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 provided to the property: USD 15,000 for the social participation workshop requested by the World Heritage Committee (Decision 30 COM 7B.35). 

Previous monitoring missions

Six missions since 1997: IUCN / ICOMOS mission October 1997; World Heritage Centre / IUCN / ICOMOS mission October 1999; World Heritage Centre / IUCN / ICOMOS mission 25 February-1 March 2002; World Heritage Centre visit 23 October 2003; World Heritage Centre mission 15-16 April 2005; World Heritage Centre / IUCN / ICOMOS mission 23-30 April, 2007. 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Delays in reviewing the master plan and developing detailed yearly operational plans, and inadequate budgetary support for effective implementation;

b) No evaluation of transport options, related geological studies, or the impact of bus traffic on increasing the risk of landslides;

c) Lack of impact studies related to the carrying capacity of the Citadel and Inca Trail;

d) Delays in the development and implementation of a public use plan;

e) Delays in implementing urban planning and control measures for the village of Aguascalientes, immediately adjacent to the property and its main point of entry, which has impacted on the visual values of the property;

f) Lack of effective management of the property;

g) Lack of risk management plans related to natural disasters;

h) Inadequate governance arrangements including lack of adequate coordination of activities between different institutions and stakeholders involved in site management. 

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008

The State Party submitted, on September 30 of 2007,an updated Annual Operation Plan (POA) prepared by the Management Unit (UGMP). The State Party did not submit the requested strategy regarding control of the Western Access of the Sanctuary as requested by the World Heritage Committee’s Decision 31 COM 7B.45.

On 7 March 2008 the State Party submitted a progress report in Spanish on activities implemented within the property. This report includes information from the National Cultural Institute (INC) and the National Institute of Natural Resources (INRENA) but does not include inputs from other participating institutions in the Management Unit (UGMP), such as the Ministry of Tourism (MINCETUR) and the Regional Government.

According to the State Party report INC has limited its efforts to the area of the citadel resulting in better management of tourist flows around the citadel, and improved interpretation strategy, cleaning and consolidating the Inca drainage system, improving official access facilities at the Citadel and repairing the Inca trail paths in the buffer and core areas of the Sanctuary.

a) Management plan and governance

The management unit for the property was re-established 19 July 2007. Minimal implementation of the priority actions identified at the 2007 workshop on participatory management has been achieved. No actions have been undertaken yet to update the management plan by a participatory process. In terms of governance, the UGMP has not been able to enhance institutional coordination, for example with the Ministry of Transport and Communications or urban planning institutions.

b) Evaluation of transport options, landslide risks and risk management plans

IRENA has not yet finalized a map showing the risk assessment for the property. This is essential for preparing the risk preparedness plan requested by the World Heritage Committee. No mention was made in the report on fully assessing and addressing the risk of landslides on the Hiram Bingham Road, where most landslides have occurred in previous years. Actions have been limited to prohibiting the cleaning of buses on the road, which has been previously associated with accelerated erosion.

No actions have been undertaken to clean the Alcamayo Riverbed or reinforce the river retaining walls throughout Aguascalientes, as proposed by the 2007 Monitoring Mission. Moreover the contract established by INC and the University of Kyoto on landslide risk assessment and technical support was cancelled; no final report was officially submitted and no capacity building programme or transference of knowledge were offered to local technicians. The terms of reference for the risk preparedness plan have been discussed by the UGMP, but the National Institute of Civil Defense (INDECI) has not yet approved the proposed terms of reference, which is a requirement before a tendering process can be implemented.

As noted by the State Party on 22 August 2007, a fire affected 161 ha. of the Sanctuary. As a result of the incident, a monitoring system has been installed to control the high-tension cable network on a permanent basis.Fire prevention system trials are also underway in the area of Torontoy.INRENA recognizes that the lack of a fire detection system in the Sanctuary, combined with potential threats from flammable fuels that are required for management operations and the lack of adequate policies, regulations and sanctions for infractions that could lead to fires continue to be a significant cause for concern.  

