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 7,200 from the Italian Funds-in-Trust in 2006 

Previous monitoring missions

8-9 May 2004: World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission,; 13-18 November 2005: World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission.  

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

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

b) Impact on the archaeological remains as well as on the visual integrity of the property by the Maya Devi Temple constructed in 2002.

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008

On 1 February 2008, the State Party submitted a progress report containing three sections:

a) Response to requests made by the World Heritage Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006):

No development works have been carried out within the boundaries and in the buffer zone of the property pending the completion of the management plan. However, in the report, references are made to further work on excavation of the surroundings which has been undertaken and the identification of potential areas for possible future excavations. As stressed in the 2006 state of conservation report, it is important to link these activities to an overall research strategy, which will be part of the integrated management plan.

b) Preparation of an integrated management plan:

The report outlines the project to develop an integrated management plan for the property. The proposal has a sound basis and reflects the commitment of the Lumbini Development Trust and the Department of Archaeology.

The State Party stresses the importance of defining and preserving the site-specific elements and attributes that carry its outstanding universal value, which is related to two fundamental aspects: (1) as the birthplace of the Lord Buddha, the sacred area of Lumbini is one of the holiest places of Buddhism, and (2) its archaeological remains contain important evidence about the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage centres from a very early period. To maintain the outstanding universal value of the property, it is necessary to protect the tangible and intangible attributes that represent and embody the two above-mentioned aspects.

The report outlines progress in interaction programmes which have been undertaken, including stakeholder meetingsduring the preparation of the integrated management plan.

c) Follow-up actions in response to the recommendations of the 2005 mission

Another crucial issue raised by the 2005 mission was the impact of the newly constructed (in 2002) Maya Devi Temple on the archaeological remains, as well as on the visual integrity of the property. The World Heritage Committee requested the State Party to implement the corrective measures suggested by the 2005 mission, as follows:

i) for the protection of the fragile archaeological remains

With regard to the protection of the archaeological remains, which are threatened by ground water and humidity, collection of data has been initiated but no monitoring system nor strategy have been developed. The State Party has suggested that there should be an overall approach to the preservation of archaeological remains, which it hopes to finalise during the preparation of the management plan. With regard to the corrective measures proposed for the Temple, waterproofing of the roof, removal of the external staircases have been implemented.

ii) visual aspects of the Maya Devi Temple.

The State Party is going to develop an overall approach towards the rehabilitation of the Maya Devi Temple within the framework of the management plan and implement the remaining corrective measures.


The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider these proposals to be reasonable. In the meantime, measures necessary to control the ground water and monitoring should continue. 

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


Decision Adopted: 32 COM 7B.75

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.58, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3. Notes the action taken by the State Party and its commitment to comply with the requests of the World Heritage Committee;

4. Requests the State Party to continue its work on the development of the integrated management plan, and particularly to:

a) draft, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, an updated Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, including the conditions of integrity and authenticity;

b) avoid carrying out any development project pending completion of the integrated management plan;

c) develop a strategy to ensure the long-term protection of the significant archaeological remains of the property and continue with surveying and monitoring the ground water levels and movements, under and adjacent to the Maya Devi Temple;

d) develop a strategy for the rehabilitation of the Maya Devi temple incorporating the recommendations and the implementation of the corrective measures proposed by the 2005 mission;

e) submit a programme of activities with time frame for c) and d) to the World Heritage Centre;

5. Calls upon the international community to provide technical and financial support to assist the State Party in these activities;

6. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2009, the updated Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of authenticity and integrity and a report on the progress made on the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.