Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (Peru) (C/N 274)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1983
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/
Requests approved: 0
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
- Management systems/ management plan (Delays in reviewing the Master Plan and developing detailed yearly operational plans, and inadequate budgetary support for effective implementation; No evaluation of transport options, related geological studies, or the impact of bus traffic on increasing the risk of landslides ; Lack of effective management of the property; Lack of risk management plans related to natural disasters
- Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation (Uncontrolled visitor access to the western part of the Sanctuary)
- Inadequate governance system including lack of adequate coordination of activities between different institutions and stakeholders involved in the management of the property (issue resolved)
- Lack of impact studies related to the carrying capacity of the Citadel and Inca Trail (issue resolved)
- Delays in the development and implementation of a Public Use Plan (issue resolved)
- Delays in implementing urban planning and control measures for Machu Picchu Village, the main point of entry to the property, which has impacted on the visual values of the property (issue resolved)
Illustrative material see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/274/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019
In July 2018, the State Party submitted information on the construction of a cable car within the property for review by the Advisory Bodies. A technical review was transmitted to the State Party on 29 August 2018. On 11 January 2019, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report and subsequently additional information was submitted on 5 March 2019, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/274/documents/. Progress in a number of conservation issues raised by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in both reports, as follows:
- Internal Regulations for the Machu Picchu Management Unit (UGM) were drafted by both the Decentralized Bureau of Culture-Cusco of the Ministry of Culture (DDC-C) and the National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP), and are ready for approval by UGM’s Steering Committee, to take place most probably in June 2019. The new regulations include the District Municipality of Santa Teresa within the UGM;
- An assessment of the 2015 Study of Carrying Capacity and Limit of Acceptable Change has been initiated to address the Committee’s request to review them on the basis of conservation needs and application of clear limits to tourist numbers, and will be concluded in June 2019;
- Two use regulations were approved in 2017, namely the Regulations on Tourism Visitation and Use in the archaeological site (llaqta), and the Regulations on the Tourism Use of the Inca Trail network. Likewise, violations against cultural and natural heritage are sanctioned by specific national regulations;
- Elaboration of the Visitor Centre project will be finalized in March 2019. The bidding process and construction are expected for the first semester of 2020. Alongside, a state-of-the-art review on historical information related to Machu Picchu is being undertaken, in view of providing inputs to the future collection and interpretation system of the Visitor Centre;
- The DDC-C, in coordination with SERNANP, has prepared the terms of reference for a Technical Study for Alternative Transport to the llaqta of Machu Picchu, expected to be launched in April 2019. Previously, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) had undertaken a similar study, which is expected to serve as input for the DDC-C study. Both studies will be officially submitted in their preliminary versions to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies. Meanwhile, the UGM Steering Committee endorsed the UGM Technical Committee decision to halt any project to access the llaqta before the DDC-C conducts its final Study for Alternative Transport;
- There are ongoing efforts to develop a Machu Picchu-Choquequirao Biosphere Reserve proposal, including initiation of studies for the cultural and socio-economic aspects and natural heritage. Completion of both studies is expected for March 2019 and awareness-raising activities are foreseen in the 19 municipalities that would comprise the Biosphere Reserve;
- Considerable progress has been made towards the implementation of the 2015-2019 Master Plan, with over 80% of the proposed activities implemented to date or ongoing.
Finally, implementation of other activities is reported by the State Party, towards the achievement of an overall vision for the property, as follows:
- Assessment of the Strategic Vision for the future management of the property;
- Assessment of the Comprehensive Strategy for the Amazonian Access;
- Creation of national regulatory measures to control solid waste within protected areas;
- Solid waste campaigns and the soon finalisation of a Municipal Solid Waste Management Plan by the District Municipality of Machu Picchu, and the establishment of a municipal regulation to control gravel and sand extraction from rivers.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies
The State Party made significant progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2017 Reactive Monitoring mission to the property. Particularly, the efforts for the reinforcement of UGM’s role and the full operation of both Technical and Steering Committees are welcomed, as well as the forthcoming adoption of its Internal Regulations, and the inclusion of the District Municipality of Santa Teresa in the UGM.
Regarding use regulations, information on existing national and municipal regulations that sanction violations against cultural and natural heritage is noted. The existence of various levels of use regulations confirms that further institutional harmonization is required. Moreover, the Public Use Plan still needs to be complemented with a detailed implementation plan and operative regulations referring not only to tourism but also including other uses of the property, which will be identified on the basis of a detailed assessment of the potential impact of different activities in the wider setting of Machu Picchu. Such review could eventually integrate the existing specific national regulations on cultural and natural heritage and other municipal ordinances, as part of a sole overarching regulatory framework for uses.
Regarding the definition of the carrying capacity and the application of clear limits to visitor numbers, it is recommended that the Committee, recalling its previous repeated concerns, deeply regret the lack of progress on such urgent measures and request the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the abovementioned assessment of the 2015 Study of Carrying Capacity as a matter of priority, for review by the Advisory Bodies. Likewise, the State Party should be recalled that the assessment must focus on the attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and include conservation needs (such as erosion, disturbance to fauna and flora, solid waste and pollution, among others) as well as visitor safety and experience. Moreover, once completed, the carrying capacity must be respected by applying clear limits to visitor numbers, along with the regulation and differentiation of visitor flows, and the promotion of alternative visitor sites outside the llaqta.
Regarding the Technical Study for Alternative Transport to the llaqta, it will be essential to ensure that the attributes of the property’s OUV are fully taken into consideration in its development. Moreover, it is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to finalize the Technical Study for Alternative Transport only once the overall carrying capacity limit of the property and of each of its components, that includes the maximum number of visitors, is clearly defined. The study should also consider the analysis of present facilities, options for improvement, alternative solutions and mechanisms to regulate and manage the number of visitors, as previously recommended by the 2017 mission, and strongly reaffirmed in the Advisory Bodies’ technical review on the cable car project provided in August 2018. It is recommended that the Committee also consider expressing its utmost concern that new means of access to the llaqta are envisaged or implemented without the completion of these studies and benchmarks.
Concerning the long-awaited need for a more comprehensive vision for the property, the assessment of the Strategic Vision for its future management, and the assessment of the Comprehensive Strategy of the Amazonian Access, are noted. Strengthening of solid waste management at national and municipal levels is also welcomed. Finally, as for the Biosphere Reserve proposal, the Committee may welcome the current efforts in envisaging options for nature-based tourism in complement to cultural tourism in the region, which will diversify visitor experiences and activities, and increase the sustainable use of the property.
It would be opportune to recall to the State Party that all interventions, including means of access, tourism development, visitor facilities, infrastructural works and urban development, among others, should have the objective of conserving the OUV of the property, and that the guidance and advice notes of World Heritage standards - IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessments and the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage Properties – should be strictly applied, and that studies and/or assessments should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies.
Decision Adopted: 43 COM 7B.37
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decisions 37 COM 7B.35, 39 COM 7B.36 and 41 COM 7B.36, adopted at its 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013), 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 41st (Krakow, 2017) sessions respectively,
- Welcomes the progress made by the State Party in implementing the recommendations of the 2017 Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, particularly the full functioning of the Machu Picchu Management Unit’s (UGM) Technical and Steering Committees, the future adoption of its Internal Regulations and inclusion of the District Municipality of Santa Teresa within the UGM;
- Also welcomes the implementation of national regulatory measures to control solid waste in heritage-designated areas and the efforts by the District Municipality of Machu Picchu in strengthening solid waste management;
- Deeply regrets that no sufficient progress has been made in addressing critical issues that may have an impact on the property’s conditions of integrity, namely, the lack of definition of its carrying capacity and the application of clear limits to visitor numbers;
- Urges the State Party to ensure that the ongoing assessment of the 2015 Study of the Carrying Capacity focusses on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and, once completed, be respected by applying clear limits to visitor numbers along with the regulations and differentiation of visitor flows, and the promotion of alternative visitor sites outside the llaqta, and requests the State Party to finalize and submit it, by 1 December 2019, to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
- Notes that two different Studies for Alternative Transport to the llaqta are being conducted, and supports the decision of the UGM Steering Committee to halt any new project to access the llaqta before a final Study of Alternative Access be conducted by the Ministry of Culture;
- Also requests the State Party that the final Study for Alternative Transport, to be conducted by the Ministry of Culture, be undertaken once the overall carrying capacity and that of each element of the property, including maximum numbers of visitors, is defined, and expresses its utmost concern that new means of access to the archaeological site (llaqta) are envisaged or implemented, without the completion of these studies and benchmarks;
- Also notes the ongoing efforts on the reviewing of existing documents and their harmonization into an integral vision for the whole property, and more particularly the assessment of the Strategic Vision for the future management of the property and the assessment of the Comprehensive Strategy for the Amazonian Access;
- Further requests the State Party to review the Public Use Plan for the property with a detailed implementation plan and operative regulations referring not only to tourism, but also taking into account other uses and existing regulations and sanctioning measures, as well as municipal legislation, as part of a sole overarching regulatory framework of different uses within the property;
- Further notes ongoing efforts towards a proposal for a Machu Picchu-Choquequirao Biosphere Reserve and further welcomes the development of options for ecological tourism, which diversifies visitor activities and increases the sustainable use of the property;
- Also urges the State Party to ensure that the guidance and advice notes of World Heritage standards - IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment and the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage - are strictly applied for all interventions in the property, including means of access, tourism development, visitor facilities, infrastructural works and urban development, among others, and that corresponding assessments be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
- Requests furthermore the State Party to ensure that any major infrastructure transport project, such as airports, railways, cable cars, tunels and roads, are rigorously assessed at an early stage of planning in terms of their impact on the property’s OUV, on its wider setting and on the proposed future Machu Picchu-Choquequirao Biosphere Reserve;
- Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, 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 45th session in 2021.