Huangguoshu Scenic Area
National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO
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Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau is located in the south of China. It belongs to the watershed region in the karst plateau rising between Sichuan Basin and Guangxi Hill. Since the Tertiary Period, with the strong neotectonic uplift of Himalayan orogeny and tropical and subtropical humid climates, the strong erosion of the northern Yangtze River system and the southern Pearl River system has formed the plateau-gorge landform structure, which is often distinguished by the geomorphological erosion cycle knickpoint type waterfall. The plateau-gorge landform structure is composed of two significantly different but closely related geomorphic units - the plateau area and the gorge area. In the background of the special regional units, Huangguoshu Scenic Area is created with completely different but closely related landform type, development and evolution, landscape characteristics, living environment, human habitation, land use, and regional culture.
Huangguoshu Scenic Spot:
- Huangguoshu Waterfall N 25 57 08 E 105 40 05
- Dishuitan Waterfall N 25 59 29 E 105 36 21
- Gaodang Ancient Village N 26 04 02 E 105 40 25
Getuhe Scenic Spot: N 25 42 21 E 106 15 07
Tunpu Scenic Spot:
- Yunshantun-Benzhai Ancient Village N 26 17 15 E 106 04 26
- Baojiatun Ancient Irrigation System N 26 18 57 E 106 06 35
- Tiantaishan Ancient Temple N 26 21 01 E 106 10 46
Justification of Outstanding Universal ValueStory of the complex
Epeirogenic and orogenic activities in the late Cenozoic Era have given us a landscape of exceptional diversity, complexity and beauty (Bloom, 1978). Huangguoshu Scenic Area is an outstanding example of the response of Cenozoic landform to the neotectonic movement in the history of the Earth’s evolution. It can be treated as an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement and land-use, with exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance.
The large-scale uplift of the neotectonic causes the delayed development of the plateau inland which is far from trunk rivers as base-level, the Yangtze River system and the Pearl River system, constituting the plateau area and the inherited development area of Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, which forms Tunpu Scenic Spot characterized by conic fenglin in plateau basin and plateau basin farming culture integrated with the natural aesthetics of fenglin and harmonious beauty between the land and Tunpu people. With the rapid and intense uplift of neotectonic movement, karstification around the edges of plateau adjacent to the trunk rivers as base-level, the Yangtze River system and the Pearl River system, is rejuvenated, constituting the gorge area and the deep development area of Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, which forms Getuhe Scenic Spot integrated with the natural scenery dominated by gorges and light through caves, as well as humanity landscapes represented by Miao villages. The intermittent uplift results in intense changes of the base-level of the Yangtze River system and the Pearl River system, frequently alternating karstification in both vertical and lateral ways and accordingly a stepped occurrence of spatial zonation, forming Huangguoshu Scenic Spot characterized by various karst waterfalls, unique scenery of karst landscapes and farming culture of the Buyi people in plateau basin.
Huanggoushu Scenic Area has recorded the communication and fusion between farming culture of plateau dam and the mountain gorges since 1370, which perfectly reflects the survival wisdom of the mountain ethnic groups adapting the mountain environment in China and the world. It is of historical evidence that the rational use of mountain resources, of which human utilize the resource granted by nature. In Huangguoshu Scenic Spot, the ancient Buyi village records the formation of the water culture and architecture culture under the influence of foreign culture, which is the material evidence of ethnic groups utilizing the possibility of natural endowment to obtain subsistence and development reflecting the dependence relationship between human and karst fenglin, fengcong and depression. Getuhe Scenic Spot, including ancient Miao villages, cave villages, cave burial, hanging coffin, illustrates the unique living pattern and natural belief built by human beings using the limited survival conditions supported by karst environment. It is considered to be the final and largest cave house of traditional cave lifestyle of local ethnic groups. In Tunpu Scenic Spot, paddy-upland rotation in mountain pastoral and the traditional agricultural systems of are the vivid example of the intensive cultivation in China and even East Asia since the 14th century and living fossils reflecting the agriculture diversity in the world; In Yunshantun-Benzhai Ancient Village, the traditional settlements of Tunpu are built using local stone and followed the geography, integrated with different understandings to mountainous nature and culture of different groups. The creative use of stone and wood creates the living space of different groups, is in a high harmony with natural environment. Baojiatun Ancient Irrigation System, which has experienced more than 600 years, reflecting the relationship between human and water, people and people, is a living example of the dependency relationship between people and nature in mountains; Tiantaishan Ancient Temple, the typical representative of Tunpu temple culture which has experienced more than 400 years, is a model of stone buildings and a collection of the Buddhism, the Taoism and the Confucianism, which integrates the functions of religious and military defense. Huangguoshu Scenic Area is an outstanding creation of different traditional cultures in karst areas, where the Yangtze-Huaihe culture (Tunpu culture), Miao culture and Buyi culture in ancient China are completely preserved. The buildings with distinct regional characteristics are representative models of the architecture art of traditional villages in ancient China, providing a strong evidence for the research on traditional culture, ancient architectures and inhabitation forms of human beings.
Huangguoshu Scenic Spot
Huangguoshu Scenic Spot reflects the interaction between Buyi culture and karst environment, which is an outstanding example of Buyi people in using traditional natural resources. It is also the wisdom of the Buyi culture in the changing times. The continuous development of stonework village provides strong evidence for the research on Buyi history. The ancient building complex not only reflects the architecture styles at that time but also human’s traditional lifestyle. In addition, it implies the rich cultural connotation of Buyi people. Making full use of its topographic advantages and reflecting the proper application of Buyi culture in karst areas, military camp historic sites are the evidences of the local people depending on the nature to survive and the reflections of social conditions and the historical context in the 14th century. Suoluo Bridge provides an evidence of land use in harmonious with nature, reflecting the creativity of Buyi people. Gaodang Village was built in Ming Dynasty. The whole village was built in accordance with the topography and neatly arranged. It embodies the pursuit of aesthetics and natural harmony in architecture of Buyi people. It is also a unique witness of human existence in karst area and forms the most distinctive and outstanding cultural landscape.
Huangguoshu Scenic Spot has the natural wonders of clustered waterfalls, star-studded lakes and rising peaks. There are not only various karst waterfalls, unique karst geological landscapes and traditional minority villages with historic humanity relics, but also the colorful natural view and fresh and pleasant idyllic scenery. The aesthetic elements of Huangguoshu Scenic Area, including magnificence, precipitousness, grace, peace and mystery, are presented one by one. The grand waterfall landscape, turbulent, magnificent and majestic, is various in four seasons. The unique, multiple-shaped karst stone forests and the cave elements in thousands of postures constitute a huge natural garden in the whole, locally being mountain-rock and water-rock natural miniascape. The stone-based village of Buyi, with unique minority features, is preserved well, which is built by Buyi people following natural regulations and conditions. The Ancient Tea-Horse Road has a long history. The rivers wind in valleys like a green ribbon. The changeable water landscape, pretty waterfall and beach, green vegetation reflect the perfect and harmonious unity of human beings and nature.
With the intermittent uplift by neotectonism in Huangguoshu Scenic Spot, the frequent changes of the base-level, the Yangtze River system and the Pearl River system, result in alternating karstification in both vertical and lateral ways, and accordingly the stepped occurrence of spatial zonation of Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and rare 9 stepped waterfalls. During the rapid uplift by the neotectonism and the downcutting by the trunk rivers, the karst is rejuvenated and adjusted to this increasing available relief toward the fengcong-depression karst. Each uplift leaves a knickpoint, Huangguoshu, Hejulai and Guanjiaoxia knickpoints for instance, on riverbed and it retreats toward the headwater during the stillstand, finally forming Huangguoshu Waterfall. The frequent changes of the base-level following pulses of the neotectonics result in Huangguoshu Waterfall of the frequent headward erosion. These effects spread from the lower reach of the trunk rivers to the upper reach, obviously showing Huangguoshu Waterfall’s whole evolution stages of sinkhole, underground river collapse, and the erosion and retrogression of the waterfall itself. As a typical region for research on the alternating change of the base-level, layered landform development, head erosion-typed and remarkable stepped waterfalls in response to intermittent uplift of neotectonics in plateau inland, Huangguoshu Scenic Spot is of high scientific value.
