3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.5 - Factors affecting properties
3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure
The World Heritage Committee recommends to strengthen the protection of the immediate and wider setting of properties for addressing the impact of wind turbines, and to identify a wind turbine exclusion zone, based on the potential visual impact on the components of the property (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
|Date (year):||2017 2012 2010 2008|
|Threats:||Localised utilities Major linear utilities Non-renewable energy facilities Renewable energy facilities Water infrastructure|
See for examples Decisions (5)
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Documents WHC/17/41.COM/8B and WHC/17/41.COM/INF.8B1,
- Inscribes the Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region, Japan, on the World Heritage List on the basis of criteria (ii) and (iii);
- Takes note of the following provisional Statement of Outstanding Universal Value:
Located 60 km off the western coast of Kyushu Island, the Island of Okinoshima is an exceptional repository of records of early ritual sites, bearing witness to early worship practices associated with maritime safety, which emerged in the 4th century AD and continued until the end of the 9th century AD, at a time of intense exchanges between the polities in the Japanese Archipelago, in the Korean Peninsula, and on the Asian continent. Incorporated into the Munakata Grand Shrine (Munakata Taisha), the Island of Okinoshima continued to be regarded as sacred in the following centuries up until today.
The entirety of the Island of Okinoshima, with its geomorphological features, the ritual sites with the rich archaeological deposits, and the wealth of votive offerings, in their original distribution, credibly reflect 500 years of ritual practices held on the Island; the primeval forest, the attendant islets of Koyajima, Mikadobashira and Tenguiwa, along with the documented votive practices and the taboos associated with the Island, the open views from Kyushu and Oshima towards the Island, altogether credibly reflect that the worship of the Island, although changed in its practices and meanings over the centuries, due to external exchanges and indigenisation, has retained the sacred status of Okinoshima.
Munakata Taisha is a shrine that consists of three distinct worship sites – Okitsu-miya on Okinoshima, Nakatsu-miya on Oshima, and Hetsu-miya on the main island of Kyushu, all of which are located within an area that measures some 60 kilometers in breadth. These are the living places of worship that are linked to ancient ritual sites. The form of worshipping the Three Female Deities of Munakata has been passed down to the present day in rituals conducted mainly at the shrine buildings. Okitsu-miya Yohaisho, built on the northern shore of Oshima, has functioned as a hall for worshipping the sacred island from afar. The Shimbaru-Nuyama Mounded Tomb Group, located on a plateau overlooking the sea that stretches out towards Okinoshima, is composed of both large and small burial mounds, bearing witness to the lives of members of the Munakata clan, who nurtured a tradition of worshipping Okinoshima.
Criterion (ii): The Sacred Island of Okinoshima Island exhibits important interchanges and exchanges amongst the different polities in East Asia between the 4th and the 9th centuries, which is evident from the abundant finds and objects with a variety of origins deposited at sites on the Island where rituals for safe navigation were performed. The changes, in object distribution and site organisation, attest to the changes in rituals, which in turn reflect the nature of the process of dynamic exchanges that took place in those centuries, when polities based on the Asian mainland, the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese Archipelago, were developing a sense of identity and that substantially contributed to the formation of Japanese culture.
Criterion (iii): The Sacred Island of Okinoshima is an exceptional example of the cultural tradition of worshipping a sacred island, as it has evolved and been passed down from ancient times to the present. Remarkably, archaeological sites that have been preserved on the Island are virtually intact, and provide a chronological record of how the rituals performed there changed over a period of some five hundred years, from the latter half of the 4th to the end of the 9th centuries. In these rituals, vast quantities of precious votive objects were deposited as offerings at different sites on the Island, attesting to changes in rituals. While direct offerings on Okinoshima Island ceased in the 9th century AD, members of the Munakata clan played an instrumental role in establishing and safeguarding the worship of the Islandin the form of worshipping the Three Female Deities of Munakata at three distinct worship sites of Munakata Taisha – Okitsu-miya on Okinoshima, Nakatsu-miya on Oshima, and Hetsu-miya, along with “distant worship” exemplified by the open views from Oshima and the main island of Kyushu toward Okinoshima.
The sacred Island of Okinoshima, with the other seven components, comprise all attributes necessary to illustrate the values and processes expressing its Outstanding Universal Value. The property ensures the complete representation of the features illustrating the property as a testimony to a worshipping tradition of a sacred Island for safe navigation, emerging in a period of intense maritime exchanges and continuing in the form of worshipping the Three Female Deities of Munakata established by members of the Munakata clan. This has passed down to this day, through changes in ritual practices and meanings but whilst still retaining the sacred status of Okinoshima. The property is in good condition; it does not suffer from neglect and is properly managed, although careful consideration of potential impacts from off-shore infrastructure and increased cruise ship traffic is needed.
A substantial body of archaeological investigation and research on the Island of Okinoshima bears credible witness to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property; the unchanged location of the ritual sites, their distribution, and the still-abundant undisturbed deposits of votive offerings provide opportunities for future research and increased understanding of the values of the property. Existing restrictions and taboos contribute to maintaining the aura of the island as a sacred place.