In addition to the issues noted above, the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies were informed in January 2008 of the re-establishment of helicopter flights over the Sanctuary, with landings at El Rocotal, 2km from the Citadel, and 1km from the Aguascalientes. The World Heritage Centre has requested that official information be provided by the State Party on this issue. Over the past 9 years the World Heritage Committee has reiterated the need to define, through the development and implementation of a transportation plan, appropriate alternatives for transportation to the Sanctuary supported by studies on their possible impacts as noted in Decision 28 COM 15B.38. Collectively, these developments have a significant impact on the outstanding universal value of the property in relation to the archaeological, landscape and aesthetic values of the property that are the basis for its inscription.

c) Lack of impact studies related to the carrying capacity of the Citadel and Inca Trail and delays in the development and implementation of a public use plan

INC has developed an Emergency Plan of Machu Picchu focused on visitor management of the Citadel, which indicates alternative paths to avoid bottlenecks in strategic areas of the citadel, and establishes new itineraries and alternative entry and exit points. The State Party also included information on the proposed installation of a fibre optic system at the Sanctuary to monitor the flow of tourists and to provide internet and phone access, however no Environmental Impact Assessment of this development was included in the report. The State Party report noted that the UGMP has elaborated “Rules for a Controlled Use of the Road Santa Teresa-Colpani-Rail Station” (western access of the Sanctuary) which has not yet been approved by the Regional Direction of Transport and Communication, although this document was not included in the State Party report as requested in Decision 31 COM 7B.45. The State Party report also notes a range of unresolved issues. These include an increase in the number of visitors arriving at the Citadel at 5:30 am via unauthorized access or paths, which demonstrate that reinforced security measures taken over the last five months, have not been effective. It is likely that visitation will be increased as a result of the listing of the property as one of the “new” Seven Wonders of the World by a private initiative.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies continue to receive information on problems associated with uncontrolled traffic, poor road conditions and unsafe tourist services which, at their most serious, seem to have caused the death of two teenagers in November 2007. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are concerned that despite the urgent request of the World Heritage Committee last year, no public information programme has been developed to advise visitors and tourism operators of the landslide, fire, building failure and health risks associated with overnight stays at Aguascalientes.

The implementation of the public use plan continues to suffer delays due to the lack of finance. The State Party decided to call for tenders for the preparation of a public use plan. A second call for tenders was opened for a tourism public use plan; and a third call is proposed for a study on the carrying capacity of the property. The State Party reported that these three processes are on hold due to a lack of resources. The proposal to have three different studies instead of an integrated approach, as recommended by the 2007 monitoring mission, is likely to lead to duplicated and ineffective efforts.

d) Delays in implementing urban planning and control measures for the adjacent village of Aguascalientes which have impacted the property

No means have been put in place to prevent further uncontrolled construction in Aguascalientes. No urgent measures have been taken to avoid the rapidly increasing population growth of the village, as recommended by the reactive monitoring mission in 2007. The growth of Aguascalinetes presents a major threat to the World Heritage property, accentuated by new pedestrian and vehicular access points in the western part of the Sanctuary.  

Urban planning regulations continue to be ineffective and no action has been undertaken in terms of visual disorder, environmental impact, uncontrolled constructions, and the increased number of buildings set up on the banks of the Vilcanota River. A new seven floor hotel has been constructed without permission. The State Party also reported that 43 unauthorized constructions have been registered in the protected area in recent months which is affecting the scenic values of the property. Nor has any adequate solution been found for solid and liquid waste which is affecting the quality of the water in the river flowing through the property. In terms of territorial planning, no diagnostic study on local and national transportation strategy has been prepared.

The report explained that the implementation of urban planning is the responsibility of the municipality of Aguascalientes, and that the establishment of a department to deal with this task is planned for 2008. No information have been provided on the role and responsibilities of this proposed department, nor on its composition, task or functioning.

e) Absence of authority in managing the property

In summary there is a continued lack of progress in implementing most of the decisions of the World Heritage Committee, which have resulted from six monitoring missions over the last ten years. A series of new problems continues to arise as a result of the lack of adequate integrated management, poor governance and institutional coordination. There does not appear to be either sufficient political commitment and/or technical capacity of the State Party to effectively address the needs of the property.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies conclude that there is clear evidence that the property, and specifically the values that led to its inscription on the World Heritage List, are in danger. The threats illustrated in paragraphs 179 and 180 of the Operational Guidelines already affect the cultural and natural values of the property, and have the strong potential to continue to increase.

Key specific threats include:

(i) The failure of governance mechanisms in establishing effective and integrated management of the Sanctuary, and the lack of participation of all stakeholders in the development and review of the management plan.

(ii) The lack of effective measures to address serious risks threatening the property such as  from landslides, the danger of building collapse and fire.

(iii) The uncontrolled growth of Aguascalinetes, resulting in direct and indirect impacts from development affecting the property, and associated risks to visitors from unsanitary conditions, health threats and social conflicts.

(iv) Inadequate and unplanned visitor management resulting in uncontrolled use, inadequate access planning related to the capacity of the property, congestion in both Aguascalientes and at the Machu Picchu Citadel, and a lack of control of the western access to the property.

The factors threatening the integrity of the property are amenable to improvement by human action and therefore also meet the requirements of Paragraph 181 of the Operational Guidelines.