Getuhe Scenic Spot
Miao is an old nation with a long history. According to the statistics, there are more than 10 million Miao people living in about 20 countries and regions in the world. The Miao culture has a history of over 2,000 years, and the history of the remains of Miao culture is over 600 years. Getuhe Scenic Spot is the most complete, multiple and unique culture of Miao in the world. Miao culture in Getuhe is formed by the long-term interaction between the culture of Miao and local karst environment. Firstly, Geluohe Scenic Spot is mainly mountainous area. Miao villages are distributed in various fengcong-depressions and fengcong-valleys. Due to the lack of communication caused by topographic obstacles, various types of Miao culture can be developed and preserved. As a result, the most abundant Miao languages in the world are well-preserved in Getuhe. Secondly, numerous karst caves and karst hills provided natural environment for the development of multiple Miao culture. Near Xiaochuandong (light through cave), there is the final troglodytism tribe in human history - Miao Village in Zhongdong Cave. The Dahe Miao village located at the middle of Getuhe River is an outstanding example of the culture of Miao village in the world, for the conservation of traditional stilt houses, languages, customs, clothing and agriculture production mode. Last but not the least, Getuhe Scenic Spot is known in the world for its amazing cultures of cave burial and rock climbing based on the limit natural space. We can reproduce the picture that people overcame the extremely harsh living condition to survive and development hundreds of years ago through the survived Miao village. These unique and precious Miao ancient cultures are of highly historic and cultural values for human beings to understand ancient civilization and human cultural diversity.
Getuhe Scenic Spot, represented by light through caves, nearly includes all kinds of karst landscape types. It assembles valleys, rivers and pristine vegetation as a whole, with the features of magnificence, precipitousness, deep and serene, grace and pretty and primitive simplicity. They are representative and valuable in ornament, science, aesthetic, preservation. In Getuhe Scenic Spot, the rich karst landscapes are grand with various landscape types and high quality, and Miao culture has followed from a generation to next for a long time. The uniqueness of Getuhe Scenic Spot lies in the fact that it has the biggest cave chamber in volume in the world, the final troglodytism tribe, the highest ancient river ruins in the world and the deepest underground river shaft, with high scientific and unique value in the world. Getuhe River flows in the valleys, on both sides of which exist some stone carvings on cliffs. The natural scenery dominated by light through caves and gorges, and humanity landscapes represented by Miao villages constitute a beautiful picture.
Because of the rapid, intense uplift by the neotectonism in Getuhe Scenic Spot, the karstification around the edges of the plateau adjacent to base level, the Yangtze River system and the Pearl River system, is rejuvenated to form the ―Miao Chamber‖ with the effect of ―Siphon flow‖. The landform has strongly uplifted since neotectonics and the lower reaches of the main river cut down rapidly at the edge of the plateau. In order to adapt to the declining base and the increasing thickness of the seepage zone, the surface and groundwater cut down vertically through erosion and dissolution, which makes the diverse landform in Getuhe Scenic Spot. The landform development reflects the ongoing geological evolution process from cave to gorge, which is a model site of gorge evolution. In the new environment of effective potential increase, any type of landform at any stage may be re-evolved into a new sequence through reverse evolution sequence in the process of reverse ascent. Most of the longitudinal sections of rivers are abnormal, and the main landform is valley. As a typical region for study on the rejuvenation development affected by neotectonics around the edges of the plateau adjacent to trunk rivers as base-level within Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau inland, Getuhe Scenic Spot has great scientific value.
Tunpu Scenic Spot
Tunpu Scenic Spot has witnessed the communication and integration between the traditional mainstream culture and Western culture of different ethnic groups. Tunpu people creatively take advantage of the building materials of stone and wood to create living space of different ethnic groups, exhibiting a high degree of adaptability to the natural environment and coordination. Baojiatun Ancient Irrigation System of Tunpu Scenic Spot, an example of the harmony between human and water in the world, provides a powerful support for the study of the history of water management in China and plays an important role in the reference and inspiration of water control by human beings. It is a living example of the dependence between mountain and nature in mountains. Agricultural economy is the basis of the formation of Tunpu culture. Representing the communication and integration of farming culture between plains and karst mountains since 14th century, and the traditional water-drought crop rotation and intercropping technology system of mountain villages, Tunpu Scenic Spot is a living example of intensive cultivation agriculture in China even eastern Asia area since the 14th century, and the important living fossil of multifarious agriculture in the world. Wulongsi temple is a collection of the Buddism, the Taoism and the Confucianism, which integrates the functions of religious and military defense. The outer wall of the buildings is made of stone, which is rarely seen in building of the Han nationality, and it is honored as "a model of stone buildings" and "a bright pearl in mountains" by building experts. Wulong temple is a "miracle of ancient temple architecture" in China.
Tunpu Scenic Spot, dominated by Tunpu culture as a principle line and some external manifestation patterns as links, combines villages, architecture, customs, dramas, religious belief and natural scenery as a whole, forming a featured scenic area. The terrain is flat in Tunpu, and the land types are mainly the hills and wide valleys. The countryside and ancient village scenery combine the natural beauty with man-land harmonious beauty successfully, constituting unique Tunpu Scenic Spot. In Tunpu Scenic Spot, the largest and most integrated village, dating from Ming Dynasty, is preserved, where the minorities have been living here for a long time. Because of unique humanity resources, and outstanding era characteristics. Walking in Tunpu villages, you can feel the historic vicissitudes, the people’s wisdom and the harmonious beauty of land utilization.
With the large-scale great uplift by the neotectonism of Tunpu Scenic Spot, karstification of the plateau inland far from the trunk rivers—the Yangtze River system and the Pearl River system as base-level is stable in response to the uplift and incision, which constitutes the Tunpu Scenic Spot of plat eau area or the inherited area for development of the karst. In this case, rejuvenative effects with incision and headwater erosion of the rivers by the uplift have not yet reached the plateau interfluves and the karst is still evolving with decreasing relief toward the mature types of the fenglin-plain system in a normal sequence. The plateau surface with thinner vadose zone and lower avialable relief is well conserved. The river profiles are mainly of normal type that the gradient changes from great to small, and the wide valleys, basins, rivers and depressions are the main landforms types. Tunpu Scenic Spot is the typical plateau inland or the inherited area for development, with high scientific value.
Criterion (v): The nominated Huangguoshu Scenic Area World Nature and Cultural Heritage is an outstanding representative of plateau and mountain natural landscapes in China and Asia, and even in the world. Huanguoshu Landscape is the production of Buyi culture in karst areas. The site consists of ancient villages, the ruins of bridge and military camps, which reflects the living of Buyi in the past 600 years and the harmony between human and nature. It remains exceptionally well-preserved ancient architecture type, craven patterns, sacrificial rites and defensive system. The cultural landscape of Miao in Getu River is a social culture generated by using the natural environment in the special karst mountainous area by ancient ethnic Miao of China in the fourteenth Century AD. The distinctive troglodytism tribe culture, cave burial culture, and climbing culture are the historical witnesses of local people to make the best of the local natural environment. The abundant national culture, agricultural civilization and village building style also reflect the interdependence, mutual development of man and nature in the karst mountainous area. Dating back to 14th century, Tunpu Scenic Spot is a production of the integration between Han culture of Yangtze-Huaihe region in China and the culture of the ethnic groups in northwest China. And it has witnessed the possibility to take advantage of the natural endowments by karst mountain populations since 1370. Learning from each other, the Han peoples and the local communities in northwest China rationally use the land, water and biological resources of the regions with karst fengcong-depression. The residents of Tunpu successfully supply the farming technology of plains in the east areas of Asia to karst mountain areas, creating the unique rural scenery which reflects the harmonious relationship with the land, water and biology in karst mountain areas. As a result, it is a living illustration of the interdependence between human and nature in karst mountain areas. Huangguoshu Scenic Area is the traditional human settlement, the example of ancient Chinese Yangtze-Huaihe culture, Buyi and Miao culture and cultural development in the karst area, and the representative of the longitudinal interaction between human and the karst natural environment. Huangguoshu Scenic Area is on the verge of disappearing as the accelerating destruction of the relationship between man and nature by modern agricultural machinery, petrochemical agriculture and city life. As a result, the site meets criterion (v) on revealing the traditional settlements, the fusion of the Han culture of Yangtze-Huaihe region, Buyi culture and Miao culture in karst areas, the harmony between human and earth, and so on.
Huangguoshu Scenic Spot: Consisting of national villages, the remains of military camps and ancient bridges, Huangguoshu Scenic Spot depicts a picture of Buyi people’s life in history and provides a certainly example of the interaction between human beings and natural environment. The Buyi people of Huangguoshu Scenic Spot make full use of the karst mountain resources and the location of the mountains and rivers to develop themselves. They used stones surrounding them to build stonework villages with exceptional nation features, cultivate crops on each bank of the rivers and take advantage of the river water to irrigate. They also built a bridge named Suoluo on the Suoluo River in the upstream regions of Huangguoshu River to obtain a convenient traffic and communication. In order to resist forays and warfare from other minorities, they utilize the special mountainous topography to built military camps, such as Xiaotun and Datun, on the mountaintops. With the social development, the original functions of military camps have disappeared. There are only ruins preserved because of disrepair and deterioration. Huanguoshu Landscape is an outstanding example of a well-preserved traditional human settlement representative of Buyi culture which has become vulnerable under the threat of population growing, urbanization and tourism. As a result, the site meets criterion (v) on reflecting the traditional settlements of Buyi and the interaction between Buyi culture and the natural environment.
