State of Conservation (SOC)
Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee
Summary of previous deliberations: The Committee examined the state of conservation at its sessions in 1996, 1997 and 1998. It particularly stressed the need for adequate management arrangements and comprehensive master planning. The Committee at its twenty-second session:
- requested IUCN and ICOMOS to undertake an in-depth examination of the master plan adopted in October 1998 and to submit its findings to the Bureau at its twenty-third session;
- requested the Peruvian authorities to transmit all relevant documentation and provisions to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN and ICOMOS and examination by the Bureau and/or Committee;
- requested the Bureau at its twenty-third session to consider whether a second IUCN/ICOMOS mission should be undertaken to assess the implementation and effectiveness of the master plan, the project of the cable car system, the eventual hotel extension and other major works that may be planned;
- urged the Peruvian authorities not to take any decision on projects that could have a considerable impact on the World Heritage values prior to a possible IUCN/ICOMOS mission and to consult the Committee as per paragraph 56 of the Operational Guidelines.
New information: No information or documentation had been received from the Peruvian authorities at the time of preparation of this working document.
However, the Secretariat has received a great number of communications and appeals in which individuals, scientists and non-governmental organizations express concerns and opposition to the plans for the cable car system, stating that its impact would seriously affect the natural and cultural values, and could increase the level of tourists to unacceptable levels.
IUCN transmitted a report to the Secretariat that is summarised below:
Recent reports indicate that the situation in the Park continues to be of concern. There are increasing problems with the collection and disposal of garbage and waste water (a workshop to discuss possible solutions took place in the second week of April but there is little indication on how far recommendations from this meeting will be implemented). The same is valid in relation to the Master Plan for this site. The Master Plan was officially approved in October 1998; but until now it has not been published or distributed and no action is being taken to put it into practice. The proposed Management Committee has not been nominated. No actions have been taken to follow the recommendations from the Master Plan.
The construction of a cable car continues to be an issue of major concern. An EIA was conducted by the international consultant firm, Dames & Moore, but INRENA (National Institute for Natural Resources) has still a number of technical questions and the tourism sector passed the EIA document on to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, without any opinion. Both INRENA and INC (National Institute for Culture) must previously accept the EIA, prior to the approval by the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Transport. A key point of disagreement of INRENA in relation to the EIA is the lack of an analysis of different alternatives. Despite this disagreement on the EIA for the cable car project, the Government has already approved a license to privatise 7000 square meters to build up the cable car. This decision is generating additional conflicts at the local level because the local government was not consulted on this decision.
In addition, information has been received on a proposal to construct a new road between Cusco and Machu Pichu. It is important to note that the Master Plan approved by the Government clearly recommends that new access to this site is not necessary and it could create additional pressures from an increasing number of visitors.
As to the Master Plan, IUCN provided the following comments:
The approval of the Master Plan for the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Pichu is a positive step towards enhancing its protection and management. IUCN welcomes this action and encourages the State Party to proceed with the implementation of the Plan. However, IUCN would like for the State Party and the World Heritage Bureau and Committee to consider the following comments:
- The Master Plan outlines in detail the main directions and elements that should guide the protection and management of this site. In fact the document is an excellent strategic framework for future actions. However it fails to define priorities on short-term actions and a detailed plan for implementation, including responsibilities of different institutions, resources, deadlines and mechanisms to evaluate and monitor progress. From IUCN’s point of view a plan lacking a programme for implementation cannot be considered adequate and probably would be of little utility.
- The document clearly identified as a key condition of success the need for a better coordination between different national and local agencies involved in managing this site, as well as the need to involve all key stakeholders at the local level. While the plan proposes the creation of a Management Committee involving key stakeholders, it does not consider the process or necessary mechanisms to achieve better co-ordination. The same is valid for the recommendation concerning the creation of an Integrated Administrative Unit including staff from the Institute of Natural Resources and the Institute of Culture.
- The document received by IUCN lacks a comprehensive map that allows a proper evaluation of the proposed zoning for the area. Furthermore, IUCN is concerned about the weak definitions and management considerations for the Special Use Zone (Zona de Uso Especial) and for the Buffer Zone (Zona de Amortiguamiento). Both areas are essential to safeguard the integrity of the core areas, so they deserve special management considerations.
- Tourism and high levels of visitation are considered throughout the document as issues of major concern, both for the integrity of the site but also to ensure the quality experience which visitors expect to have. However, the document lacks a detailed plan for integrated tourism development including visitor management. IUCN considers that this detailed plan should be prepared and implemented as a matter of urgency.
- It is of concern that the Master Plan almost endorses the need for the construction of the cable car. This is a matter of concern considering the concern on the EIA prepared for this investment and the lack of an evaluation of different alternatives.