The property should remain on the Danger List until the effective implementation of the following corrective measures which are in line with previous recommendations of the World Heritage Committee and those proposed by the 2007 monitoring mission:

(i) Establishment of improved and effective governance and integrated management of the property, particularly the Sanctuary, and involving the participation of all key stakeholders.

(ii) Establishment of an effective management plan addressing all of the relevant cultural and natural values of the properties and an adequately resourced means of its implementation.

(iii) Development and implementation of a comprehensive risk reduction plan to identify and respond effectively to the range of risks noted within this report.

(iv) Development and implementation of a urban plan for the Aguascalientes to effectively address the following issues which impact on the aesthetic values and integrity of the property and the experience and safety of visitors:

a. the high risk of landslides caused by developments on very steep slopes which affect the stability of the slopes;

b. the absence of control on the amount, location, height and quality of the construction of the buildings;

c. the limited capacity of medical and fire services for the local population and visitors;

d. the impact of solid and liquid waste and lack of adequate disposal systems;

e. the level of poverty and problems of conflict of interest between illegal tourism developmentand decision makers.

(v) Development and implementation of effective plans to manage visitor use and provide alternatives for transport and access, addressing the increasing congestion of the Aguascalientes and the Machu Picchu Citadel.

 

The state of conservation required for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, the detailed corrective measures, and the timeframe for their implementation should be developed by the State Party in collaboration with other stakeholders of the property, as well as with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that inclusion on the List of World Heritage in Danger could be an important means to secure the political commitment at the highest level for the conservation and management of this property. It also provides a means to promote enhanced international cooperation to assist the State Party to obtain additional technical and financial resources required for the long term conservation of this property. 

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 32 COM 7B.44

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 31 COM 7B.45, adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007),

3. Taking note of the Report on the Implementation of Decision 31 COM 7B.45, submitted by the State Party by 1 February 2008, and of the additional Report issued by the concerned Management Unit on June 2008;

4. Regrets that the State Party did not submit its report in one of the working languages of the World Heritage Convention (French or English);

5. Takes note of the reported progress made by the re-established Integrated Management Unit in preserving the archaeological and natural values of the property and the awareness programmes for the local population, particularly with respect to the implementation of a participative strategy on the control of the western access to the property, the issuance of official tourist information on the risks of passing the night in Aguas Calientes village (Machu Picchu Pueblo), the evaluation of landslide risks and risks management plans, and to adequate budgetary improvements;

6. Further notes the need to sustain efforts in addressing a series of critical ongoing issues identified in past decisions of the World Heritage Committee, including:

a) improvement of effective governance mechanisms for the property,

b) further implementation of effective measures to address risks to the property,

c) adequate management and control of Aguas Calientes growth, and of derived impacts on the property through adequate infrastructure including improved waste disposal systems,

d) adequate visitor management;

7. Expresses its concern over the potentially negative consequences to the aesthetic values of the property by authorizing helicopter flights over the Sanctuary, and urges the State Party to make a scientific evaluation of the risks of this practice;

8. Also urges the State Party to further intensify action, supported by adequate human and financial resources, to sustain effective implementation of the following measures:

a) further improvement of effective governance and integrated management of the property and particularly the Sanctuary, through the participation of all key stakeholders in the review and further implementation of the Management Plan;

b) further development and implementation of a comprehensive risk preparedness assessment to identify and respond effectively to the range of risks noted above;

c) development and implementation of an urban plan for Aguas Calientes to address effectively the following issues:

i) risk due to landslides;

ii) effective enforcement of the urban plan, particularly with regard to the number and height of buildings;

iii) controls on properties and the quality of the construction of the buildings;

iv) adequate capacities of medical and fire services for the local population and visitors;

v) more adequate management of solid and liquid waste and of adequate disposal systems;

vi) additional measures to support sustainable economic and community development consistent with the values of the property;

vii) development and effective implemention of plans to manage visitor use and provide alternatives for transport and access to the property, addressing the increasing congestion of Aguas Calientes;

9. Requests the World Heritage Centre, the Advisory Bodies and the international community to work closely with the State Party to provide additional technical and financial support to enhance the local and national capacity to urgently and effectively implement these measures, and requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS / IUCN mission to develop an action plan for the property, as part of the revised Management Plan;

10. Also requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to develop a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

11. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2009, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and progress achieved on the implementation of the measures for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.

12. Decides to apply the Reinforced Monitoring mechanism to the property for the following two years and asks in particular that the Committee be informed of the results of the Reactive Monitoring mission and on any information relevant for the conservation of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

13. Strongly urges the State Party to consider requesting inscription of the property on the World Heritage List in Danger.