Getuhe Scenic Spot: Getuhe Scenic Spot is an outstanding example of an ancient natural culture of human beings in the world. It reflects not only an inherited process of ancient natural culture, but also a developing process of an old nation who lived in a landform based on the karst mountain. Getuhe Scenic Spot is of unique culture developed in the mountainous area for thousands of years. The exceptional structure of buildings, traditional custom, hanging coffin with cave burial and rock climbing vividly depict the pictures of the inhabitants who use limit resources of land, biology and water to develop in a narrow land of the karst mountain areas. That made a probability for old Miao culture existing in the karst mountain areas and forming an exceptional culture that has not been found in other Chinese karst areas. The present characters of the landscape are the result of Miao culture developing in the karst environment during hundreds of years and it is an outstanding example of a traditional human production and life-style with the natural environment. It is a traditional human settlement representative of a culture on mountain areas which has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible changes such as the developing of modern agriculture, public infrastructures addition, urbanization development and economic policy for poverty alleviation. As a result, the site meets criterion (v) on reflecting the ancient buildings of Miao, troglodytism tribes and the culture of hanging coffin with cave burial.
Tunpu Scenic Spot: Recording the communication and integration between Han culture of Yangtze-Huaihe region in the east of China and the culture of different racial communities in the west of China, Tunpu Scenic Spot is one of the oriental ancient cultures well-preserved in the world and an ethical culture based on Chinese culture dating back to 14th century. And it is considered to be a living example of the migration of Han culture from Yangtze-Huaihe region to western China. The residents of Tunpu successfully supply the farming culture of Jiangnan region, undertake water conservancy projects and build a harmonious world between human and nature, making Tunpu Scenic Spot an outstanding example representing the perfect harmony between human and the environment. Baojiatun, as a representative of the Ancient Irrigation System, depicts the spread and change of the technology system of ancient agricultural production of eastern China in the west of China, which forms an intact rice-water conservancy farming pastoral scenery and remains a unique inherited process of water cultures and hydraulic architectures with the technology system of Ancient Irrigation System of Yangtze-Huaihe region in the 14th century. The ancient village of Tunpu, made up of stone and wood materials, with complex internal structure, thorough defensive function and reasonable space layout, is the historical testimony of the unification of the southwest frontier in China and the biggest representative landscape of the frontier defence action in Ming Dynasty. It also testifies the adoption of human and the environment, and generates a cultural miracle by taking advantage of its abundant culture. With the acceleration of globalization, the invasion of Western values and the development of the western regions, the culture of Tunpu Scenic Spot is on the verge of disappearing. Modern construction methods, farming methods, and urban lifestyle also make the unique cultural phenomenon become vulnerable. As a result, the site meets criterion (v) on reflecting the migration and integration of the ancient culture and the perfect harmony between human beings and the natural environment.
Criterion (vii): Huangguoshu Scenic Area natural and cultural mixed heritage nominated property is an outstanding representative of plateau and mountain natural landscapes in China and Asia, and even in the world. The aesthetic value is prominent in the karst mountain and village landscapes, and the rare various karst natural landscapes and the beautiful natural environment in the world have been preserved in the site. The landscape assembles the combinations quintessence of karst, hills and water, caves, fenglin and historic villages, putting sturdiness, peculiarity, precipitousness and peace as a unity. It is a priceless karst nature park, with an irreplaceable position in karst areas of southern China and even the world. Huangguoshu Scenic Spot is a mist-shrouded, multi-shaped and changeable ―karst waterfall‖ museum. Getuhe Scenic Area is featured with the underground chamber with biggest volume and deepest shaft in the world. Tunpu Scenic Area is represented by humanity landscapes of mysterious traditional villages, perfect cone fenglin with abundant vegetations, and beautiful rural scenery. The sites above commonly constitute a wonderful combination and a unique picture scroll with natural aesthetics of the natural landscapes of Huangguoshu Scenic Area. As a result, the site meets criterion (vii) on containing the largest waterfalls group with rare natural beauty, the underground chamber with biggest volume in the world and assembling magnificent, precipitousness, peace and other aesthetic diversity as a whole and the unique harmonious beauty between human and the land, together with the utterly beautiful karst fenglin and idyllic scenery.
Huangguoshu Scenic Spot: Huangguoshu Scenic Area, with extreme high geological structure, preserves rare, various karst natural landscapes and pretty scenery. It’s valuable infinitely in aesthetic, ecology and science. There is the world-class largest waterfall assessed by Guinness World Headquarters, with 77.8m tall and 101m wide. It’s the biggest one in 9 steps and 18 falls, low part of which usually hides in the aqueous vapour and mist. It’s called the ―karst waterfall museum‖ with all the waterfall elements and one of the five largest waterfalls in the world. Behind the waterfall is a large rare water curtain cave. The mysterious historic relics result from human and natural functions, such as ―red rock tablet‖ on Shaijiashan Mountain, called an unfathomable enigma. It’s a well-known ―red cliff culture‖ phenomenon with special glamour. As a result, the site meets criterion (viii) on containing the largest waterfalls group with rare natural beauty.
Getuhe Scenic Spot: There are some pretty landscape combinations of karst, gorges and caves in Getuhe Scenic Area, called a rare karst nature park. It almost contains all the features of karst landform, such as fenglin, fengcong, gorges, valleys, depressions, most of which are rarely seen in the world. On both sides of Getuhe River are full of beautiful scenery, such as cliffs, stone inscriptions, cave burials, cliff coffins and the underground chamber with biggest volume of 1.078×107 m3. The three caves of Dachuandong, Wangtiandong and Shangchuandong share the same sky, forming the magnificent and wonderful views. Shangchuandong Cave is the highest remains of fossil river course; Xiangshuidong Cave is the deepest shaft of underground rivers with the depth of 216m; there exist the final troglodytism tribe in human history – Miao Village in Zhongdong Cave. It not only has shown the skillful works of heaven, but the harmonious beauty of nature respecting and remodeling by human. Getuhe Scenic Spot is a serial interconnected whole, constituting the unique karst natural park. As a result, the site meets criterion (viii) on containing the underground chamber with biggest volume in the world, assembling magnificent, precipitousness, peace and other aesthetic diversity as a whole and the unique harmonious beauty between human and the land.
Tunpu Scenic Spot: Tunpu Scenic Spot includes the humanity landscapes featured with mystical Tunpu villages, and the natural landscapes represented by the graceful, idyllic scenery and abundant vegetations. There are scattered fenglin and charming scenery. Tunpu Scenic Spot is a karst region developed most sufficiently, symbolized as the combination of cone fenglin and large corrosion basins. The scattered fenglin is marked by various morphology and pretty shapes, with high aesthetic value and humanity importance. Tunpu Ancient Village in Qiyanqiao, Anshun City, is defined as the biggest and best-preserved village dating from Ming Dynasty by Shanghai Guinness World Headquarters. It’s a historic defensive stone-based village without destroying the natural terrain. The idyllic scenery of Tunpu village is a representative of the man-land relationship under the condition of karstification, reflecting the natural transformation following the regulation of nature. Meanwhile, Tunpu village also preserves stone carving and wood carving, representing the harmonious unity in the interaction’s process between human and nature. As a result, the site meets criterion (viii) on containing the the utterly beautiful karst fenglin and idyllic scenery.
Criterion (viii): Huangguoshu Scenic Area nominated property is an outstanding representative of the geomorphic and physiographic features of plateau karst in China, Asia and even the whole world. The neotectonic movement accompanied by frequent intermissions varies the drainage water-table, leads frequent transformation of horizontal and vertical development. This resulted in stepped landscape combination of Huangguoshu Scenic Spot, and developed spectacular phenomenon of 9 stepped waterfalls with different cause of formation, shape and style within 500m vertical elevation. Fast sloping uplift of Neotectonic movement leads rejuvenation in plateau edges where is near to drainage water-table, the Yangtze River system and the Pearl River system. The Getuhe Scenic Spot area displays deepward development. It contains not only globally rare plateau gorge groups and cave groups, which are formed by vertical cut of groundwater; but also owns deepest underground river shaft tiankeng (giant dolines) - Xiangshuidong Cave, and Miao Cave hall with biggest volume in the world. Siphon in Miao cave hall are phenomena representing significant on-going geological evolution processes. The neotectonic movement, an increasingly large-scale uplift, delayed some plateau landform development where is far from drainage water-table, the Yangtze River system and the Pearl River system, have triggered formation of plateau area or fenglin plain-inherited landform development of Tunbu landscape. As a result, the site meets criterion (viii) on revealing the stepped occurrence of the landform spatial zonation with intermittent development and the formation of large waterfall group, formation of deepward development of the underground river typed gorge and the large cave hall, inherited development of plateau landform and the evolution of the fenglin plain.
