1.         Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (Peru) (C/N 274)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (i)(iii)(vii)(ix)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/274/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1986-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 166,625
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/274/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

Joint IUCN/ICOMOS mission October 1997; World Heritage Centre IUCN/ICOMOS mission October 1999; World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ICOMOS mission 25 February-1 March 2002; World Heritage Centre-visit 23 October 2003; World Heritage Centre mission 15-16 April 2005;

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/274/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2005

On 11 February 2005 the World Heritage Centre received the document “Propuesta General y Lineamientos para el Plan Maestro del Santuario Historico de Machupicchu” (Instituto Nacional de Cultura del Cuzco, November 2004), which is an outline for the new Master Plan for the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.  This proposal was conceived by the INC (Instituto Nacional de Cultura) in Cuzco, in cooperation with the INRENA (Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales) and MINCETUR (Ministerio de Comercio Exterior y Turismo), in December 2003, and it sets out a first stage of 23 basic studies and diagnoses on the different themes related to the management and operation of the sanctuary.  These studies were done from July to December 2004, by a group of academics and technicians from the INC and specialized consultants. 

The draft guidelines for the Master Plan are presented in seven parts:

a)  explaining objectives, methodology, strategies and necessary studies for development of the new Master Plan;

b)  analyzing legal framework, international conventions, and involvement of all institutions, being their participation, responsibilities and competition;

c)  presenting the sacred character of the natural and cultural spaces, as well as the critical problems affecting.  Based on observations regarding various factors related to tourism on the site, the authors calculate the carrying capacity for the citadel at 2500 persons per day;

d)  focusing on the territory, the cultural and natural resources, its infrastructure, urban systems, and the design of possible tourist circuits;

e)  presenting an organizational structure for the greater territory around Machu Picchu, including its infrastructure, economic possibilities, natural characteristics, and social, cultural and tourism aspects;

f)  proposing a long-term plan for ten years (2005-2015), including sections for the middle (five years, 2005-2010) and short term (one year), all these based on 11 different strategic lines;

g)  detailing the sequence to carry out the plan in four stages for the next ten years with a list of 75 programs or projects according to the 11 strategic lines.

The control of the urban development of Aguas Calientes is not properly dealt with in the proposed guidelines for the Master Plan.  INC, INRENA and the Municipality of Aguas Calientes should work together to ensure that the new Master Plan includes detailed ordinances, which should be adopted and implemented as a matter of urgency.  ICOMOS further points out that the legal clearance of the land tenure of the territory of the sanctuary is one of several issues to be solved, as well as the coordination between the different institutions like INC, INRENA, MINCETUR.  Another issue poorly developed in the proposal is the access by road to the Citadel from the train station, which urgently needs a solution.  The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS conclude that the document provides the basic guidelines for the preparation of the new Master Plan for the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, but that it is not the Master Plan itself.  The coming period should be devoted to write the final plan and have it institutionalized.

As requested by the Committee at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004), the World Heritage Centre collaborated with the Government of Peru in organizing a meeting in Lima to discuss the way in which the Vilcanota Valley Rehabilitation and Management Project could improve the state of conservation of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (HSPM).  The meeting took place on 18 and 19 April 2005 between the World Bank, the World Heritage Centre and the responsible Peruvian authorities.  The Vilcanota Project aims to assist the Government of Peru in its efforts to improve management of tourism in the HSMP and is mainly focused on tourism development that will foster sustainable development initiatives in the Vilcanota Valley, which counts for around 100,000 inhabitants and covers a substantial territory inscribed on the World Heritage List.  The project will be implemented in partnership with theNational Geographic Society, the World Monuments Fund, NGOs and bilateral donors.