- The Master Plan provides strong technical arguments against any further development of roads providing new access to this site. This is in total contradiction with the proposed new highway linking Cusco and Machu Pichu.
- The Plan recognises the need to expand the current limits of this site in order to incorporate other natural areas that could complement the conservation of key species and the overall landscape of this area. In this regard IUCN would like to reiterate its recommendation to include the “Abra Malagra” region in the Vilcanota Mountains to the south of the existing World Heritage site and most of the Vilcamba Mountains to the north. However IUCN consider premature any action to extend the limits of the site before substantial progress is made to enhance its protection and management.
ICOMOS will present its observations on the Master Plan during the session of the Bureau.
On 12 May 1999, the Permanent Delegation of Peru to UNESCO requested a visit during June of the presidents of IUCN/ICOMOS, or their representatives, to observe in situ the application of the Master Plan for Machu Picchu.
The Bureau may wish to examine the above report and information which may be available at the time of its session and take the appropriate decision thereupon. Among other things, it may wish to consider if a second IUCN/ICOMOS mission is required.
In formulating its decision/recommendation, the Bureau may wish to consider the following IUCN recommendation: ‘IUCN recommends that the Bureau takes note of the lack of progress in relation to solving the problem of the cable car, the new intentions of developing a highway between Cusco and this World Heritage site. The Bureau should also consider IUCN comments on the Master Plan that in general is a good strategic framework to enhance the protection of this site but lack a comprehensive programme of implementation. While the Bureau should compliment the State Party for this positive step it also should note the lack of progress from the State Party to organise and promote the work of the Management Committee as a first step to implement the Master Plan. Noting these points IUCN recommends to the Bureau to include this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.’
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Requests Approved: 0
Total Amount Ap proved: 161,625USD
|1992||Financial contribution for a training workshop on architectural ...||19,325 USD|
|1992||Organization of a training course for technicians, administrators ...||19,500 USD|
|1991||Preparation of a Master Plan for Machu Picchu||40,000 USD|
|1991||Additional costs for technical consultancy for the preparation of ...||6,000 USD|
|1991||Contribution to a monitoring exercise of the following sites: ...||3,300 USD|
|1991||Additional cost for technical consultancy for the preparation of ...||4,000 USD|
|1989||Preparation of a technical cooperation project for a Master Plan ...||15,000 USD|
|1988||Contribution to purchase of fire-fighting equipment and repairing ...||20,000 USD|
|1986||Support for associated training activities related to Machu Picchu||8,000 USD|
|1986||Financial support for the implementation of the management plan ...||26,500 USD|
1997: joint ICOMOS/IUCN mission; October 1999: joint ICOMOS/IUCN mission
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Dam construction;
- Power line development;
- Wild fires (issue resolved);
- Urbanization of the valley;
- Helicopters flights
Current conservation issues
Twenty-second session of the Committee - Chapter VII.29
Twenty-third session of the Bureau - Chapter IV.50
New information: The Bureau at its twenty-third session requested the World Heritage Centre, IUCN and ICOMOS to undertake a mission to Machu Picchu.
The mission will take place from 17 to 25 October 1999. The results of the mission will be presented to the Bureau during its session.
Analysis and Conclusion
Link to the decision
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.
Link to the decision
X.31 Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (Peru)
The Committee recalled the reports from the twenty-third ordinary and the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau on the state of conservation of this property and adopted the following decision:
"The Committee, having examined the report of the World Heritage Centre-IUCN-ICOMOS mission to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (made available to the Committee as Information Document WHC-99/CONF.209/INF.21), endorsed the conclusions and recommendations contained in it.
The Committee congratulated the Government of Peru on the adoption of the Master Plan and the establishment of the Management Unit. It urged the Government of Peru to ensure that all institutions, authorities and agencies involved in the Sanctuary give their full support to the Management Unit for the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu so that this unit can effectively and efficiently fulfil the tasks entrusted to it.
The Committee recognized that there is strong tourism pressure on the site and that the studies proposed in recommendations 6, 7 and 8 of the mission report would allow this matter to be addressed in an integrated manner.
The Committee requested the Government of Peru to submit, by 15 April 2000 for transmission to and examination by the Bureau at its twenty-fourth session, a report that should include its response to the mission's conclusions and recommendations, as well as information on the progress made in the preparation and execution of operational plans for the implementation of the Master Plan for the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu."
The Bureau may wish to examine information that will be provided at the time of its session and take the appropriate decision thereupon.
Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu
- Fire (widlfires)
- Ground transport infrastructure
- Management systems/ management plan
The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).