Huangguoshu Scenic Spot: With the intermittent vibrational movement by neotectonism, the frequent changes of the base-level result in constant alternating transformation in both vertical and lateral ways, and accordingly the stepped occurrence of spatial zonation of Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and spectacular phenomenon of 9 stepped waterfalls with different formation causes, shapes and style within 500m vertical elevation. During the rapid uplift by the neotectonism and the downcutting by the trunk rivers, the karst is rejuvenated and adjusted to this increasing available relief toward the fengcong-depression karst. Each uplift leaves a knickpoint, Huangguoshu, Hejulai and Guanjiaoxia knickpoints for instance, on rivers and it retreats toward the headwater during the standstill. The development stages of Huangguoshu Waterfall begin with sinkhole, then the underground river collapse, and its reverse evolution process after being eroded. It’s a typical representative of erosion knickpoint- typed waterfalls. The landform combination of grand waterfalls, stepped waterfall groups, caves and natural bridges is seldom seen in the world. Therefore, both of the response mechanism of erosion knickpoint-typed Huangguoshu Waterfall to the intermittent vibrational movement by neotectonism and typical 9 stepped waterfall groups satisfy criterion (viii) of World Heritage.
Getuhe Scenic Spot: Because of the rapid, intense uplift by the neotectonism, the karstification around the edges of the plateau adjacent to base level is rejuvenated to form the deepward developmental Getuhe Scenic Spot. It not only develops rare plateau gorge groups and cave groups in response to vertical incision of underground water, but the underground chamber with the largest volume and the deepest underground river shaft tiankeng (Xiangshuidong Cave) in the world. The rapid, intense uplift by the neotectonism and the rejuvenation development around the edges of the plateau adjacent to base level as the Yangtze River system and the Pearl River system constitute the deepward developmental area. The landforms are dominated by plateau gorges and huge caves, including the underground chamber with the largest volume and the deepest underground river shaft. Hydrodynamic force is featured with the evolution pattern from underground rivers to ground surface, and the landform development reflects the ongoing geological evolution process from cave to gorge as the model site of gorge evolution. Therefore, Getuhe Scenic Spot satisfies criterion (viii) on reflecting landform rejuventated development, the biggest cave hall and the deepest shaft in the world.
Tunpu Scenic Spot: With the great uplift by the neotectonism, karstification of the plateau inland far from the trunk rivers—the Yangtze River system and the Pearl River system as base-level is stable in response to the uplift and incision, which constitutes the Tunpu Scenic Spot of plateau area or the inherited area for development of the karst, and the evolution process with well-conserved plateau surface. In this case, with the incision and headwater erosion of the rivers by the uplift, the karst is still evolving with decreasing relief toward the mature types of the fenglin-plain system in a normal sequence. The landform and combinations of Tunpu Scenic Spot in the inherited developmental area are diverse, including valleys, basins and rivers, and so on, accordingly distributed spatially. The inherited development is a key part in the landform development process. Therefore, Tunpu Scenic Spot meets criterion viii on the landform in plateau inherited developmental area still evolving with decreasing relief toward the mature types of the fenglin-plain system in a normal sequence and well-conserved plateau.
Statements of authenticity and/or integrityAuthenticity
The nominated Huangguoshu Scenic Area World Heritage meets the conditions of authenticity in ―Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention‖, such as the well-maintained Yunshantun-Benzhai Ancient Building Complex, Wulongsi Ancient Building Complex, Baojiatun Ancient Irrigation System, Gaodang Ancient Building Complex and Getuhe cave burial.
Yunshantun-Benzhai Ancient Building Complex: It contains 198 ancient buildings, including 187 Folk Houses, 3 temples, 1 ruin of theater stage, 3 Tun Walls, 3 Tun Gates, 1 school and 1 pavilion. Consisting of 32 groups, the concentrated Folk Houses were built in Ming & Qing Dynasties, and the main forms of which are ―Sanheyuan‖, ―Siheyuan‖ and individual buildings. Composed of the main room, Winghouses, and doors, the traditional courtyard houses of which the plane has obvious central axis. ChuanDou-style houses are wooden structures, rubble foundation. Overhang Hills, capped stone tiles, and ―Binglie‖-shaped natural stones as the ornamentation consists the main features of roofs, and rectangular flakes are rhombus laid on the roof. Column bases, arches, doors and windows and so on are the main decoration positions, and there are elaborate carvings on some wood and stone components.
Wulongsi Ancient Building Complex: Built in Ming Wanli 18 (1590), it is a group of wonderful and spectacular ancient buildings, experienced several times repairs and expansions during Chongzhen years, Qing dynasty and the Republic of China so that it almost reaches perfection. Named the miracle of ancient temples of China, the ancient buildings are harmonious with surrounding environments with original design, grand scale, and special shape. The Wulong temple is an ancient temple which is the integration of Buddism, Taoism and Confucianism. Relics of Wusangui like saber, the scepter and court dresses are preserved in the temple. The Wulong temple is composed of the Front Gates, the Great Buddha Hall, Winghouse, Daozuo, Yuhuangge, Sutra Chanting Hall, the Hall of Patriarch and other architectural series. There are four Front Gates in front of the temple. The first gate is HengMen made of stone, which was built in Qing Qianlong 32 (1767); Built during Qing Guangxu period (1875~1908), the second gate is constructed of stone named PailouMen; QuandongMen is the third gate which connected with rocks built in the Republic of China 25 (1936); And the fourth gate is the main entrance to the Wulong Temple, which was built in the People’s Repulic of China (1920). Behind the Great Buddha Hall, Yuhuangge was a temple with single eave roof in the past built in Chongzhen 10 (1637). On the right side, there is the Sutra Chanting Hall built during Qing Qianlong (1736~1795). There is a platform in front of the Hall of Patriarch, which is the highest point of Wulong Temple. In front of the platform, there is a screen wall, where there are railings on the left, and the paved roads was built to connect with the front porch of the main temple hall.
Baojiatun Ancient Irrigation System: Baojiatun and rural ancient irrigation system approximately are built in the late 14th century, namely Hongwu fifteen to thirty-one (1382-1398). There are 11 dams, for instance, Shuicang dam, fish mouth-shaped diversion dam, Huilong dam, Shuinian dam. The total length of the dams is 730m, and the ditches are 3200 meters long.
Gaodang Ancient Building Complex: It contains 57 ancient buildings including 25 Folk Houses, 2 ancient wells, 2 village gates, 1 school and 1 pavilion and 3 fortifications. Chuandou-style houses are wooden structures, rubble foundation. Overhang Hills, capped stone tiles, and ―Binglie‖-shaped natural stones as the ornamentation consists the main features of roofs, and rectangular flakes are rhombus laid on the roof. Column bases, arches, doors and windows and so on are the main decoration positions, and there are elaborate carvings on some wood and stone components.
Getuhe Cave Burial: The water flows through the wide cave. Being spacious, the hole is 10 meters high and 30 meters wide. From the entrance to the cave, there are about thirty or forty meters. The coffins were placed on the prominent and huge rock since the Qing Dynasty. We can see hundreds of coffins regularly placed on ″井″-shaped wooden frame, classified into five rows, head outwards or inwards.
The nominated Huangguoshu Scenic Area World Heritage satisfies the conditions of integrity in ―the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention‖. The components of the serial property have within the most coherent series of sites, including pristine protected property and buffer zone. It is of sufficient size and clear boundary to represent the integrity of the geological structure and significant geomorphic features.
The clear boundaries of the property and buffer zone substantially cover its natural beauty and landscape features together with its geomorphic evolution value which demonstrate its value to be included in the World Heritage Site. Located in the subtropical humid monsoon climate, the property has a hot and rainy summer, mild and humid winter rainfall. There is widespread limestone in the property, together with intense karstification. Karst landforms and landscapes, for instance, fengcong, fenglin, karst depressions and karst gorge caves, are widespread. The property’s boundaries completely include those unique landscapes and the aesthetic landscapes. Each component of the property is of adequate size and altitude difference to ensure the integrity of the earth science values, including tectonic, geomorphic and hydrological features.
The property contains the scientific evidence required to reconstruct the geomorphic evolution of the diverse landforms and landscapes, and the unique natural aesthetics value is also included. Karst landscape is widespread within the Huangguoshu component and the Tunpu component. Fengcong depressions, waterfalls and other karst landscapes provide a pleasing aesthetic value. The level of primitive forests and biological diversity within the Getuhe component are in relatively pristine condition. Miaoting, an underground cave in the south of the Getuhe component which is about 1.078×107 m³, is the biggest cave in volume in the world jointly detected by the Chinese and European scientists. Considered to be of sufficient size, the complete and clear boundaries of the property ensure the integrity of significant geological progresses and geomorphic evolution features.
