1.         Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (Peru) (C/N 274)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (i)(iii)(vii)(ix)

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/274/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1986-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 166,625
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/274/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 15,000 Extra-Budgetary Spanish FIT support for the social participation workshop requested by the World Heritage Committee (Decision 30 COM 7B.35)

Previous monitoring missions

1989, 1990, 1991, 2003 and 2005: technical missions; October 1997: IUCN/ICOMOS joint technical mission; October 1999: World Heritage Centre, IUCN/ICOMOS joint technical mission;  June 2002 and April 2007: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring missions; January 2009:  Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ICOMOS Reinforced Monitoring mission; February 2010: World Heritage Centre technical emergency mission; May 2012: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN Advisory mission; January 2016: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ICOMOS/ICCROM Advisory mission; February 2017: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/274/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

A joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ICOMOS/ICCROM Advisory mission visited the property in January 2016. In February 2016, the State Party submitted a progress report, and in December 2016, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property. Subsequently a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission visited the property in February 2017. Both mission reports and summaries of both State Party reports are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/274/documents/.  Finally, additional information regarding a road project in Machu Picchu Village (Alameda Siete Maravillas) was submitted in February 2017, and further, in April 2017, information, regarding the proposal for the creation of a Biosphere Reserve and progress in the implementation of the Master Plan.

The State Party reports the following:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies

The measures taken by the State Party to implement the recommendations of the 2016 Advisory mission and previous Committee’s decisions 37 COM 7B.35 and 39 COM 7B.36 should be welcomed, as they have been comprehensively addressed by the State Party, with sufficient progress to overcome the threats built up over a period of six years.

An Advisory mission with a Workshop followed by a Reactive Monitoring mission a year later proved to be a successful method to provide technical support to the State Party in relation to strengthening governance arrangements, and in response to the very specific circumstances of this property.

The missions found that there is a new political will to protect the property through a joint, multi-institutional effort. Nevertheless, although governance arrangements have improved, this positive momentum will still need fostering and there remain specific challenges that require the Committee’s attention.

The Reactive Monitoring mission confirmed that in spite of increasing visitor numbers and challenges in the inhabited portion of the site, the archaeological site (Llaqta), and most of the nature reserve surrounding it are in an adequate state of conservation, although the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property is still vulnerable to visitors and development pressures. 

The establishment of the UGM, as well as the adoption of the Master Plan in 2015 have improved the governance of the property and its wider landscape and are well noted. Especially the future inclusion of the Santa Teresa district municipality (without territory within the property, but an important gateway to the property from the Amazonian side), it is a clear sign of commitment of UGM to be inclusive and to consider a wider context for the management of the property.

Efforts to improve visitors’ management at the property are noted, including regulation of the Amazonian (Western) Access, the development of the PUP, and infrastructure improvements in the hiking trail along the train track. However, the Reactive Monitoring mission noted that developments are still driven by the desire to increase the number of visitors and their service offer, rather than the property’s conservation needs. Development of tourism infrastructure has to be closely regulated and controlled in order to preserve the natural and cultural values of the area, as well as the visual integrity of the property. New infrastructure, such as the visitor centres, Alameda Siete Maravillas, and infrastructure along the Amazonian (Western) Access, should be limited to what is absolutely necessary to guarantee visitors’ safety to visitors and fully guided by the conservation of the property. Potential impacts from proposed developments on the OUV of the property should be rigorously assessed in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessments and the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage properties.

The development of diverse carrying capacity studies is appreciated, while noting that they are also driven by the desire to increase the number of visitors and not focused on conservation. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to identify and enforce carrying capacities with the primary objective of conservation of OUV, including addressing problems related to erosion, disturbance to fauna and flora, and increasing solid waste and general pollution. Once completed, carrying capacity should be enforced by applying clear limits to visitor numbers along with the promotion of alternative visitor sites outside the Llaqta.

Recalling the Committee’s previously repeated concerns over the absence of use regulations, the approved PUP is a good step forward to a detailed assessment of how the current uses and the proposed activities to be developed in the property may affect the OUV of the property, but should, however, be complemented with a more detailed implementation plan and operative regulations based on assessments of the potential impact of these activities on conservation objectives.  Furthermore, the approved touristic use regulations refer only to tourist use, while the other types of use mentioned in the PUP (including agriculture, transport, and research) are not included. Regulations and sanctions including these types of uses should therefore be developed.

Regarding Machu Picchu District Urban Regulation, it is recommended that the Committee commend the State Party for the strong commitment shown in the implementation of the Urban Planning Scheme, which has achieved significant improvements in the urban landscape and the visual aspect of the village. 

Following the adoption of the Risk Reduction and Prevention Plan further effort is required to remove remaining buildings in high risk areas (e.g. on the banks of the Urubamba River), in close coordination between all levels of government.

Moreover, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to fully implement the recommendations made by the 2017 Reactive Monitoring mission, in order to resolve all remaining issues, including those mentioned above.

Concerning new developments, despite references made by the State Party during both missions to new infrastructure transport projects, no official information was provided in this regard and an updated technical assessment was, therefore, not possible. However given their potential closeness to the property and the larger volume of tourists they may bring to the region, it is essential that the State Party submit, once available and prior to their approval or implementation, detailed information on the proposed infrastructure transport projects, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

Finally, it is suggested that the Committee recommend the State Party to develop an integral vision for the whole property, based on attributes of OUV and their conservation needs, rather than primarily on tourism, and linked to an integral natural and cultural monitoring system, with defined indicators, in order to quickly identify threats and address them in a timely manner. The approval of UGM new regulation is a first step and will certainly contribute towards the implementation of this integral vision for the property.

Decision Adopted: 41 COM 7B.36

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B.Add.2,
  2. Recalling Decisions 37 COM 7B.35 and 39 COM 7B.36, adopted at its 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) and 39th (Bonn, 2015) sessions respectively,
  3. Notes with appreciation the measures taken by the State Party to implement the recommendations of the 2016 Advisory mission and previous Committee decisions,
  4. Requests the State Party to fully implement the recommendations of the 2017 Reactive Monitoring mission;
  5. Commends the State Party for the reinforcement of the property’s Management Unit UGM (Unidad de Gestión del Santuario Histórico de Machu Picchu), which improved the governance of the property and the wider landscape, and also requests the State Party to finalize the approval of the UGM’s new regulation;
  6. Also commends the State Party for the strong commitment shown in the implementation of the Urban Plan of Machu Picchu district, which has achieved significant improvements in the urban landscape;
  7. Takes note of the completion of carrying capacity studies, regulation for the Amazonian Access, and the development of a Public Use Plan (PUP) and Touristic Use regulations for the property; notes with concern that carrying capacity, use regulations and developments in the property are not based on the primary objective of conservation of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and further requests the State Party to:
    1. Review the carrying capacities on the basis of conservation needs and application of clear limits to visitors,
    2. Develop use regulations and sanctions to other types of uses beyond tourism,
    3. Ensure that proposed developments are rigorously assessed in terms of their impact on OUV, in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment and the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage properties;
  8. Notes the proposed development of several major infrastructure projects in the region, and requests furthermore the State Party, to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, detailed information on planned infrastructure transport projects in the region, that might impact the OUV, prior to their approval or implementation, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Recommends that the State Party define an overall vision for the property, based on the attributes of OUV and conservation needs, rather than primarily on tourism, and linked to an integral natural and cultural monitoring system, with defined indicators, in order to identify remaining and potential new threats in a timely and systematic manner;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019.