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Committee Decisions

29 COM 8B.14

Nominations of Natural Properties to the World Heritage List (Nanda Devi National Park )

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-05/29.COM/8B, WHC-05/29.COM/8B.Add 2 and WHC-05/29.COM/INF.8B.2,

2. Approves the extension of Nanda Devi National Park (India) to include the Valley of Flowers National Park, India, on the basis of the existing natural criteria (iii) and (iv):

Criterion (iii): The Valley of Flowers is an outstandingly beautiful highaltitude Himalayan valley that has been acknowledged as such by renowned mountaineers and botanists in literature for over a century and in Hindu mythology for much longer. Its ‘gentle' landscape, breath-takingly beautiful meadows of alpine flowers and ease of access complement the rugged, mountain wilderness for which the inner basin of Nanda Devi National Park is renowned.

Criterion (iv): The Valley of Flowers is internationally important on account of its diverse alpine flora, representative of the West Himalaya biogeographic zone. The rich diversity of species reflects the valley's location within a transition zone between the Zaskar and Great Himalaya ranges to the north and south, respectively, and between the Eastern and Western Himalaya flora. A number of plant species are internationally threatened, several have not been recorded from elsewhere in Uttaranchal and two have not been recorded in Nanda Devi National Park. The diversity of threatened species of medicinal plants is higher than has been recorded in other Indian Himalayan protected areas. The entire Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve lies within the Western Himalayas Endemic Bird Area (EBA). Seven restricted-range bird species are endemic to this part of the EBA.

3. Notes that the extended property of 71,210 ha will comprise Nanda Devi National Park (62,460 ha) and Valley of Flowers National Park (8,750 ha), and that its name should be amended to Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks;

4. Encourages the State Party of India to enhance the natural values and protection of the World Heritage property by further extensions to include the corridor connecting Nanda Devi and the Valley of Flowers National Parks, and other areas to include the full altitudinal range and the trans-Himalayan element represented within the Biosphere Reserve;

5. Congratulates the State Party for its environmental clean-up of the approach to the property, and measures to manage tourism sustainably, notably through community-led initiatives and the introduction of regulations;

6. Welcomes the opening of part of Nanda Devi National Park to limited numbers of visitors, which ensure that benefits from such tourism help to sustain local economies; and encourages the State Party to further develop opportunities for small numbers of visitors to further experience this mountain wilderness.

Themes: Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
States Parties: India
Session: 29COM