The property completely represents the integrity of cultural landscape of karst ancient villages. Made of stone, wood, soil and other materials, the karst villages of Yunshantun-Benzhai and Gaodang Ancient Building Complex included in the property boundaries exemplify the architectural and artistic achievements of China′s Ming Dynasty, Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China. Fitting into the meandering creeks surrounding villages, idyllic landscapes and fenglin landscapes, those ancient buildings integrallty retain intact ancient villages courtyard architecture, street pattern, defense systems and construction techniques. Baojiatun Ancient Irrigation System completely preserves all the elements of Chinese Ancient Irrigation System, including water gaps, Shuicang dam, fish mouth-shaped diversion dam, Huilong dam, Shuinian dam and canalization, which composes the integrity of karst ancient villages together with idyllic landscapes and Fengcong landscapes. Wulongsi Ancient Building Complex intactly preserves the patterns of ancient Chinese temples, showing the integrity of the Buddhist temple construction through the four Front Gates, the Great Buddha Hall, Winghouse, Daozuo, Yuhuangge, Sutra Chanting Hall, the Hall of Patriarch and other architectural series. Linked by paved roads, these buildings made of stone and wood, fits nicely with karst fengcong landscapes around. Getuhe Cave burial retains coffins of local ethnic groups since the Qing Dynasty, and the intact local customs of ethnic funeral culture and ancestor worship give full expression to the unique wisdom of the natives of taking advantage of karst environment.
Based on the limited environment carrying capacity, the eco-environment, biodiversity and other aspects of the nominated Huangguoshu Scenic Area World Heritage are faced with some challenges because of the influence of natural factors and human activities. However, each component of the property has national protective attribute. Huangguoshu Scenic Spot and Getuhe Scenic Spot are national parks. Tunpu Scenic Spot is well-protected as a National Relic Protection Unit. Many measures have been and are being undertaken to address these issues. For example, according to the realities of situation, establish different levels of protection zones and special protected areas and take different measures to classification of protection; Establish tourism monitoring mechanisms, strengthen the organization of tourism, and control tourist capacity; Strictly protect the authenticity and integrity of the property and prohibit any form of human-caused destruction or massive human disturbance activities; Strengthen ecological tending and green building, using ecological means to control rocky desertification; Enhance the participation and management of local residents, and allow them to benefit from the development of eco-tourism. The natural environment in the property is well-maintained under the effective protection and management.
Comparison with other similar propertiesBy January 2019, there are 1,092 World Heritage properties in the world, including 845 cultural sites, 209 natural sites and 38 mixed sites. Among these heritages, there are 12 world natural and cultural mixed heritages nominated under criteria (v), (vii) and / or (viii), including religious pilgrimage, human remains and cultural landscapes: (1) religious pilgrimage covers monasteries on sandstone peaks which represent the great revival of the eremitic ideal, an Orthodox spiritual centre in Mediterranean regions and religious Cultural Shrine of Aboriginal people in Greywacke regions; (2) human remains include petroglyphs and inscriptions in the desert which is a representative of the early development of human thought, abandoned ancient villages and burial sites caused by climate change and subsistence behavior on a society living in a marginal marine environment, village sites sculpted by volcanic dissolution and the remains of the volcanic archipelago with vulnerable ecological economy; (3) cultural landscape contain famous mountains and holy sites that symbolize ancient Chinese civilizations and beliefs, the integration sites of ancient culture and sandy plateau landscapes, the only surviving example of local traditions in calcareous massif areas, the Nomadic Settlements formed with the action of glaciers and the old capital in limestone karst areas. Compared with these world heritages, the nominated Huangguoshu Scenic Area World Heritage is considered to be of Global Uniqueness and Outstanding Universal Value.
Comparison based on the criterion (v)
As a unique case of human settlement sand land-use formed by the adoption of ancient farming culture systems of plains and natural environment of karst plateau in the east of Asia, as well as an outstanding representative of the farming landscape of karst mountain plateau created by human beings since the 14th century, Huangguoshu Scenic Area is considered to be a cultural heritage with its unique cultural landscape. Being a living illustration of the expansion of ancient farming culture from plains to mountains, the farming culture, water culture, food culture, architectural culture, belief systems and other cultural landscape dating back to 14th century are well-preserved. Huanguoshu Landscape represents the harmony of the ethnic group and karst plateau. The traditional stonework house, the layouts of ancient villages, architectural structure and lifestyle are of important meaning to research historical social structure, which present the abundant social civilization of their long history. Getuhe Scenic Spot is a traditional settlement of Miao with the culture of stilt buildings, cave villages, cave burials and rock climbing. It is an exceptional example of cultural landscapes created by people who take advantage of land, water and biological resources in karst areas. The site is completely preserved in the land-use of karst plateau in southwestern China deriving from 14th century. Reconstructing the culture, technology and belief systems of the farming community in southwestern China, Huangguoshu Scenic Area is described as a living fossil of the village cultures remained in 14th century. Being the unique remains of the farming community, culture, technology and the belief systems since 14th century, Huangguoshu Scenic Area is considered to be of global uniqueness and Outstanding Universal Value.
Huangguoshu Scenic Spot
Among the sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, there are 21 properties of the category of traditional villages under criteria (v). Properties comparable with Huangguoshu Scenic Spot include: Pyrénées-Mont Perdu and Ancient Villages of Northern Syria.
Pyrénées-Mont Perdu: With its quiet rural scenery, Pyrénées-Mont Perdu reflects the traditional agricultural lifestyle that once existed in Europe, but now only exists in the Pyrenees. Unique landscapes such as villages, farms, wilderness, highland pastures and rugged mountain trails are a living example of the long history of European society. Consisting of ancient village, farmlands, military camp, the site is a unique pastoral landscape, which showed the utilization of water, land, biological resources and dwelling environment. The Buyi villages, farmland and military camp ruins in the Huangguoshu Scenic Area are unique rural scenery formed by the original ethnic groups in the plateau mountainous areas using karst water resources, land resources, biological resources and living environment. It reflects the traditional living environment and agriculture lifestyle of Buyi and demonstrates the evidence of survival and development obtained through the possibility granted by natural. Temples of local gods, the sacred tree and wells form the traditional Buyi beliefs. Compared with the Pyrénées-Mont Perdu, the natural environment of the Buyi is significantly different. The Buyi has long lived in a typical karst environment, while the Pyrénées-Mont Perdu is a deep mountain valley in southwestern Europe. The unique stone house construction of the Buyi and the farmland constructed by mountain are an outstanding achievement in the history of mankind. It is regarded as the harmony between man and nature and is the witness of the survival and development of mankind in the karst region. People living in the Pyrénées-Mont Perdu area live a nomadic life and migrate to higher pasture areas in summer. The Buyi completely preserves the original life in the karst area. The architectural style, farming methods, language culture, religious beliefs, etc. are different from the Pyrénées-Mont Perdu, and its cultural landscape is unique. The Buyi villages are the best-preserved accident village in the world.
Ancient Villages of Northern Syria: The ancient villages of northern Syria are composed of more than 40 villages and are a rare testimony of the non-Christian era to the Byzantine rural life of the Roman Empire. Abandoned in the 8th to 10th centuries, the relict cultural landscape of the villages constitutes an important illustration of the transition from the ancient pagan world of the Roman Empire to Byzantine Christianity. As an exhibition of the Buyi people’s lifestyle, Huangguoshu Scenic Spot consists of stone houses, farmlands, military camps, which is the production of symbiotic coordination between Buyi and their environment. Illustrated the lifestyle of Buyi in Karst, Huangguoshu Scenic Spot provides strong evidence for the research of Buyi traditional buildings with outstanding universe value. Although the ancient villages of northern Syria retain the original buildings, bathrooms, temples, churches, monuments and other ancient buildings, they were abandoned in the 8th-10th centuries and have been abandoned for more than a thousand years. The lifestyles of local residents in Rome and Byzantine can only be inferred from scattered historical data. Moreover, since the ancient villages are in the war zone, the sites of St. Simon's Church and other sites have been severely damaged. In 2013, the ancient villages in northern Syria were listed in the dangerous World Heritage List. Compared with the ancient villages in northern Syria, the traditional human lifestyle of the Buyi villages has continued to this day, and the architectural landscape is well preserved. Huangguoshu Scenic Spot is comparable with Ancient Villages of Northern Syria, and the traditional lifestyle and building landscapes of which are still well-preserved today. The universal and integrity of the site are superior to others and the site provides the realistic basis for the development of human research. Huangguoshu Scenic Spot reflects located and ethnic features through its villages of the unique nation culture and mountain environments, and the well-preserved culture elements of ancient village are unique.
Getuhe Scenic Spot
Among the sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, there are 21 properties of the category of traditional villages under criteria (v). Properties comparable with Huangguoshu Scenic Spot include: Laponian Area and Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama.
