Decision : 30 COM 8B.22
Nominations of Natural Properties to the World Heritage List (The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-06/30.COM/8B and WHC-06/30.COM/INF.8B.2,

2. Inscribes the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuary - Wolong, Mt. Siguniang, and Jiajin Mountains, China, on the basis of natural criterion (iv):

    Criterion (iv): The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuary includes more than 30% of the world's population of giant Panda and constitutes the largest and most significant remaining contiguous area of panda habitat in the world. It is the most important source of giant panda for establishing the captive breeding population of the species. The property is also one of the botanically richest sites of any temperate region in the world or indeed anywhere outside of the tropical rain forests. Underlining the outstanding value is the large size of the nominated property and the fact that it protects a wide variety of topography, geology, and plant and animal species. The nominated property has exceptional value for biodiversity conservation and can demonstrate how ecosystem management systems can work across the borders of national and provincial protected areas.

    Requests the State Party to:

a) Ensure the "Sichuan World Heritage Management Committee" has sufficient powers, resources and authority to ensure it can effectively carry out its role in relation to management of the property, including in relation to the review and approval of any major development proposals which may impact on the natural values of the nominated property;

b) Review existing infrastructure within the property with a view to better controlling impacts and, where possible, removing infrastructure and allowing habitat restoration with native species;

c) Review the possibilities for future addition of areas of high nature conservation value to the property; with priority on those areas which are particularly important for panda habitat and which are close to but outside the property. Options for developing conservation corridors linking the property with other suitable areas of panda habitat should also be reviewed;

d) Progressively increase the level of staffing and resources within all reserves within the property, with the aim of ensuring that the level of staffing and management in all areas of the property is equivalent to that within the Wolong Nature Reserve within a ten year period;

e) In relation to the existing and proposed dams, ensure that: 

    (i) the impact of the dam at Yaoji, and the associated relocation of people, on the values of the property be closely monitored;

   (ii) effective mitigation measures are applied at Yaoji to minimize the impacts associated with dam construction, the impoundment and the relocation of the village; with priority to implementing measures to encourage the establishment of panda habitat;

   (iii) no additional dams are built within the property;

f) In relation to the Wolong Tourism Development Plan, undertake an independent expert review of the existing plan, under the direction of the World Heritage Management Office, to assess the impacts of the proposals on values within the nominated property and to recommend modifications that may be required. The World Heritage Office should also play a role in establishing tourism development guidelines, review of proposals and development of recommendations for mitigation of impacts for any major tourism development which may affect the values of the property;

g) Address other management issues noted in this evaluation report, including in relation to local populations, scientific research and education;

h) Consider changing the name of the nominated property to "The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries" from the currently proposed name of: "The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuary: Wolong, Mt Siguniang and Jiajin Mountains";

4. Encourages the State Party to invite a mission to the property in 3 years to assess the implementation of the above recommendations and other recommendations outlined in the IUCN Evaluation Report;

5. Commends the State Party for the process of consultation and scientific research involved in the preparation of the nomination dossier for this property, and for effectively addressing IUCN recommendations to enhance the conservation and management of the property.

Themes: Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
States Parties: China
Year: 2006
Decision Code: 30 COM 8B.22