Efforts to Protect Susa, Naqsh-e-Jahan Working

Efforts to Protect Susa, Naqsh-e-Jahan WorkingEfforts to Protect Susa, Naqsh-e-Jahan Working

Measures to protect world heritage sites Susa and Naqsh-e-Jahan, and prevent their inclusion on the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger are working, but more needs to be done, a recent report by UNESCO said.

In its annual State of Conservation Report released earlier this month, UNESCO lists both Naqsh-e-Jahan Square in Isfahan Province and Susa in Khuzestan Province as sites that are at risk, but not threatened enough to merit a place on the dreaded list.

Identified as Meidan Emam by UNESCO, Naqsh-e-Jahan became a world heritage site in 1979. In its report, the UN body names housing and commercial development as well as expansion of Isfahan Subway as threats to the site, though it says the commercial development issue has been resolved.

UNESCO said it “acknowledges and appreciates” efforts to address issues raised by the development of the city’s Metro Line 2, but notes that Iranian officials have failed to provide information on “the preparation of a systematic strategy on risk preparedness” and have not clarified whether every step taken is in line with the Master Plan for Esfahan.

Furthermore, “the State Party (Iran) reports very briefly on planning for the reorganization of the sewage system”, the report said.

For Susa, which was inscribed in 2015, UNESCO has identified four risk factors, namely housing and commercial development, poor protection measures for archeological remains, lack of risk preparedness plans and water damage as a result of extreme climatic conditions.

However, it states that Iran “has taken important initiatives to effectively address the (World Heritage) Committee’s recommendations,” but cautions that efforts must continue to ensure the site’s safety.

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