Laponian Area: The indigenous Saami people inhabit the Northern Europe, close to the Arctic Circle. They lived in self-enclosed life in the cold and dark areas for centuries, insisting on using their own language and still maintain the traditional seasonal nomadic agriculture. Reindeer is dependent as a living, whose skin is used to make related industrial products, and some traditional social customs are preserved. The Swedish Saami is the largest ethnic group in the Arctic region who lives according to ancestral methods and is a historical witness of the ancient national culture in the Nordic region. The Miao of Gutuhe is a resident lived in the southwest of China, mountainous area of Southeast Asia. They are approximately isolated with outside in a tough mountainous area, the traditional ways for living had preserved such as cow plow, hand-operated agriculture, corn storing, brewing technology and developed a unique countryside landscape in karst mountain area. Compared with the Miao of Gutuhe, the Saami people gradually merged with modern technology in the process of survival and development, and began to use mobile transportation tools for grazing activities. This has caused certain damage to the natural environment and threatened the original harmonious relationship between man and land. The Miao of Gutuhe is still using traditional production tools and techniques to cultivate, and the ancient Miao lifestyle continues to this day and forms a good ecological balance. Getuhe Scenic Spot is a unique area for its well-preserved culture of Miao with more authenticity and integrity than Laponian Area. The culture of language, dressing and custom are more systematically preserved than Laponian Area, which is the best well- preserved place for indigenous nation.
Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama: The villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama vividly depict the appearance of local people living in cold and secluded mountain areas for hundreds of years. Due to topographical factors, local traffic is inconvenient, local residents have difficulty in contact with the outside world, and natural landscape, social customs and traditional culture have been relatively intact, and they are distributed in three ancient villages of Ogimachi, Ainokura, and Suganuma. They have become Japan’s ―the last undeveloped pure land‖, and the structure of the palm-style farmhouse is unique in Japan. It is characterized by a slightly larger structure than a typical farmhouse. It has a two-story structure and the slope of the roof is steep and covered with thatch. The expression of the building materials of the farmhouse reflects the way the local village was lived and the social structure of the development of agriculture using silkworms. The Miao villages of Gutuhe Area are located in the karst mountainous area on the western of China. As the local residents cut off by the inconvenient traffic, each village has well-preserved their culture. Among them, the cave villages that make full use of local karst caves for living, production and funeral activities are still well preserved and continued. The unique wooden houses, sheds, warehouses and reservoirs with bamboo hedge structure and hanging coffins on the rock walls fully reflect the traditional social structure and national culture of the local Miao people. It is an important part of ancient culture of Asia for the systematically and an important basis for human beings to understand the national culture of the Asian region. Compared with the villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama in Japan, the Miao villages in the Getuhe recorded the development history of the Getuhe Miao people more systematically and completely. The culture of numerous types of building, cave village and cliff cave burial is an outstanding creature for Miao culture in karst mountainous area that has not found in other place of the world. It makes a very convenience for human to study culture of Asia with abundant language culture and custom. Getuhe Scenic Spot has a most outstanding value for the multiple cultures of Miao in the world.
Tunpu Scenic Spot
Among the sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, there are 21 properties of the category of traditional villages under criteria (v). Properties comparable with Huangguoshu Scenic Spot include: Trang An Landscape Complex and Fujian Tulou.
Trang An Landscape Complex: Some of the highest altitude caves dotted across Trang An Landscape Complex has revealed archaeological traces of human activities dating back almost 30,000 years. It shows the living and productive activities that ancient people have made in order to adapt to climatic and environmental change. Trang An Landscape Complex is the precious heritage which reflects the life of hunter-gatherers in the Stone Age. Represented by Hoa Lu, the old capital of Viet Nam in the 10th and 11th centuries AD, as well as temples, pagodas, paddy-field landscapes, villages and pilgrimage sites, heritages in low altitude form unique idyllic karst landscapes. Compared with Trang An Landscape Complex, Tunpu Ancient Villages reflects different cultural landscape. Recording the communication and integration of farming culture between plains and karst mountain areas since 14th century, Tunpu Scenic Spot is the living testimony of the adoption of farming culture of plains and natural environment of karst plateau in the east of Asia in 14th century. And it creatively takes advantage of the building materials of stone and wood to create living space of different ethnic groups, exhibiting a high degree of adaptability to the natural environment and coordination. The two features above enhance the very high aesthetic value of Tunpu Scenic Spot, which is a vivid model of the interaction between human and environment.
Fujian Tulou: Represented by the ―Tulou‖, Fujian Tulou is considered to be a living fossil of the Central Plains culture remained in someplace else, which is comparable to Tunpu Scenic Spot. Since the 4th century, known locally as ―Hakka‖, people from central China constantly migrate into Fujian reflected by warfare, so that Han culture remains in the mountain areas of Fujian. Tunpu Scenic Spot is the living fossil of the Han culture of Yangtze-Huaihe region remained on karst plateau by people from central China who migrate into Fujian reflected by warfare in the 14th century; Fujian Tulou is the production of the communication and integration between the central plains culture and local indigenous culture. Belonging to the Army Reclaimation immigrants, Tunpu Scenic Spot completely preserved the features of cultural hearth with little local cultural influences; the function of military defense of FuJian Tulou is based on Tulou or Enclosing houses of single family and community, while the village building system of Tunpu Scenic Spot is a well-planned military defense system; The buildings of Tunpu Scenic Spot take stone, wood and soil as the main building materials, reflecting the adoption of Han culture in Yangtze-Huaihe region and karst mountain environment, as well as the idea of harmonious between human and nature.
Among the sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, there are 6 properties of the category of Ancient Irrigation System under criteria (v). The property most comparable with Huangguoshu Scenic Spot is Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System.
Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System: Construction of the Dujiangyan Irrigation System began in the 3rd century B.C, and it was built by Qin Libing and his son to solve problems of diverting water for irrigation and flood which is comparable to Baojiatun Ancient Irrigation System. The Dujiangyan Irrigation System consists of a dam working area and an irrigated area. It is mainly based on diversion and irrigation, and has comprehensive effects such as flood control and sediment discharge, water transportation and urban water supply. Baojiatun Ancient Irrigation System is the practice of water culture of Han in Yangtze-Huaihe region for the first time in the 14th century. In addition to integrating water conservancy irrigation, aquaculture, village water supply and other functions, it also forms a pastoral landscape at the water outlet. The intact integration of landscape, Arcadian scenes and villages make up a harmonious scene which gives idyllic landscapes, clear water and mountains to Tunpu Scenic Spot.
Among the sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, there are 14 properties of the category of ancient temples under criteria (v). The property most comparable with Huangguoshu Scenic Spot is Old City of Acre.
Old City of Acre: The relic of mosques of Old City of Acre was constructed during the period of the Crusades 1000 years ago. Confucianism, is a typical representative of the cultural temples among the traditional temples of Tunpu, and with the function of religion and military defense, it is a model of stone building. The religious landscapes between the mosque of Old City of Acre and Wulong Temple on Tiantaishan are different. Old City of Acre has almost completely preserved the mosque of the Mohammedan style which has religious function and vividly reproduces the City Planning and structure of Crusader kingdom of Jerusalem in the Middle Ages so far. While the Wulong Temple is a collection of the Buddhism, the Taoism and the Confucianism, which integrates two functions of religious and military defense. The outer wall of buildings is made of stone, which is rarely seen in building of the Han nationality, and it is honored as ―a model of stone buildings‖ and ―a bright pearl in mountains‖ by building experts.
Comparison under criterion (vii) on natural beauty and aesthetic importance
There are splendid natural landscapes, unique beauty and outstanding aesthetic value in Huangguoshu Scenic Area. Their aesthetic values are illustrated by the varied waterfalls, magic karst caves and scattered cone fenglin rising one after another; the underground chamber with the biggest volume and the deepest shaft in the world are the representatives of outstanding universal value; the geological structure of Huangguoshu Scenic Area is of high scientific and aesthetic value, and the waterfall is the result of erosion knick point in plateau karst. The stepped waterfall groups in different shapes result from the peak and river forces; the cone fenglin is covered by various vegetation in karst landform; even the special karst landscapes are developed—natural bridges, light through caves and sinkholes. All of them above constitute excellent natural landscapes and unique aesthetic sites globally with Outstanding Universal Value.
Huangguoshu Scenic Spot
On the World Heritage List, there are 19 sites about waterfall under criteria (vii) on natural beauty and aesthetic importance. The comparable karst waterfalls with Huangguoshu Waterfall are Zhaga Waterfall of Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area in China, Nuorilang Waterfall of Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area in China, Dams Falls of Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia, Virginia Fall of Nahanni National Park in Canada, Falls in cave of Škocjan Caves in Slovenia.
