1.         Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha (Nepal) (C 666rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1997

Criteria  (iii)(vi)

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/666/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2000-2007)
Total amount approved: USD 70,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/666/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 931,606; USD 791,786 from the Japanese Funds-in-Trust for 2010 – 2013; Euro 5,000 from Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance in 2011; USD 20,000 from Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance in 2010; USD 62,620 from the Japanese Funds-in-Trust in 2009; USD 50,000 from Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance in 2008, and USD 7,200 from the Italian Funds-in-Trust in 2006.

Previous monitoring missions

May 2004 and November 2005: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring missions; April and September 2008: UNESCO Advisory missions; UNESCO expert missions have been sent every year since 2009 in the context of the implementation of specific projects. 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Lack of a conservation policy and inappropriate management of the property;

b) Impact of the new structure of the Maya Devi Temple (constructed in 2002) on the archaeological remains, as well as on the visual integrity.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/666/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012

On 30 January 2012 the State Party submitted a report outlining the progress in the development of the Integrated Management Plan (IMP), activities for the conservation of archaeological remains and archeological surveys. Within the framework of the UNESCO Japan Funds-in-Trust (FIT) project for the “conservation and management of Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha” and the Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance, eight international missions have been organised by UNESCO between 2011 and March 2012 to assist the Department of Archaeology and the Lumbini Development Trust in various aspects, in particular the development and finalization of the IMP.

a) Integrated Management Plan (IMP)

Based on four consultation and training workshops with stakeholders, a draft Integrated Management Framework document was produced and will be submitted to the Cabinet for adoption by the Government of Nepal. Once the Cabinet has adopted the Integrated Management Framework, the management system will be implemented on a trial basis during the fiscal year July 2012 to July 2013. Thereafter, the implementation section of the IMP will accordingly be finalized and, if necessary, further refined.

b) Planned development projects

The report notes that various projects are planned in and around Lumbini. These include an improvement scheme of the site infrastructure, presentation and visitor facilities supported by the Asian Development Bank (USD 12,750,000); the Greater Lumbini Master Plan project, which aims to create a World Peace City, covering an area of three districts (Rupandehi, Kapilavastu and Nawalparashi) and is being prepared in cooperation with the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA); the proposed world’s highest Buddha statute to be erected in the New Lumbini Village, outside the World Heritage property. The State Party expresses in its report, that these projects will not have any impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies do not fully share this view point with regard to some of the proposed development projects, and they reiterate that any decision on these proposals should be based on a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidelines on Heritage Impact Assessments for World Heritage cultural properties, and also be considered in the framework of the finalized IMP. In addition, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that notice on any planned development should be given as soon as possible, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

c) Environmental degradation as result of industrial activity

The State Party noted that an Environmental Impact Assessment of Industrial Development around Lumbini had been carried out by IUCN, Nepal, and that a draft report had been presented in August 2011. Following this, the Industrial Promotion Board of the Government of Nepal decided to prohibit the establishment of new industrial activities in and around Lumbini World Heritage property. Specifically, the prohibition states, that an area within 15 km from the northern, eastern and western boundaries of the Lumbini Project Area (1 mile x 3 miles as per Prof. Kenzo Tange’s Master Plan) and towards the south up to the Indian boarder and 800 meter on both sides of the Lumbini - Bhairahawa corridor will be off limits for the establishment of new industries, except for those which do not emit carbon". The State Party has further contacted the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) for technical assistance to address the existing environmental degradation of the property.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that the environmental situation has worsened over the past years and that industrial development could adversely impact the setting of the property, part of which was considered as an extension at the 34th session of the World Heritage Committee (Brasilia, 2010). They further consider that for any future proposals, a Heritage Impact Assessment should be undertaken to consider the potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and its setting, as part of the wider Environmental Impact Assessments.  

d) Other issues

The UN Secretary General and the UNESCO Director General are considering an international initiative in collaboration with the State Party to raise awareness of the need for better preservation and management of the property possibly through the establishment of an International Expert Committee for the Safeguarding of Lumbini in the framework of the Japan FIT project.

Several restoration projects have been implemented with the assistance of international partners, among them the in-situ restorations of Ashoka Pillar, the Nativity Sculpture and the Marker Stone. Archeological surveys confirmed the presence of Pre-Ashokan layers in Maya Devi Temple.

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies hope that, through this initiative, a shared vision can be built by the national and international partners working at the property.

The Committee may take note of the progress made with respect to the development of the IMP but observe with concern the various development projects proposed and urge the need for a comprehensive Heritage Impact Assessments to be conducted to determine their potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The various missions and activities being undertaken should be in conformity with the IMP and the overall vision established for the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The State Party should further be encouraged to continue its efforts to reduce industrial activity in the property vicinity and develop programmes for environmental regeneration. 

Decision Adopted: 36 COM 7B.65

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B,

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.74, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Notes the progress in developing the Integrated Management Plan (IMP) as well as the conservation measures taken for the property;

4.   Requests the State Party to continue its work on the finalization of the Integrated Management Plan (IMP), and to continue its commitment to not approving any development project within the property or in the adjacent areas identified as having potential archaeological significance before the completion of the IMP and before conducting Heritage Impact Assessments, in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidelines on Heritage Impact Assessments for World Heritage cultural properties;

5.   Encourages the State Party to continue to develop also strategies to further reduce industrial activity in the vicinity of the property; and requests that for any future proposals an Heritage Impact Assessment should be undertaken to consider the potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and its setting, as part of a wider Environmental Impact Assessment, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

6.   Reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre detailed information on any proposed major restoration or new construction in the vicinity of the property, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

7.   Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014. 

Decision Adopted: 36 COM 8D

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/8D,

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 8D adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Acknowledges the excellent work accomplished by States Parties in the clarification of the delimitation of their World Heritage properties and thanks them for their efforts to improve the credibility of the World Heritage List;

4.   Recalls that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies will not be able to examine proposals for minor or significant modifications to boundaries of World Heritage properties whenever the delimitation of such properties as inscribed is unclear;

5.   Takes note of the clarifications of property boundaries and areas provided by the following States Parties in response to the Retrospective Inventory, as presented in the Annex of Document WHC-12/36.COM/8D:

6.   Requests the States Parties which have not yet answered the questions raised in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory to provide all clarifications and documentation as soon as possible and by 1 December 2012 at the latest.

Decision Adopted: 36 COM 8E

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/8E,

2.   Congratulates States Parties for the excellent work accomplished in the elaboration of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in their territories;

3.   Adopts the retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, as presented in the Annex of Document WHC-12/36.COM/8E, for the following World Heritage properties:

4.   Decides that retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in Danger will be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies in priority;

5.   Further decides that, considering the high number of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value to be examined, the order in which they will be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies will follow the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting, namely: