The World Heritage Committee
1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7B,
2. Recalling Decision 28 COM 15B.64 adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),
3. Takes note of the information provided by the State party of Japan concerning the progress made in the elaboration of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed execution of a highway through the northern Nara prefecture;
4. Appreciates the efforts of the Government of Japan to clarify the nature of the traffic congestion which the new highway is meant to address, and to analyze the impacts of the tunnel building on the water table for the chosen route;
5. Encourages the State Party to consider the possibility of entrusting the elaboration of the EIA for the highway project to an independent consultant hired for that purpose;
6. Requests the State Party to ensure that the EIA include consideration for alternative options for the route of the Highway, as well as a cost-benefit analysis demonstrating that the option being suggested, with the necessary mitigation measures, offers leastpotential impactto the Nara World Heritage property;
7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2007 at the latest, a report illustrating the outcome of the EIA, as well as the process followed for its elaboration, for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007. The report should be submitted as soon as the EIA process is completed and in any case before decisions that would be difficult to revert are taken concerning the project for the Highway.