of the property, as well as of the sea coastline”, as well as of the regulations for the “movable facilities and components of urban infrastructure, advertising activity and open-air commercial activity”.

  • The 35th session and the Mission point as serious disadvantage the lack of “integrated multi-institutional tourism strategy”. It is also noted that there is lack of “regulations for tourism activities” and of co-ordination between the tourism and spatial planning activities.

  • The 35th session and the Mission point that there are spatial planning measures with negative consequences on the property, that have threatened its outstanding universal value. The lack of operational plans “strictly limiting development” in the territory” is established.

  • It was noted that “despite some recent improvement in protective legislation,… implementation is lagging due to lack of updated decrees, regulations and directives without which the existing normative acts while adequate, are still inapplicable for solving problems of management, conservation and urban planning”. It is stressed that in spite of the noticed progress all is still on design level without implementation, hence there is lack of considerable real actions.

  • As especially substantial omission is considered the lack of three key instruments for management: Management Plan, Spatial Plan and Conservation Master Plan of the property. The 35th session emphasises on the lack of real engagements of the state for improvement of the conservation measures. The result of that is lack of “overall management strategy”, of “institutional framework among all stakeholders involved in the management” and of effective “control mechanisms”. It is estimated that the state of the property is a result of insufficient monitoring “with a view of halting or preventing any threats” to the property.

In conclusion, the World Heritage Committee stresses on the fact that in case of next establishing of the above problems and if for their setting “the necessary measures are not implemented by the authorities as a matter ofurgency”, threats for the outstanding universal value of the property will be posed. It is pointed that “in the absence of substantial progress, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger” will be considered. The grounds for this, stated in § 179 (b) of the Guidelines, would be: “lack of conservation policy; threatening effects of regional planning projects; threatening effects of town planning”.