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World Heritage Convention

Decision 31 COM 7B.72
Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara (Japan)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decisions 28 COM 15B.64 and 30 COM 7B.67, adopted at its 28th (Suzhou, 2004) and 30th (Vilnius, 2006) sessions respectively,

3. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party concerning the modalities for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed Yamato-Kita express highway and the traffic management plan under development;

4. Also takes note, with satisfaction, that the route selected for the proposed express highway runs outside the core and along the periphery of the buffer zones of the property;

5. Requests the State Party to consider very carefully all existing opinions and technical studies in the process of preparing thet EIA for the final proposal, so as to ensure that the express highway will not cause any alteration to the water table levels in areas of archaeological significance, which could result in loss of precious relics;

6. Also requests the State Party to share with the World Heritage Centre the final version of the EIA as soon as finalised and before a final decision is taken by the Urban Planning Council of the Nara prefecture;

7. Considering that the use for large-scale events of the archaeological area of the Heijo Palace within the core zone of the property, including the building of structures, presents a potential risk for the conservation of the fragile remains buried underground, and should normally be avoided,

8. Further requests the State Party to carefully review the plans for the commemorative events for the 1300th Anniversary of Nara in 2010 on the site of the Heijo palace and pay its utmost attention to ensure that they will not cause any negative impact on the archaeological remains buried underground, or on the visual integrity of the landscape of the property;

9. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2008, a report on the state of conservation of the property, with particular regard to the progress made in the EIA for the Yamato-Kita express highway and the review of the plans for the 1300th anniversary of Nara, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.

Decision Code
31 COM 7B.72
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2007 Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara
Decisions adopted at the 31st Session of the World Heritage Committee (Christchurch, 2007)
Context of Decision