1.         Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines) (C 722)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1995

Criteria  (iii)(iv)(v)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2001-present

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/722/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1994-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 153,200
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/722/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Lack of management mechanism (including legislation); Lack of human or financial resources.

Additional Details:

Natural erosion (landslides) through lack of maintenance 

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/722/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

The State Party submitted a state of conservation report to the World Heritage Centre, as requested by the 27th session of the World Heritage Committee.


At its 25th session in 2001, the World Heritage Committee allocated US$75,000 for the Enhancement of the Conservation and Management of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (25 COM XVIII.6.3). A first review and stakeholders workshop was conducted from 21-26 July 2003, in collaboration with UNESCO, during which the reasons for the degradation of the rice terraces were identified. A team of regional, national and local experts were commissioned to update the existing Ifugao Rice Terraces Restoration and Preservation Master Plan, and to prepare project proposals aimed at reversing the degradation of the Rice Terraces. One of the project proposals being prepared is the continuation of the GIS mapping which will facilitate a joint learning approach to multi-stakeholder decision-making about the future of this World Heritage property in Danger.


The Institutional Development Unit of the Ifugao Rice Terraces Cultural Heritage Office (IRTCHO) under the Provincial Government of Ifugao, which is in charge of the management of the World Heritage property, has developed awareness-raising, advocacy and institutional coordination programmes and strategies to enhance community involvement in the preservation of the property. Barangay (Community) Development plans were established with the help of IRTCHO. Community Development Officers (CDOs) were appointed to facilitate resolutions pertaining to road rights-of-way and boundary disputes. IRTCHO also conducted a series of workshops in the villages within the World Heritage property to assist the villagers in the development of community-based land use, physical planning and zoning. Activities within this project aim at establishing zoning ordinances and ensuring conformity of new developments with these legislative mechanisms.


Research and data collection on the Ifugao agricultural cycles and rituals are almost completed. Various programmes for agriculture and watershed management have been accomplished, accompanied by environmental media campaigns aimed at strengthening environmental awareness. More than 80% of the projects identified and funded by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) under irrigation, hazard management, road development, and tourism development have been completed satisfactorily. Other projects include the road improvement at Battad, in the Banaue Municipality, and a series of ‘Youth Road Shows’ which were organized to address the vital role of youth in the preservation of the Rice Terraces.


A Second Review and Stakeholders Workshop was organized from 15-20 March 2004. During the workshop, project proposals prepared by local, national and regional consultants under the general categories of land management issues, agriculture and forestry, indigenous knowledge systems and ecotourism were reviewed and validated through village consultations held at the municipalities of Banaue, Hungduan, Mayoyao and Kiangan (municipalities where rice terrace clusters included within the World Heritage property are located). The village consultations also provided the opportunity for some barangays to present their draft land use, zoning and physical plans, considering conservation issues and local values. IRTCHO will continue to assist the villages until their barangay land-use plans are finalized. All project proposals are now in the process of being finalized, incorporating the inputs from the villagers during the workshop.


The existing Ifugao Rice Terraces Restoration and Preservation Master Plan is now being updated to incorporate the proposed corrective measures identified under the Emergency Technical Co-operation for the Enhancement of the Conservation and Management of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras. The Master Plan, together with the statutes for the site management and the project proposals will be assembled and submitted to the World Heritage Centre later this year.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15A.27

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Notes with satisfaction the progressive implementation of the activities foreseen under the Emergency Assistance project approved by the World Heritage Committee at its 25th session in 2001;

2. Compliments the State Party on its renewed efforts to address the challenges faced by the property, especially with regard to irrigation, road developments and agricultural management;

3. Notes with appreciation the concern of the State Party to involve local communities and stakeholders in every stage of the conservation and management processes, and its dedication in raising awareness among younger generations on the outstanding universal value of the property;

4. Strongly encourages the State Party to explore possibilities for developing sustainable eco-tourism opportunities within and around the property, and to seek all possible national and international funding for that purpose;

5. Requests the State Party to submit the final revised Master Plan, containing amongst others, measurable targets and benchmarks, as well as a strategy for mobilizing funds and international support for future conservation of the property, to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2005, for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 29th session in 2005;

6. Decides to retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following examination of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-04/28.COM/15A Rev),

2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: