State of Conservation
Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
- Avalanche/ landslide
- Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
- Management systems/ management plan
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)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2021
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)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 11
Total amount approved : 166,625 USD
|2001||Request for a stone specialist for the assessment of ... (Approved)||5,000 USD|
|1992||Financial contribution for a training workshop on ... (Approved)||19,325 USD|
|1992||Organization of a training course for technicians, ... (Approved)||19,500 USD|
|1991||Preparation of a Master Plan for Machu Picchu (Approved)||40,000 USD|
|1991||Additional costs for technical consultancy for the ... (Approved)||6,000 USD|
|1991||Contribution to a monitoring exercise of the following ... (Approved)||3,300 USD|
|1991||Additional cost for technical consultancy for the ... (Approved)||4,000 USD|
|1989||Preparation of a technical cooperation project for a ... (Approved)||15,000 USD|
|1988||Contribution to purchase of fire-fighting equipment and ... (Approved)||20,000 USD|
|1986||Support for associated training activities related to ... (Approved)||8,000 USD|
|1986||Financial support for the implementation of the ... (Approved)||26,500 USD|
Missions to the property until 2021**
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
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021
On 11 January 2021, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/274/documents/, which reports the following:
- From January 2019, entry times and the length of the visit are regulated via a ticketing system according to carrying capacity, and transportation is coordinated with entrance and exit times. From June 2019, access to vulnerable monuments is regulated, and from 2020 the admission to the Ilaqta of Machu Picchu is set at 2,244 visitors per day according to the carrying capacity defined to preserve the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
- In response to the request for the Study of Alternative Transportation to the Ilaqta to be undertaken once the carrying capacity is defined, the terms of reference (ToR) for two studies were developed but put on hold until the preparation of a new study of admission capacity when the Machu Picchu Visitor Center is in operation;
- In July 2019, the State Party submitted documentation on the new Visitor Centre to be built on the lower stretch of the slope of Machu Picchu Mountain, near the Ruins Bridge (Puente Ruinas). According to the document on carrying capacity (July 2020), the archaeological survey of the area proposed for the construction is not yet terminated and the environmental compatibility is not yet approved;
- A working document on the Comprehensive Strategy of the Amazonian Access was completed in 2019, which devises guidelines for the future comprehensive management of the property and wider area. Furthermore, a working document on the Strategic Vision for the future management of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu / National Archeological Park of Machu Picchu (SHM-PANM) was prepared, which proposes guidelines and strategies for the management of the property and will guide its conservation and sustainability;
- Regarding the requested review of the SHM Public Use Plan 2017-2021 (PUP), technical-regulatory instruments to strengthen the public and social management of the property are listed: the PUP, Site Plan of the Intiwatana Sector - Ruins Bridge and sanction measures;
- Progress on a Machu Picchu-Choquequirao Biosphere Reserve proposal included a cultural and socio-economic characterization study by the Decentralized Directorate of Culture of Cusco (DDC-Cusco) and natural characterization by the National Service of Protected Natural Areas (SERNANP). Discussions with local municipalities will resume when COVID-19 allows;
- Following COVID-19 closure of the property to tourism in March 2020, actions were reoriented to the conservation and investigation of cultural heritage, maintenance of service infrastructure and implementation of biosecurity measures. Entrance fees were waived in November and December to stimulate visitation, disaster risk management activities undertaken for forest fire prevention in the PANM, and virtual training and awareness raising. The update of the 2015-2019 Master Plan was initiated and a new Master Plan is planned for approval in September 2021.
On 5 August 2019, the World Heritage Centre transmitted a letter to the State Party requesting information on the construction of the International Airport Chinchero-Cusco located 60 km from the property, covering 40,000 m2. On 23 September 2019, the State Party responded with numerous documents, for which an ICOMOS technical review was transmitted to the State Party in February 2020. On 18 March 2021, the State Party submitted a report on the Implementation of the Recommendations of the “Study of Carrying Capacity and Limits of Acceptable Change for the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary – 2015” and results obtained from 2016-2019, completed in July 2020.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021
The development of strategies and guidelines for the overall strategic management of the property, including a Comprehensive Strategy of the Amazonian Access and a Strategic Vision for the future management of the SHM-PANM, is welcome. Noting the planned approval of a new Master Plan in September 2021, it is recommended that the new Plan is effectively harmonized with the various existing strategies, visions, operational plans, regulations and sanction measures, and to ensure its effective implementation to protect and manage the cultural and natural heritage of the property.
