State of Conservation (SOC)
Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee
New information: In April 1999, the Secretariat received a report from a university-based scientific research institute in Korea, indicating that an out-dated incinerator banned in many countries is being installed in a location 6.6 km from the Pulgulksa Temple. According to this report, the average emission rate of 0.92 ng per cubic metre of dioxin produced by this type of incinerator will have a negative impact on the Temple.
The Bureau, having been informed of a report from an independent source of the potential negative environmental impact the installation of the incinerator may have on the Pulgulksa Temple, requests the State Party to provide a scientific report to the Secretariat by 15 September 1999 for examination by the Bureau at its twenty-third extraordinary session.
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Requests Approved: 0
Total Amount Ap proved: 0USD
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Current conservation issues
World Heritage Bureau, twenty-third session - Chapter IV.64
New information: In August 1999, the Secretariat took advantage of an invitation to a conference held in the Republic of Korea to visit the World Heritage site of the Sokkuram Grotto and the Pulgusksa Temple and to discuss with the national and local authorities on the Bureau’s concern over the planned construction of an incinerator which may have a negative impact on the site and the local inhabitants. The State Party submitted a brief report in October 1999 stating that the construction in 2002 of the trash incinerator in the region of Kyongju is still pending the City Council approval due to strong opposition from citizens and environmental protection groups. The State Party requested the Secretariat to inform the Committee that if the construction, to be located 6.6 km away from the World Heritage site is approved, the central government will monitor the process to ensure that the municipal authorities comply with the international dioxin emission standards (0.1ng/m3) and the National Waste Management Law, as well as to exam the surrounding natural environment.
Analysis and Conclusion
Link to the decision
The Secretariat received a report indicating that an out-dated incinerator banned in many countries is being installed in a location 6.6 km from the Pulgulksa Temple. According to this report, the average emission rate of 0.92 ng per cubic metre of dioxin produced by this type of incinerator would have a negative impact on the community surrounding the Temple.
The Delegate of the Republic of Korea informed the Bureau that although the City of Kyongju was implementing the construction of the incinerator, due to strong opposition from the local communities, the project had been temporarily halted. However, in view of the existing possibility of the construction of the incinerator, which could have a negative impact, he expressed his support for the Secretariat’s recommendation to the Bureau.
The Bureau, having been informed of a report of the potential negative environmental impact the installation of the incinerator may have on the surroundings of the Pulgulksa Temple, requested the State Party to provide a scientific report to the Secretariat by 15 September 1999 for examination by the Bureau at its twenty-third extraordinary session.
Link to the decision
VIII.3 The Committee approved the change of the name of the following property included on the World Heritage List:
"Sokkuram Grotto" to "Sokkuram Grotto and Pulguksa Temple" (Republic of Korea)
Concerning the request from Germany, that "Roman Monuments, Cathedral and Liebfrauen-Church in Trier" is changed to "Roman Monuments, Cathedral Saint Peter and St. Mary's Church in Trier", the Chairperson suggested consultations between the Centre and the State Party to define the correct English version.
Link to the decision
X.46 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-99/CONF.209/6) and included in Annex VIII of this report on the following properties:
Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis (Argentina and Brazil)
The Jesuit Mission of Santa Ana (Argentina)
The Potala Palace, Lhasa (China)
City of Quito (Ecuador)
The Delegate of Ecuador informed the Committee that the volcano Pichincha had erupted on 5 October and November 26 1999 and that the National Institute for Cultural Heritage (INPC) and the Municipality of Quito had taken preventive measures to protect the population and the monuments.
