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World Heritage Convention

Decision 35 COM 7B.72
Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape (Lao People’s Democratic Republic) (C 481)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 27 COM 7B.51, adopted at its 27th session (UNESCO, 2003),

3. Regrets that the State Party has not provided the detailed survey plan on the construction of a new North-South road and mitigation measures to the World Heritage Centre, as requested by the Committee and as requested twice by the World Heritage Centre in 2010;

4. Notes with great concern that construction of the new road has started and progressed rapidly and substantially in 2010, including in Zone 1 and 3 of the property;

5. Also notes the recommendations made by the UNESCO quick assessment mission undertaken in January-February 2011, in particular the need to consider options for realigning and downgrading the road within the property and its setting;

6. Requests the State Party to immediately suspend all construction works from km 25 to 34 to allow time for detailed assessment of the impact of the road construction project on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for World Heritage cultural properties and the investigation of alternative alignment options;

7. Also requests the State Party to undertake a cultural heritage impact assessment for the proposed water tanks and submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, before any commitment has been made;

8. Further requests the State Party to invite, as a matter of urgency, a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission to the property in 2011 in order to consider alternative options for the proposed road construction, in the context of its impact on Outstanding Universal Value and to undertake a comprehensive assessment on the state of conservation of the property and its management system;

9. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, a report on the state of conservation of the property, and in particular on the implementation of the above mitigation measures, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.

Decisions Adopted by the Word Heritage Committee at its 35th Session (UNESCO, 2011)
Context of Decision