Zhaga Waterfall of Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area in China: Zhaga Waterfall is one of China′s largest travertine waterfall, which is 93.7m high and 35-40m wide. The upper reaches of the waterfall are lakes, and the lower reaches are terraced riverbeds. The water of the waterfall falls rapidly from the huge steps, and after three steps of travertine falls, it hits the huge travertine stone wall and forms a huge waterfall. Huangguoshu Waterfall is 101m wide, among which the main waterfall is 83.3m wide, nearly three times wider than Zhaga Waterfall. It is larger in size, more majestic in volume, and more spectacular than Zhaga Waterfall.
Nuorilang Waterfall of Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area in China: Nuorilang Waterfall is one of the largest travertine waterfalls in China, which is 24.5m high, 270m wide and drop 20m, with an elevation of 2,365m, and it is the widest of the many waterfalls in Jiuzhaigou and the widest waterfall in China. Huangguoshu Waterfall is 77.8m high, among which the main waterfall is 67m high, and the height of Huangguoshu Waterfall is more than three times that of Nuorilang Waterfall. The drop of Huangguoshu Waterfall is nearly three times that of Nuorilang Waterfall. It is magnificent and visually more beautiful than Nuorilang Waterfall.
Dams Falls of Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia: Among the waterfalls formed by the 16 lakes in the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia, the dorp of the largest waterfall is 76m. However, the waterfall group in Croatia reflects simplex aesthetic characteristics. Although the steps of Huangguoshu Waterfall are few, with 9 steps and 18 falls, they can show the variety of aesthetic features such as magnificence, precipitousness and grace, which has great aesthetic research value.
Virginia Falls of Nahanni National Park in Canada: Virginia Falls is the largest and highest waterfall on South Nahanni River drops a stunning nearly 100m, near the middle of which, there is a limestone pillar separating the waterfall into two parts. There is a water curtain cave with the length of 134m cutting through Huangguoshu Waterfall, comprising 6 cave windows, 5 halls, 3 springs and 6 channels. Viewed from inside the cave, the waterfall is so imposing. How grand the water curtain cave is, which is rare in other parts of the world.
Falls in cave of Škocjan Caves in Slovenia: This exceptional system of limestone caves comprises collapsed tiankeng, some 6km of underground passages with a total depth of more than 200m, in total there are 25 cascades along the river. The waterfalls in Škocjan Caves in Slovenia are due to the waterfalls in the caves. Although they have scientific value, from the aesthetic point of view, it is not easy to watch, and the aesthetic value is not great. Huangguoshu Waterfall is erosion knick point-typed fall, forming developed fractures, karst caves and underground rivers on points. It is the most typical and spectacular karst waterfall around the world. Therefore, it’s very typical and unique compared with the sites above.
Getuhe Scenic Spot
On the World Heritage List, there are 31 sites about gorge under criteria (vii) on natural beauty and aesthetic importance. The comparable gorge-typed with Getuhe Scenic Spot are Nahanni National Park in Canada, Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve in Madagascar, Gunung Mulu National Park in Malaysia and Wulong karst of South China Karst.
Nahanni National Park in Canada: The Nahanni National Park has deep valleys, extensive and complex karst underground river systems, caves, labyrinths, closed canyons and sinkholes, the sandstone blowouts famous for wind erosion and they have been maintained for over 300,000 years without glacial erosion. In terms of karst environment characteristics, Nahanni National Park is located in high altitude areas in the north of 60oN, with frigid continental climate, marine mountain climate and Mediterranean climate. The climate is not as good as warm and moist Getuhe gorges in low altitude.
Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve in Madagascar: Most of the Tsingy de Bemaraha retains the complete limestone karst, separated from the steep cliff above the Manambolo River Gorge, which extends about 300-400m in the east and extends tens of kilometers from north to south. Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve has karst valleys and remote strong dissected karst landform. There are more rich landscape types in Getuhe Scenic Spot with high vegetation coverage rate, including karst gorges, natural bridges, light through caves, sinkholes and other rich and multilevel combination landscapes, even all karst landscape types.
Gunung Mulu National Park in Malaysia: Gunung Mulu National Park is a region with a special natural beauty, with striking virgin forests, karst terrain, mountains, canyons, waterfalls and the largest caves on the earth-the Sarawak Cave, 600m long, 415m wide and 80m high, is the largest known cave around the world at that time. Miao Chamber is grand in Getuhe Scenic Spot, laser scanned three-dimensionally by Chinese scientists and American measurement team in 2013. It is accurately concluded that the volume of Miao Chamber is 1.078×107m3, about 10% larger than ever record-keeper, Sarawak Chamber in Gunung Mulu National Park of Malaysia. So Miao Chamber became the underground chamber with biggest volume in the world. What’s more, all of the completed fossil river course, the deepest huge shaft, tiankeng and light through cave groups make the landscapes in Getuhe Scenic Spot more abundant and aesthetic diversity.
Wulong karst of South China Karst: The Wulong gorge karst system has many canyons and various forms, with typical V-shaped canyons, box-shaped canyons, slit canyons and the double-circulation canyons formed by them and the combination of canyon and tiankeng constitute a grand natural bridge group, which is the evidence of the evolution stage of the gorge karst. The canyon and its underflow have a special combination, which is of great significance and a good place to study the formation mechanism of the karst gorge. Getuhe Scenic Spot almost contains all the features of karst landform, such as fenglin, fengcong, gorges, valleys, depressions. These landscape combinations can form multi-dimensional aesthetic. Getuhe Scenic Spot is a serial interconnected whole with outstanding aesthetic and scientific value, constituting the unique karst natural park.
Tunpu Scenic Spot
On the World Heritage List, there are 7 sites about fenglin under criteria (vii) on natural beauty and aesthetic importance. The comparable fenglin with Tunpu Scenic Spot are Libo and Huanjiang karst of South China Karst, Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve in Madagascar, Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area in China and Ha Long Bay in Viet Nam.
Libo and Huanjiang karst of South China Karst: The South China Karst World Heritage site preserves many unique and iconic inland karst landscapes, including tower karst (fenglin), pinnacle karst (shilin), cone karst (fengcong) and other karst landscapes. Huanjiang karst belongs to cone karst, which is located on the boundary of Mulun National Nature Reserve in Guangxi Autonomous Region. Libo karst is located in Guizhou province, which includes high-conical karst landscape, deeply incised closed depressions (depressions), underground rivers and longer underground caves. The karst landform in Tunpu Scenic Spot is well developed, symbolized as the combination landform of cone fenglin and large corrosion basins. The scattered fenglin is marked by various morphology and pretty shapes, with high aesthetic value and humanity importance. Although the two landscapes belong to the fenglin under the action of plateau karst, fenglin in Tunpu Scenic Spot is more developed than that in Libo and Huanjiang.
Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve in Madagascar: Tsingy de Bemaraha is mostly intact limestone karst, which is the hilly area under karstification, and the entire western plateau forms a round hill that extends to the west. It represents rare or eminently remarkable geological phenomena and of exceptional beauty. The Tunpu fenglin in Tunpu Scenic Spot is the combination landform of large corrosion basins, with various forms and perfect shapes. Tunpu Scenic Spot is typical and has a sense of landscape combination, showing the outstanding aesthetic value of the Tunpu Scenic Spot.
Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area in China: Jiuzhaigou is renowned for its scenic and aesthetic majesty. Its fairyland landscape of numerous lakes, waterfalls, and limestone terraces, situated in the spectacular alpine mountains, demonstrates remarkable natural beauty. The jagged Jiuzhaigou valley reaches a height of more than 4,800m, thus comprising a series of diverse forest ecosystems. The magnificent scenery of Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area is even more interesting with a series of narrow conical karst landscape and spectacular waterfalls. The terrain is flat in Tunpu Scenic Spot, and the land types are mainly the hills and wide valleys, constituting man-land harmonious beauty with the countryside scenery in depressions. It’s more outstanding comparatively.
Ha Long Bay in Viet Nam: Ha Long Bay, in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes some 1,600 islands and islets, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Because of their precipitous nature, most of the islands are uninhabited and unaffected by a human presence. The site's outstanding scenic beauty is complemented by its great biological interest. Tunpu Scenic Spot has the countryside and ancient village scenery, which are constructed by the human-land action, combining the natural beauty of fenglin with man-land harmonious beauty successfully. It is typical and has a sense of landscape combination. As a village where ethnic minorities have been living for a long time, the village has preserved well, constituting the unique and beautiful Tunpu Scenic Spot.
Comparison based on the criterion (viii)
Huangguoshu Scenic Area shows an excellent representative of plateau landform in global comparison. Due to the great influence of the geological tectonic movement, areas have been uplifted greatly, and produced special even unique karst plateau Huangguoshu waterfalls with 9 steps and huge drop. Meanwhile, Getuhe river landscape contains complex structure and types of complicated karst landform types. Karst gorge system in this region completely records gorge karst evolution history, which is a good destination for gorge karst formation, development and evolution study, and also a rare gorge group of karst plateau landform in the world. Karst landforms at the edge of the plateau present rejuvenation and development process, which is globally important phenomenon in karst landform study. Tunpu landform is a kind of normal inherited development from conic karst to fenglin plain, but it happens in decreased strata due to tectonic movement. All of mentioned above represents outstanding significance. Therefore, it is unique, special, highlighting around the world.