It is welcomed that the review of the 2015 carrying capacity study was completed in 2020, and that visitor limits for the property have been established based on the carrying capacity in relation to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). It will be important for the State Party to ensure the effective implementation and enforcement of visitor management measures in relation to the defined carrying capacity. In this regard, it is also recalled that all infrastructure developments should be fully considered in the context of the OUV of the property. This includes the potential indirect and cumulative impacts of the new International Airport Chinchero-Cusco documented in the ICOMOS technical review, in particular from construction work, operational practices such as flight routes and visual and acoustic impact, increased numbers of visitors to the area, as well as new associated infrastructure and tourist accommodation. All of these points should be appropriately considered through Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) processes. Specifically, noting the projected potential increase in airport capacity to 5 million passengers in 2031 and 5.7 million in 2044, and increase in visitors to the property from 1.5 million in 2018 to 2.1 million in 2044, it is important that the maximum number of visitors to the property is determined not by the capacity of tourism infrastructure, but by the visitor limits defined as part of the property’s carrying capacity.
The information on the project for the new Visitor Centre, submitted by the State Party in July 2019, was reviewed in a very positive manner by ICOMOS. However, the HIA and the EIA for the prospective construction site have yet to be approved. Finally, it is of some concern that the local population is still against the construction plan.
Acknowledging that the State Party halted the Studies of Alternative Transportation to the Ilaqta following the Committee’s request to base these on a defined carrying capacity, now that this capacity has been set at 2,244 visitors per day, it is recommended to proceed with these studies as soon as possible, since the transportation to and from the llaqta is an important variable for all aspects related to the management of the property. It is strongly recommended that the projects and study results (e.g. Visitor Centre, carrying capacity and transport) be coordinated prior to taking any action. All plans for interventions should be assessed via Impact Assessments (HIA and EIA) and should also be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies.
The further progress towards a proposal for a Biosphere Reserve is noted, recalling the potential for nature-based tourism alternatives to diversify visitor experiences and activities in the region. It is also noted that the COVID-19 closure of the property has allowed for activities related to the investigation and conservation of cultural heritage (including the installation of stone blocks and wooden stairs in order to protect original surfaces), maintenance of service infrastructure and disaster risk management for forest fire prevention.
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.172
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
- Recalling Decisions 37 COM 7B.35, 39 COM 7B.36, 41 COM 7B.36 and 43 COM 7B.37, adopted at its 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013), 39th (Bonn, 2015), 41st (Krakow, 2017) and 43rd (Baku, 2019) sessions respectively,
- Welcomes the development of strategic management documents for the property, including a Comprehensive Strategy of the Amazonian Access and a Strategic Vision for the future management of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu/National Archeological Park of Machu Picchu (SHM-PANM);
- Noting the planned approval of a new Master Plan for the property in 2021 and the need for a new SHM Public Use Plan for 2022, requests the State Party to ensure their development is effectively harmonized with existing strategies, visions, operational plans, regulations and sanction measures, and to ensure their effective implementation to protect and manage the cultural and natural heritage of the property;
- Also welcomes the completion of the review of the 2015 carrying capacity study and the setting of visitor limits based on the defined carrying capacity to preserve the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and also requests the State Party to implement measures to effectively manage visitation, in line with the carrying capacity to ensure the OUV of the property;
- Also welcomes the information on the new Visitor Centre and encourages the State Party to finalize the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and to continue the information campaign in order to gain the support of the local population;
- Also noting the development of the International Airport Chinchero-Cusco 60 km from the property, further requests the State Party to ensure that the potential impacts of all infrastructure developments, including indirect and cumulative impacts such as increased tourism pressure, are appropriately assessed, in line with ICOMOS and IUCN impact assessment guidance documents, and also that visitation to the property is regulated based on the established carrying capacity of the property;
- Requests furthermore the State Party to undertake the Studies on Alternative Transportation to the Ilaqta based on the established carrying capacity and OUV of the property, prior to any decisions regarding new transportation projects;
- Reiterates its request for the State Party to ensure that any major infrastructure transport project, such as airports, railways, cable cars, tunnels 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, and that the corresponding Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) of the projects be submitted for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies before any projects are approved or works undertaken;
- Notes further progress towards a proposal for a Machu Picchu-Choquequirao Biosphere Reserve and also encourages the State Party to continue this process when COVID-19 conditions allow;
- Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session in 2023.
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”).