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Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area

Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area, proposed by China as a best practice, is interesting as a case study for the following aspects: establishment of bus sightseeing company, setting up of Jiuzhaigou United Operation Company, participatory management with sharing benefits, international (academic) cooperation, interpretation system and tourist regulation measures.

Summary provided by State Party

The administration takes measures to minimize negative impacts from tourism business, such as: The Bus Sightseeing Company was established in order to resolve the traffic congestion, air pollution from vehicle emissions. Jiuzhaigou United Operation Company was set up, unified management for tourism operation. There has but one restaurant inside the park. The administration takes management strategy of “visit inside, accommodate outside” the park. There has 70km Ecological boardwalk inside the park, such kind of elevated walkway lives space for vegetation and conserve forest floor effectively. Eco-friendly toilet with waste packed out, sewer system inside park and sewage treatment plant outside park. The property is under efficient co management of Jiuzhaigou administration and local government. Separation of managers and finance, which means adherence to the two-line principle of revenues and expenditures, sustainable financial resources were ensured by the government. Fulfil the strategy that the talent makes administration strong, build a learning organization.

Set up International Lab for Sustainable Development, which integrate domestic and foreign science resources to strengthen property conservation research building. Comprehensive environmental monitoring projects carry out thoroughly and regularly. Limit visitors capacity divert tourists, reduce visitors pressures of "busy season".

One-off Initiative for the recognition of best practices

The World Heritage Capacity Building Strategy, adopted by the World Heritage Committee in 2011, responds to the identified needs of a diverse and growing audience for capacity building for World Heritage conservation and management activities. Development of resource materials such as best practice case studies and communication tools are among the activities foreseen by the strategy to improve these capacities.

An example of an innovative capacity building initiative is the recently concluded Recognition of Best Practice in World Heritage Management. This initiative, requested by the World Heritage Committee and carried out within the framework of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention in 2012, solicited applications from World Heritage properties which had demonstrated new and creative ways of managing their sites. Twenty-three submissions were received and evaluated by a 10-member international selection committee which included the representatives of the Convention’s Advisory Bodies, ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN. The Historic Town of Vigan in the Philippines was chosen as a best practice achieved with relatively limited resources, a good integration of the local community in many aspects of the sustainable conservation and management of the property and with an interesting multi-faceted approach to the protection of the site.

Management practices recognized as being successful and sustainable can include everything from involving local people in site management, to creating innovative policies and regulating tourism. There are sites that include students from local schools in the management of the site (Slovenia), train local inhabitants as tour guides (Peru), or even put up nylon fences to protect villagers from straying tigers from the Sundarbans National Park (India). Sharing these practices helps other sites find solutions that work.

This initiative provides incentives for States Parties and site managers to reflect on their management practices and explore improvement possibilities.