Historic Centre of Tallin (Estonia)
Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (France)
Roman Monuments, Cathedral and Liebfrauen Church in Trier (Germany)
Ashanti Traditional Buildings (Ghana)
Churches and Convents of Goa (India)
Luang Prabang (Laos)
Island of Mozambique (Mozambique)
Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha (Nepal)
The Observer of HMG of Nepal assured the Committee that the conservation of the Maya Devi Temple would be undertaken following international conservation norms prescribed by the World Heritage Convention. He informed the Committee that HMG of Nepal would be grateful to receive expert suggestions from UNESCO concerning the draft conceptual design for the Maya Devi Temple conservation work, as such advice would be a guideline for elaborating the details of the design under preparation. The Observer assured the Committee that the designs for the works at Maya Devi Temple, once completed, would be transmitted to UNESCO, as assured by HMG of Nepal. The Observer informed the Committee that a technical cooperation request for the organization of an international technical meeting to discuss the proposed project for the conservation, restoration, and presentation of the Maya Devi Temple, would be submitted, following the request of the Bureau at its twenty-third session.
Archaeological Site of Chavin (Peru)
City of Cuzco (Peru)
Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines)
The Observer of the Philippines assured the Committee that the long-term integrated development plan of the site, including a tourism development plan for the site, would be submitted in due course to UNESCO, preferably before 15 September 2000. To ensure that the authenticity and sustainable conservation of this fragile site is maintained, the Observer stated that his Government would avail of the generous offer of the Committee to provide technical expertise under the World Heritage Fund.
Auschwitz Concentration Camp (Poland)
The Sokkuram Grotto and Pulguksa Temple (Republic of Korea)
Alhambra, Generalife and Albaycin, Grenada (Spain)
Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)
The Observer of Turkey thanked the Bureau for the sympathies expressed for the victims of the earthquake this year. The Observer stated that Istanbul is the only one among the nine World Heritage sites in Turkey located in the region impacted by the August 1999 earthquake. While the damage can only be measured over time, initial assessment has noted minor cracks in several historic monuments including the Hagia Sophia, and four museums. Severe cracks have, however, been noted in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, the conservation laboratory which is housed in an historic monument, in two historic library buildings, and in more than ten tombs as well as in the city walls (ramparts). The Committee was informed that the impact report of the second earthquake (in November 1999) on World Heritage sites had not been received by the Ministry of Culture of Turkey from its regional offices. The Observer said that a detailed report would be submitted to the Committee through the Secretariat as soon as it is completed.
With regard to the urban conservation plan of the historic peninsula of Istanbul, the Observer informed the Committee that the 1/5000 scale plan has just been completed and submitted to the Greater Istanbul Council and upon approval, will be transmitted to the Regional Conservation Council for clearance. As soon as this is officially approved, the 1/1000 scale plan will be prepared for the Fatih and Eminonu municipalities. In addition, the 1/500 scale detailed conservation plan for the Zeyrek district prepared by Istanbul Technical University, which was co-funded by the World Heritage Fund is about to be completed, and will be submitted to the Fatih Municipality for approval. The Observer thanked the UNESCO World Heritage Centre for having mobilized international support for the conservation of Istanbul's urban heritage, and in this regard, expressed particular appreciation for the financial support extended by the European Commission and the Government of France.
The Observer concluded her intervention by saying that due to the need to finance earthquake rehabilitation activities, the budget of all government services had been severely cut, including that of the Ministry of Culture. While on-going joint conservation projects with the municipalities of Istanbul will be continued, no expansion in the area of work or additional activities will be possible for 2000.
The Delegate of Greece called upon the Committee to provide support to Turkey in the rehabilitation of the earthquake damage. In this regard, she recalled her statement at the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau, which pointed to the need to prioritize the object of international support in view of the vast conservation needs of the Istanbul World Heritage area. The Chairperson, in his personal capacity stated that this spirit of collaboration and solidarity expressed by Greece in favour of Turkey was a demonstration of the spirit of the World Heritage Convention.
The Bureau may wish to adopt the following text and transmit it to the Committee for noting:
“The Bureau, upon examining the report presented by the Secretariat thanks the State Party for its commitment to monitor the planning and eventual construction process of the incinerator to ensure that international standards are respected and that it will not have negative impacts on the inhabitants nor on the environment of the Sokkuron Grotto and the Pulguksa Temple. The Bureau requests the State Party to keep the Bureau informed through the Secretariat of future developments regarding the incinerator construction and of any other works which may impact upon this World Heritage site.”
Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple
- Localised utilities
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”).