Protection and management requirements
The property enjoys legal protection at the national level under several laws, designations and planning instruments; protection is also guaranteed by traditional practices, in the form of restriction of use and taboos that have proven effective over time until the present day.
The management system envisages an overarching management body, the Preservation and Utilization Council, which includes the representatives of Munakata City and Fukutsu City and Fukuoka Prefecture. The Council is tasked with coordination of and responsibility for the implementation of the “Preservation and Management Plan”, which incorporates four individual management plans covering different parts of the property as well as the buffer zone. To ensure full coordination and implementation of the management tasks, the owners of the property need to be involved in the Council; the representatives of the residents in the buffer zone and of the local businesses will coordinate and collaborate with the Preservation and Utilization Council. The National Agency for Cultural Affairs provides guidance and advice as well as an ad-hoc Advisory Committee. Minor repairs and everyday maintenance are carried out by craftsmen from the local community, using methods passed down from generation to generation.
- Recommends that the State Party gives consideration to the following:
- Establishing the Preservation and Utilization Council and including within it representatives of the owners of the property,
- Clarifying the role of the other stakeholders and the mechanisms to ensure their effective cooperation in managing the property,
- Stating that the construction of wind turbines, offshore or on land, will not only be “appropriately restricted” but will be totally forbidden within the entire property limits, including the buffer zone, as well as in areas outside the property where it would affect the visual integrity of the components,
- Setting up mechanisms to integrate a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) approach into the management system,
- Developing specific HIAs for planned projects that may impact on the Outstanding Universal Value and the attributes of the property, and submitting their results to the World Heritage Committee and ICOMOS for review before any final decision is taken with regard to their approval and implementation,
- Confirming that the limit at the top of the mountain marking the south-eastern corner of the buffer zone incorporates entirely the summit,
- Giving due consideration to the potential threats by increased unregulated visitation and cruise ships,
- Continuing and expanding research programmes on maritime exchanges, navigation and related cultural and ritual practices within the State Party and its neighbouring countries.
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.78, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
- Noting the resumption of exploratory planning for a permanent river crossing, requests the State Party to closely involve the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, at the earliest possible stage, in the appraisal of options undertaken in a wide regional strategic context, and before any decisions are taken;
- Welcoming its committment to reduce noise levels from trains in the property, encourages the State Party to prepare and adopt relevant legal regulations for railway noise reduction;
- Notes with concern the policies and regulations adopted concerning wind turbines within World Heritage properties and buffer zones by the Federal State of Hesse and urges the State Party to work towards common policies and regulations to exclude wind farms from World Heritage Properties and their buffer zones; and strongly encourages the State Party to develop common rules and criteria for the assessment of the impact of wind farms on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and its buffer zones;
- Also requests the State Party to halt the project for the installation of a wind farm on Ranselberg hill near Lorch, which has a very high adverse visual impact on the OUV of the property, due to its visibility from different points within the boundaries of the property;
- Also encourages the State Party to provide revised plans for the Holiday Resort Sankt-Goar-Werlau to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, and before any decisions are taken;
- Further requests the State Party to provide the revised and consolidated Management Plan and Master Plan, prior to their consolidation into one document, to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
- Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019.
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B.Add,
2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.83 adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),
3. Takes note of the results of the November 2011 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission, particularly, the conclusion that wind turbines impact adversely on the landscape setting of the property which provides its context and supports its Outstanding Universal Value;
4. Strongly recommends the State Party to implement all the recommendations of the mission;
5. Welcomes with satisfaction the identification by the State Party of a wind turbine exclusion zone, beyond the buffer zone, incorporated into the planning process, and also notes with interest the implementation of terrain modelling procedures for assessing visual impact;
6. Further notes the definition of a replicable method of defining such a zone, based on computer-based cartography and by a terrain approach;
7. Also notes the project to remove the 19th century causeway, and replace it with a permeable bridge that will allow the mount to be seen as an island, and requests that its inclusion be compatible with the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
8. Further notes the urgent needs for an integrated Management Plan for the property, and further requests the State Party to produce such a plan based on the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value and a landscape approach to the management of the property, its buffer zone and its wider setting, and to put in place a Coordination Committee to oversee its implementation;
9. Requests furthermore the State Party to provide copies of the draft Management Plan for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies by 1 February 2013;
10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, 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 38th session in 2014.
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B,
2. Expresses its concern at the potential impact of wind turbines on the landscape setting of the property;
3. Requests the State Party to provide full details, including heights and location of turbines, of the approved projects and those pending approval, and of the delineation of the Zones for Wind Farm Development (ZDE), to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
4. Also requests the State Party to provide details of the impact assessments that have been carried out on wind farm proposals in terms of impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
5. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, 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 35th session in 2011.
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B,
2. Expresses its concern at the potential impact of the proposed wind turbines on the integrity and Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and requests the State Party to suspend the project,
3. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2009, further information on how the protection, including visual integrity, of the property might be strengthened to ensure that this project and other similar projects, which might impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property can be prevented;
4. Further requests the State Party to provide three printed and electronic copies of the draft revised management plan for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.
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The World Heritage Policy Compendium On-line tool was developed thanks to the generous contribution of the Government of Korea.
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