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Committee Decisions

30 COM 7A.28

Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines) (C 722)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7A.Add.Rev,

2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 7A.26, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Welcomes the efforts made by the local and provincial authorities for the restoration of the irrigation systems of the rice terraces;

4. Notes with concern the findings and recommendations of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN monitoring mission (18 to 24 April 2006) that little progress has been made towards implementing the recommendations of the September 2001 and June 2005 missions, in particular that:

a) A functioning site management mechanism has not been established and that the site Conservation and Management Plan has not been implemented;

b) The resources allocated by the national authorities and Ifugao Provincial Government are inadequate to address the conservation challenges identified in the Conservation and Management Plan prepared with Emergency Assistance from the World Heritage Fund.

5. Requests the State Party to implement the following corrective measures, which constitute the conditions for the removal of the property from the List of the World Heritage in Danger, by the end of 2007:

a) Establish a functioning management mechanism at the provincial and municipal levels, and ensure that adequate human/financial resources are made available to implement the Conservation and Management Plan for the property;

b) Put in place zoning and land-use plans responding to community-based activities and traditional value systems;

c) Provide regulations over tourism and infrastructure developments to encourage community based tourism which benefits the Rice Terraces and the local communities;

d) Develop a resource strategy at the national, provincial, municipal and village (barangay) levels and put in place a five year plan, according to the management objectives determined in the Conservation and Management Plan, with top priority given to the regular maintenance and stabilisation of the rice terraces and lifeline irrigation systems so as to reverse their deterioration. The strategy will include the establishment of a long-term programme to prevent the extinction of traditional rice cultivars (seeds) safeguarding traditional rice varieties associated with the agricultural practices of the rice terraces;

e) Establish appropriate development control procedures for development projects in the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordillera, including by designating the World Heritage cluster sites of the Rice Terraces and their supportive eco-system (i.e. watershed system) as "environmental critical areas", where an environment impact assessment (EIA) is required for any proposed development projects. Cultural heritage conservation expertise should be also included in the EIA review committee;

f) Strengthen the reforestation programme to include a wider range of endemic trees species to protect the watershed system for the rice terraces and prevent the introduction of exotic species in the private or communal watersheds of the rice terraces;

6. Also requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies (ICOMOS and IUCN), in collaboration with the State Party, to assist the site managers of the Rice Terraces, as appropriate, to build capacity on sustainable tourism planning and management;

7. Further requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2007, with a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property, taking into consideration the benchmarks for corrective measures proposed by the April 2006 Reactive Monitoring Mission, for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007;

8. Decides to retain the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Themes: Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
Focal Point: APA
States Parties: Philippines
Session: 30COM