Huangguoshu Scenic Spot
On the World Heritage List, there are 7 waterfall heritage sites based on World Heritage Geological and Geomorphologic criteria (viii). Among them, Huangguoshu Waterfall is comparable to the Angel Falls in the Canaima National Park in Venezuela, the Mosi Otunia Falls/Victoria Falls at the junction of Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the waterfalls in the Škocjan Caves in Slovenia.
The Angel Falls in the Canaima National Park in Venezuela is a suspended waterfall formed by the Chulun River water flowing from the Oyante Pui Mountain in the Flat plateau. The angle between the inclined surface of the rock wall and the ground is less than 90°. It is the waterfall with the largest drop in the world (1,002m), but the waterfall has only two levels. Comparing the characteristics of waterfall karst landforms, Huangguoshu Scenic Spot is the new tectonic movement that causes the intermittent vibration of the ground to rise, and the river traceability erosion forms multi-level knick point. It has created a rare "Nine-eighteen waterfalls" landscape in the world.
The Moxi Otunia Falls/Victoria Falls at the junction of Zambia and Zimbabwe is formed by the deep rocky valleys that cross the Zambezi River. It is formed by the continuous erosion of hard basalt by water erosion forces. It is a vertical waterfall with an angle of inclination of the rock wall and the ground equal to 90°. Comparing the geomorphological evolution of waterfall karst landforms, Huangguoshu waterfall has experienced the entire evolution process of the falling water cave, the collapse of the subterranean river and the erosion and retreat of the waterfall itself. It is a ―seven-eighteen waterfall with obvious cascades, not only vertical waterfalls, but also suspended and the inclined waterfall is a typical representative of the evolution of the erosion-split waterfall.
The Škocjan Caves is located in a special limestone cave system and is one of the world's most famous sites for studying karsts. The waterfalls in the area are distributed in the caves. In the process of underground cave system development, the underground water erodes, erodes and deposits thick limestone. The abundant water forms a huge underground waterfall group. The waterfall group is in the infant year of the waterfall development, and it is a waterfall of sinkhole mode. Comparing the evolution stage of waterfall karst landforms, Huangguoshu Waterfall is caused by the long-term erosion of the limestone in the cave by the underground dark river, and the roof of the sinkhole gradually collapses, the karst window increases and becomes larger, and finally the subterranean river re-exposes the surface to form the river on the ground. And due to the control of the new tectonic movement, the ground is intermittently lifted, and the river retreat erosion of the source, which is a typical representative of the erosion crack-type waterfall.
Getuhe Scenic Spot
On the World Heritage List, there are 8 canyon-like heritage sites based on the World Heritage Geological and Geomorphologic criteria (viii). Among them, the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, the Canyon of the South China Karst Wulong Area, and the Tara River Canyon are comparable to the Getuhe.
The karst Wulong area in South China Karst presents a typical subtropical karst mountain gorge karst landscape, with deep canyons and grand tiankeng groups, natural bridges and caves. It is mainly composed of Tianlong Bridge, Qinglong Bridge and Heilongjiang Bridge, Tianlong Bridge, Qinglong Tiankeng and Shenying Tiankeng, and the Shenque Canyon. It forms the canyon karst system of ―Three Bridges, Two Pit and One Canyon‖. Comparing the geomorphological features of karst gorges, Getuhe Scenic Spot is characterized by plateau gorges and huge caves. Due to the strong uplift of new structures, the Beipan River is rapidly cut at the edge of the plateau. The surface and groundwater are largely eroded and corroded in order to adapt to the descending base surface and the thickness of the enlarged seepage zone. The effect is to cut down vertically, forming the world's first volumetric cavern (Miao Hall) and the deepest underground river shaft tiankeng (Xiangshuidong).
Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas is the upper reaches of three of Asia's most famous rivers: the Yangtze (Jinsha), the lancang (upper Mekong) and the nu (upper salween). Three rivers run in parallel from north to south, through steep canyons 3,000 meters deep and mountains up to 6,000 meters high. The canyon is cut downward by internal forces (strongly squeezing the north-south direction of the Indian plate and the Eurasian plate) and external forces (mainly river erosion). Comparing the canyon geomorphology evolution process, Getuhe is in the rejuvenation stage of the plateau edge geomorphology near the main excretion reference river - the Yangtze River system and the Pearl River system, which can fully reflect the ongoing evolution of the cave to the canyon. In the deep development zone, not only the canyons such as the Great River Gorge and the Star Gorge, which are rare in the world, but also the caves such as the Great Piercing, Miao Hall and Xiangshui Cave. The Durmitor National Park consists of the Durmitor Plateau and the canyon formed by the Tara River Gorge, including three major geomorphological features: canyons, mountains, and plateaus. The Tara River Valley extends over 60 kilometers, and the Tara River is deep in both sides of the mountain. It is the deepest river canyon in Europe. The Montenegro region preserves rare ice caves and is a glacial remnant formed by the rapid freezing and thawing of Quaternary glaciers. Comparing the evolution process of karst gorge geomorphology, the gorge in the Getuhe area is formed by the erosion of the river caused by tectonic uplift. The development of the geomorphology reflects the geological evolution of the ongoing cave to the canyon, and is a typical model of canyon evolution. Therefore, compared to the canyons of the Durmitor National Park Glacier, Getuhe Scenic Spot has a rare canyon group under the influence of karst and contains the world's first volumetric cavern (Miao Hall) and the deepest underground river shaft tiankeng (Xiangshuidong) and other cave groups.
Tunpu Scenic Spot
On the World Heritage List, there are 6 fenglin sites based on World Heritage Geological and Geomorphologic criteria (viii). Among them, the comparison with Tunpu Scenic Spot includes the karst Libo and Huanjiang areas in South China Karst, the Trang An Landscape group in Vietnam and the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
The Trang An Landscape group in Vietnam has demonstrated the final stage of the evolution of tower-like karst landforms in a humid tropical environment. The karst landform cycle is a process from cone-shaped karst to tower-like karst to the base erosion plain. Comparing the karst landform evolution process, the Trang An Landscape group in Vietnam was repeatedly disturbed by the tectonic movement during the evolution of landforms. There have been many transgression and retreat events, resulting in the formation of a variety of transgressive landforms, such as sea erosion platforms, sea caves, etc. The Tunpu is in the deep part of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. After the neotectonic movement is large and the large-scale uplift, the long-term stable geomorphological evolutionary environment maintains the normal deep evolution sequence to the mature fenglin during the decline of the positive development. The development of the direction is the fenglin under the action of plateau karst. The landform in the landscape is complex and diverse, not only has rivers, peaks and so on, but also has typical cone-shaped fenglin, fenglin-plain, large-scale dissolution basins and other landform combinations.
Libo and libo karst extension huanjiang are belong to cone karst. Tunpu Scenic Spot is similar to its geographical location, with similar geological conditions. The climate is subtropical monsoon climate. It is located in a typical mid-subtropical cone-like fengcong karst landform development area, and they all belong to the fenglin under the effect of plateau karst. Compared with the combination of geomorphology, the Libo and Huanjiang areas are larger, so there are more landform combinations, including fengcong depression, fengcong valley, fengcong canyon, fenglin depression, fenglin valley, fenglin plain. Tunpu Scenic Spot is relatively small, and it is a combination of typical cone-shaped fenglin and large-scale dissolution basins. It has the typical and the landscape combination sense. And the fenglin in Tunpu is fully developed compared to the South China Karst Libo Area and the Huanjiang Area. Comparing the evolution process of geological features, the landforms in the Libo-Huanjiang karst have evolution sequences from fenglin-plain to fengcong-gorge, and there are also evolution sequences from fengcong depression to fenglin-gorge. The Tunpu area is developing towards the mature fenglin-plain.
The karst landforms of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Par began to develop from the Mesozoic tropical karst, but two-thirds of the area consisted of karsts since the Cenozoic. The karst landforms are extremely complex, with large caves and underground rivers, and many important Geomorphological features. Comparing the stage of karst landform development, the karst landforms in the Tunpu area have evolved from the Cenozoic. They are a prominent example of the Cenozoic geomorphology in response to the Neotectonic movement in the late Cenozoic. The large-scale uplift of the Neotectonic movement leads to the far-off trunk rivers (the Yangtze River system and the Pearl River system) have a gradual development of the plateau's internal geomorphology, a plateau with inherited developmental features, and a high cone peak. However, the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Par has a tropical monsoon climate, and most of the cone-shaped karst formation time is earlier than that of the Tunpu area. Therefore, the cone-shaped karst height of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Par is generally less than 10m, and the body shape is relatively short.