Decision : 36 COM 7B.64
Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape (Lao People’s Democratic Republic) (C 481)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B.Add,

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.72, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Regrets that the State Party did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the property as requested by the World Heritage Committee;

4.   Expresses its concern that infrastructure developments have occurred at the property without heritage impact assessments carried out or without a landscape plan in place and urges the State Party to implement necessary measures to mitigate their identified impacts;

5.   Notes the results of the February 2012 reactive monitoring mission and encourages the State Party to implement its recommendations, with a particular emphasis on:

a)  Monitor road traffic on route 14A and implement measures to control the number and speed of vehicles and consider creating a viable alternate route to the west of the property,

b)  Develop a comprehensive land-use plan that addresses zoning, use, potential infrastructure development and guidelines for facilities,

c)  Carry out visual impact assessments on the proposed locations for the construction of water towers and submit their results to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for review prior to committing to its implementation,

d)  Implement measures to mitigate the visual impact of the new site management office and the entrance gate,

e)  Develop an interpretation and awareness raising strategy for the property, including a local community engagement programme, to enhance the interpretation of the property and appropriation by associated living communities,

f)   Develop a policy for engaging foreign missions based on actions proposed in the Management Plan instead of ad-hoc decisions;

6.   Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the recommendations set out above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014.