Decision : 27 COM 7B.51
Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape (Lao People's Democratic Republic)
The World Heritage Committee ,
1. Having examined the state of conservation of the property for the first time since its inscription on the World Heritage List in 2001,;
2. Takes notes,, with appreciation, of the continued support provided by the Governments of Japan and Italy to assist the national authorities in the implementation of the activities approved in the Site Management Plan;
3. Emphasizes the importance of adherence to the government-approved management plan for the property, which was included within the nomination file originally submitted to the World Heritage Committee, in order to conserve the heritage values of all four protected zones through adequate inter-department co-ordination and on-property management;
4. Requests the State Party to:
a) ensure that any new road or other infrastructure construction within Zones 1 or 3 of the property is duly approved with respect to the applicable World Heritage zoning provisions contained in the approved management plan, and in particular, urges the State Party to submit a detailed survey plan for the new north-south road to mitigate any negative impact this road could have on Zones 1, 2, 3, or 4, detailing the protective measures being undertaken or planned,
(b) relocate the newly-constructed parking lot and visitor centre which is aligned along the property's principal cosmological axis, to an area which is outside Zones 2, 3 or 4,
(c) identify and engage sufficient professional staff to adequately manage the property,
(d) reactivate the work of the Inter-Departmental Co-ordinating Committee for the Safeguarding of Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements with the Champasak Cultural Landscape through the activation of an appropriate authority,
(e) monitor, during the upcoming monsoon season, the effectiveness of the recently completed hydrological engineering works designed to protect one of the main temples of Vat Phou from water erosion, which has been undertaken with generous support from the Government of Japan;
5. Further requests the State Party to submit a report on the state of conservation of the property, by 1 February 2004 in order that the World Heritage Committee can examine the state of conservation of the property at its 28th session in 2004.
 Decision adopted without discussion.