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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7B.173
Rangiri Dambulla Cave Temple (Sri Lanka) (C 561)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 43 COM 7B.75, 43 COM 8B.1 and 44 COM 7B.150 adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019) and extended 44th (Fuzhou/online, 2021) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the efforts and progress made by the State Party to continue to improve the overall state of conservation and management of the property;
  4. Commends the State Party on inviting a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, and urges the State Party to implement all the recommendations of the mission;
  5. Requests the State Party to further restructure and revise the Management Plan for the property, in collaboration with the key management stakeholders, in line with the recommendations of the 2023 mission, and in particular to ensure that all attributes conveying the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) are identified and protected, and the root causes of their deterioration are identified and acted on;
  6. Also urges the State Party to facilitate an improved and effective relationship between the Department of Archaeology and the Temple Authority and common commitment to conservation of the OUV of the property, to encourage dialogue between the key stakeholders in the management of the property, and to develop a mutually acceptable and clearly outlined decision-making process;
  7. Also requests the State Party to adopt systematic and coherent documentation methods to enable the establishment of baseline data leading to the regular monitoring and understanding of changes and effectiveness of adopted conservation actions;
  8. Further urges the State Party, in consultation with the key management stakeholders, to establish a visitor management framework including appropriate codes of conduct for visitors, pilgrims and tourists to regulate the flow and sensitive to the needs of both pilgrims and the conservation of all attributes of OUV; such framework and codes of conduct to be based on the information collected through a visitor monitoring programme which clarifies the current visitation pattern and impacts, and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  9. Also requests the State Party to clearly define the boundaries of both the property and the buffer zone, define the purpose of the buffer zone, and submit, when completed, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  10. Further requests the State Party to advise the Committee on the reported development of the proposed Central Expressway Project, Kadawatha to Dambulla, and its relationship to the property and the buffer zone;
  11. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2024, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the Committee at its 47th session.
Decision Code
45 COM 7B.173
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2023 Rangiri Dambulla Cave Temple
Context of Decision