Decision : CONF 204 IV.B.50
Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (Peru)
The Secretariat informed the Bureau that the Permanent Delegation of Peru to UNESCO had invited an expert mission to Peru to observe in situ the application of the Master Plan for Machu Picchu. It also informed that the National Institute for Natural Resources (INRENA) and the National Institute for Culture (INC) had provided information on the creation of a Management Unit for the Sanctuary that was foreseen in the Master Plan for Machu Picchu and in the National Plan for Protected Areas and that its first meeting was scheduled for 26 June 1999. This Management Unit will prepare short and middle-term operational plans for the implementation of the Master Plan. As to the cable car system, INRENA and INC had informed that the Environmental Impact Assessment had been reviewed critically and had not been accepted yet.
The Secretariat furthermore informed that it had received a great number of communications and appeals in which individuals, scientists and non-governmental organizations expressed concerns and opposition to the plans for the cable car system. These communications stated that its impact would seriously affect the natural and cultural values, and could increase the level of tourists to unacceptable levels.
Both IUCN and ICOMOS stated that the Master Plan provides a good strategic framework, but that operation plans will be required to implement it effectively. Particular attention should be given to the management of tourism and the research and preservation of the archaeological resources of the Park.
The Director of the National Institute for Natural Resources (INRENA) emphasized the commitment of INRENA and INC to protect the integrity of the Park in a joint effort through the management structure that is foreseen in the Master Plan, i.e. the Management Unit. She noted concerns about the quality and quantity of tourism to the site and expected that a tourism management plan would be ready in a few months. As to the cable car, she stated that the Master Plan does not propose or endorse the cable car and that the Environmental Impact Assessment so far has not provided sufficient information for a thorough evaluation. On other projects, she noted that an hotel extension had been firmly rejected and that information on any other project would be made available to the Secretariat. She concluded by saying that the Government would welcome an expert mission as proposed by the Secretariat.
Recalling (i) the decision of the Committee at its twenty-second session, (ii) the invitation from the Government of Peru that IUCN and ICOMOS undertake a second expert mission and (iii) the concerns expressed by the advisory bodies, the Bureau adopted the following:
“The Bureau takes note of the information provided by the Government of Peru through its letters dated 18 and 23 June 1999. It also notes the comments and observations made by IUCN and ICOMOS on the Master Plan for the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, as well as on projects that are, or may be, under discussion and that would have serious impacts on the World Heritage site.
The Bureau considers that the Master Plan is in general a good strategic framework to enhance the protection of the site but that it lacks a comprehensive programme of implementation. It notes that the recently established Management Unit will prepare a short and medium-term plan for its implementation. The Bureau compliments the State Party for the creation of the Management Unit for the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and it urges the State Party to organise and promote the work of the Management Unit as a first step to implement the Master Plan. It also urges the State Party to consider the observations and recommendations made by IUCN and ICOMOS on the Master Plan and its implementation.
With reference to the cable car system and other possible works or projects, the Bureau regrets that no detailed information has been provided particularly on the plan for the cable car and the corresponding Environmental Impact Study. It reiterates the request made by the World Heritage Committee at its twenty-second session that all relevant documentation and provisions with regard to the management structure and Master Plan for the Sanctuary, the cable car system (Environmental Impact Study, detailed plans, etc) as well as other works or projects that are or will be considered for implementation within the boundaries of the World Heritage site, or outside the site but likely to impact on it, be transmitted as soon as they become available to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN and ICOMOS and examination by the Bureau and/or the Committee.
The Bureau requests IUCN, ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre to undertake a second expert mission to Machu Picchu to assess:
- the implementation and effectiveness of the Master Plan and management arrangements for the Sanctuary (with particular reference to tourism);
- the status of the project of the cable car system and its possible impact on the World Heritage value of the Sanctuary, as well as the viability of alternatives to the cable car system;
- the status of the eventual extension or modification of the hotel at Machu Picchu and other major works that may be planned inside or outside the site, as well as their possible impact on the World Heritage value of the Sanctuary;
- options for extensions to the site, and to bring forward recommendations in this respect;
- the overall state of cultural and natural conservation of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
The report of the mission should be presented to the World Heritage Committee at its twenty-third session for examination and further action.
As suggested by the Rapporteur, the Secretariat, the advisory bodies and the Peruvian authorities will collaborate in drawing up detailed terms of reference for the mission.