Decision : 32 COM 8B.6
Examination of nomination of Natural, mixed and cultural proprerties to the World Heritage List - Mount Sanqingshan National Park (CHINA)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-08/32.COM/8B and WHC-08/32.COM/INF.8B2,

2. Inscribes Mount Sanqingshan National Park, China, on the World Heritage List on the basis of criterion (vii);

3.Adopts the following Statement of Outstanding Universal Value:


Mount Sanqingshan National Park displays a unique array of forested, fantastically shaped granite pillars and peaks concentrated in a relatively small area. The looming, intricate rock formations intermixed with delicate forest cover and combined with ever-shifting weather patterns create a landscape of arresting beauty.

Mount Sanqingshan also derives from the juxtaposition of its granite features with the mountain's vegetation enhanced by meteorological conditions which create an ever-changing and arresting landscape. The access afforded by suspended walking trails in the park permits visitors to appreciate the park's stunning scenery and enjoy its serene atmosphere.


The park boundaries are appropriately drawn to protect the naturalness of the landscape and the areas required to maintain the scenic qualities of the property. The property, although relatively small, includes all of the granite peaks and pillars which provide the framework for its aesthetic values. Boundaries are accurately surveyed and demarcated. The property's integrity is enhanced by the designation of a buffer zone that is not part of the inscribed property.

Requirements for Protection and Management

The property has effective legal protection, a sound planning framework and is currently well managed. The park benefits from strong government support and funding. The park's natural resources are in good condition and threats are considered manageable. There is an effective management regime in place for the park. The key requirement is to manage the property to retain its aesthetic values, and a delicate balance will need to be maintained with the provision of visitor access. The most significant threat relates to the future increase in tourism, and careful and sensitive planning of the related infrastructure and access development is required.

4. Recommends the State Party, in order to strengthen the integrity and management of the property, to:

  • a)   develop and implement, in recognition of increasing numbers of park visitors, a visitor management plan as a sub-plan of the Management and Conservation Plan for Mount Sanqingshan National Park. Such a plan should anticipate and address the need to manage the environmental impact of additional visitors, the need to maintain and develop a zoned use plan, and the need to provide appropriate additional visitor facilities in suitable and sensitively selected locations;

  • b)   ensure that any development of new visitor facility infrastructure in relation to increasing use be limited and subject to rigorous Environmental Impact Assessment. Construction of additional cable car systems or the development of additional roads in the park should not be supported; and

  • c)   establish research and monitoring programmes to monitor visitor numbers and their impacts, and assess and adapt to the impacts of climate change on the park including the potentially adverse impact of fire and invasive alien species on the park's aesthetic and natural values;

5. Recalls the decision of the Committee at its 16th session (Santa Fé, 1992) regarding the separate listing of similar sites; and notes that further values of Mount Sanqingshan could warrant recognition on the World Heritage List only if re-nominated as a serial property in combination with similar and nearby sites, in particular Mount Huangshan, which is currently inscribed as a mixed site;

6. Notes that there are a number of other potential sites with similar values currently on the Tentative List of the State Party of China which might be put forward for separate consideration by the World Heritage Committee; and therefore invites the Chinese authorities to consider carefully, in consultation with the Advisory Bodies, the future strategy for nominations and the potential to develop a wider range of serial approaches in order to reduce the potential for separate nominations of properties that share similar and complementary values. The serial nomination of the South China Karst, inscribed in 2007, provides a model that could be of value in other inter-provincial nominations within China;

7. Further notes that the nomination of Mount Sanqingshan illustrates the importance of considering the full range of natural and cultural values that may be relevant for World Heritage inscription during the planning phases of nominations, and potential synergies with similar nearby sites; and encourages States Parties to give fuller consideration to rigorous, global comparative analysis and to consider the use of the mechanism of extensions (including serial and transnational extensions) where significant sites with similar and/or complementary values are identified through such analyses.

Themes: Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
States Parties: China
Year: 2008
Decision Code: 32 COM 8B.6