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World Heritage Convention

Decision 32 COM 8B.14
Examination of nomination of Natural, mixed and cultural proprerties to the world heritage list - Tectonic Arena Sardona (SWITZERLAND)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-08/32.COM/8B and WHC-08/32.COM/INF.8B2,

2. Inscribes the Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona, Switzerland, on the World Heritage List on the basis of criterion (viii), noting the revision of the name originally proposed by the State Party;

 3. Adopts the following Statement of Outstanding Universal Value:


The Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona presents an exceptional and dramatic display of mountain building through continental collision. The property is distinguished by the clear three-dimensional exposure of the structures and processes that characterise this phenomenon in a mountain setting, its history of study, and its ongoing contribution to geological sciences.


The property contains the full range of tectonic features necessary to display the phenomenon of mountain building. Key attributes of the site include the Glarus Overthrust and the associated folded and faulted geological exposures above and below it. Other key attributes of the property are the accessibility of the features in three dimensions, and access to the thrust surface of the Glarus Overthrust. Associated intangible values relate to the importance of the property as a formative site for the geological sciences; and the features that were part of these studies remain visible and in good condition in the present day.

Requirements for Protection and Management

The major exposures of the geological features are within protected areas and are substantially unthreatened. The primary management issue is to allow the natural processes of slope erosion to continue. Other key management issues relate to the continued provision of safe visitor and research access and protection of key features such as the exposures of the thrust surface. The communication of the key values of the property is also an important priority and continued investment and enhancement of visitor interpretation and education strategies are required.

4. Commends the State Party for its significant efforts in developing the nomination and enhancing the recognition of the values of the property following IUCN's evaluation of the original nomination submitted in 2004; and notes the quality of the comparative analysis carried out in relation to the geological values of the property;

5. Further notes that the inscription of the property makes a significant contribution to the recognition of tectonic sites on the World Heritage List and that the nomination sets a high standard for the quality of argument required to support inscription of any further tectonic sites as well as for geological nominations in general; and emphasises that the numbers of tectonic sites suitable for inscription on the World Heritage List is likely to be very small.

Decision Code
32 COM 8B.14
Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
States Parties 1
Decisions Adopted at the 32nd Session of the World Heritage Committee (Quebec City, 2008)
Context of Decision