1.         Town of Luang Prabang (Lao People's Democratic Republic) (C 479bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1995

Criteria  (ii)(iv)(v)

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/479/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1994-1998)
Total amount approved: USD 92,242
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/479/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 200,000 (France / UNESCO Cooperation Agreement).

Previous monitoring missions

September–October 2007: UNESCO/Region Centre/Ville de Chinon international co-operation project mission; November 2007: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; January 2009: UNESCO/Ville de Chinon/ADUC cooperation program mission.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/479/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

In response to the request made by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session, the State Party submitted a State of conservation report on 17 January 2014 that itemizes the progress made in addressing the points raised in Decision 36 COM 7B.63.

The State Party reports that major development plans are now satisfactorily controlled. With regard to the Committee’s request that the hotel projects be altered to conform to the newly revised urban plan and be supported by a full Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), the State Party reports that two luxury hotel projects are currently in development. One, the Hotel Anathara with a total area of 4.5 ha, is located in south-east of the Luang Prabang, within the buffer zone. The State Party assures the Committee that the project has been studied with great care by the architectural team of the Maison du Patrimoine, and has been revised several times in order to conform to the rules recently established for the buffer zone and approved by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session (Decision 37 COM 8B.47). However, the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies note that a mission was undertaken in March 2014 within the framework of the France-UNESCO Convention and that it recommends that the position of the Hotel Anathara building, currently too close to the Mekong river, should be revised to respect the visual aspect of the river. 

The second project is the hotel Yunna Copper Luang Prabang Laos, also located within the buffer zone, with a total area of 16ha; 6 ha of this is to be preserved as rice fields while the remaining 10 ha is earmarked for the construction of the hotel building. The State Party reassures the Commitee that the same criteria will be applied to this second hotel project.

Regarding the proposed new town in Chompeth Valley, and the plan to construct a Dam in the Mekong River 60km from Luang Prabang, the State Party reports that these two projects are still pending, as the investors who expressed their interest in 2008 have not returned to the relevant authorities. Therefore, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for the Mekong Dam to be constructed 60 km upstream of the property have not been submitted.

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

In light of the progress made by the State Party, it is considered that the main concerns of the World Heritage Committee are currently being addressed. However, the State Party is encouraged to continue with strict application of the PSMV (Plan de sauvegarde et de mise en valeur) in controlling the development pressure in the property and the buffer zone to prevent any threats to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. In addition, the State Party could revive the Heritage Fund, established in 2012 to finance the Maison du Patrimoine. 

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.98

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Takes note with satisfaction of the measures taken by the States Parties concerned to address its previous requests to mitigate the threats on the Outstanding Universal Value of the following World Heritage properties:
  1. Encourages the States Parties concerned to pursue their efforts to ensure the conservation of World Heritage properties;
  2.  Reminds the States Parties concerned to inform the World Heritage Centre in due course about any major development project that may negatively impact the Outstanding Universal Value of a property, before any irreversible decisions are made, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.