In principle, the Project will facilitate access to improved urban services and infrastructure throughout the Valley, through the development of a regional solid waste management system, resettlement of vulnerable households in Aguas Calientes, and detailed engineering, environmental impact assessments and investments in urban infrastructure.  During the meeting the World Heritage Centre showed concern with regard to a key component of the project, which refers to the resettlement of 60 Aguas Calientes families, whose homes are highly vulnerable to landslides.  The Project has begun to inform the residents of the possibilities to be relocated in the Aobamba river valley, close to the Machu Picchu citadel and Aguas Calientes village, within the buffer zone of the HSMP, but in close proximity of the core of the property.  13.5 hectares will be needed to install a pilot village for the families of Aguas Calientes.  This area is under jurisdiction of the Municipality of Aguas Calientes, and since it has not been able to stop the disorderly development of Aguas Calientes itself, there is concern that a similar process could happen in the new area.  The Peruvian authorities should establish clear terms of reference for an environmental assessment study that takes into account the entire impact of the plans, in particular the resettlement, and consider alternative properties for this resettlement.

During the meeting in Lima, the World Heritage Centre reiterated that UNESCO cannot be referred to as the implementing agency for the Vilcanota Project, as is currently stated in the World Bank's website for the project, since the current cooperation in this project has not been institutionalized.

According to the title of the Project and with a view toproviding strategies for economic, social and cultural development, a wider institutional coordination would be needed for the efficient implementation of the activities.  None of the proposed actions willbe effective without the leadership of the Management Unit that should create mechanisms to reinforce its institutional capacity at national and regional level to fulfill the foreseen interventions.

The World Heritage Centre also received document “Precursory Stage of Landslides in the Inca World Heritage property at Machu Picchu, Peru”, by Kyoji Sassa of the Research Center on Landslides, Disaster Prevention Research Institute (K.  Sassa, Kyoto University, Japan).  Recommendations 12, 13 and 14 of the 2002 UNESCO/ICOMOS/IUCN mission encouraged to continue the studies on the possibility of landslides at the Ciudadela.

The document explains that an International Consortium on Landslides has been established, with specialists of several fields and countries that are now conducting an international scientific program on Machu Picchu.  In the fieldwork two blocks were identified that potentially can be part of a landslide: block 1 on the slopes of the Inca’s Citadel, on the access to the Hiram Bingham Road, and the other block 2, involving the whole slope, including part of the Machu Picchu Citadel.  “However, the process will be extremely slow in the time span in the ordinary life of people as is usual in the geological and geomorphologic development process”.

The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS acknowledge that some advances in the research of the landslide problems at Machu Picchu have been made, but that more research is needed to get more reassurances as regards the risks and ways to mitigate them.  IUCN commented that it had not sufficiently reviewed the report by Kyoto University and that a detailed analysis and review of the report, together with IUCN’s recommendations, will be made available at the 29th session of the Committee.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies


Decision Adopted: 29 COM 7B.33

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-05/29.COM/7B.Rev,

2. Recalling its Decision 28 COM 15B.38, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party of Peru and the advances made in the elaboration of the Master Plan and invites the State Party to officially request technical support from UNESCO/ICOMOS/IUCN to assist in the task of national and regional authorities to engage in a participatory process to finalize the Master Plan, as well as the development of a Public Use Plan;

4. Urges the Management Unit of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu to send the Operative Plan for 2005 to the World Heritage Centre;

5. Expresses its concern over the construction of a pilot village in the buffer zone of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu within the framework of the Vilcanota Project and requests the State Party to take the appropriate measures to analyze the potential impact of this intervention through an impact assessment study;

6. Strongly urges the State Party to formalize and enforce urban planning guidelines, as part of the new Master Plan, to control the development of Aguas Calientes;

7. Requests the World Heritage Centre to continue working with the Government of Peru and the World Bank to assist and guide the Management Unit and related institutions in the integrated conservation of the property within the framework of the Vilcanota project;

8. Urges the Government of Peru and the World Bank to re-orient the priorities of the Vilcanota Valley Project to provide a Tourism Operational Plan for the entire Valley;

9. Thanks Kyoto University and the International Consortium on Landslides for their support and encourages them and the State Party to continue their efforts to promote applied research to conservation, in association with other interested scientific institutions and countries, and to propose concrete actions to prevent and mitigate the risks of landslides at the Citadel and surrounding areas;

10. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1  February 2006 a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and progress made in the development and implementation of plans, for examination by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006).