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World Heritage Convention

Decision 42 COM 7B.5
Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an – Tian-shan Corridor (China / Kazakhstan / Kyrgyzstan) (C 1442)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 40 COM 7B.34 and 41 COM 7B.88, adopted at its 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 41st (Krakow, 2017) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the two detailed reports submitted by the State Parties of China and Kazakhstan addressing the requests made by the Committee in the aforementioned decisions, but strongly encourages all three States Parties involved in this serial transnational property to submit a joint report in the future;
  4. Commends the State Party of China for:
    1. the ongoing work on interpretation, stakeholder involvement and monitoring along the Chinese components of the serial property, and notably the public education activities,
    2. its extensive research, conservation and management activities, along with its efforts to enhance communication and coordination mechanisms among the three States Parties,
    3. the project ‘Study and Conservation of Beacon Towers in China’, which looks at the possibility of incorporating several valuable and well-preserved beacon towers into the heritage conservation area by means of a minor boundary modification;
  5. Also welcomes the assurances made by the State Party of Kazakhstan that the necessary impact assessments for road construction projects will be carried out and that mitigation measures will be developed to reduce any negative impacts;
  6. Notes the decisions to re-route the Birlik-Akbulak highway outside all protective zones at the Talgar component site, to close all existing roads through the component site of Kostobe, and to divert the A3 Ust-Kamenogorsk-Almaty highway to the edge of the buffer zone at the Kayalyk component site; and requests the State Party of Kazakhstan to provide the following to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, before any further plans or commitments are made and before any work is undertaken:
    1. Details of the preferred option for the Talgar bypass road, showing the precise route and the location of the new bridge, as well as any areas which are to fulfil the functions of demolished buildings, accompanied by a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA),
    2. Details of the overall road closure plans for Kostobe including the creation of a service zone and parking together with an appropriate HIA,
    3. Details of an adjusted route for the A3 Ust-Kamenogorsk-Almaty that avoids the buffer zone of Kayalyk component site entirely, together with an HIA,
    4. Details of the new road to the visitor centre at Akyrtas;
  7. Reiterates its requests to the State Party of Kazakhstan to provide details on:
    1. the dismantling of the partially constructed bridge adjacent to the Talgar component site,
    2. mitigation measures to address reconstruction work and illegal, uncontrolled residential developments near the boundaries of the Talgar component site,
    3. measures to strengthen the legal, planning and management frameworks of the Talgar component site and its setting;
  8. Further welcomes the ongoing process of preparing Management Plans for all component sites in Kazakhstan and their landscape settings, and also reiterates its request that these be finalized as a matter of priority, taking into consideration the outcomes of the November 2016 mission, and submitted to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, by 1 December 2018 at the latest;
  9. Also strongly encourages the three States Parties to make full use of the Intergovernmental Coordinating Committee (ICC), established prior to the inscription to better coordinate the protection and management of the serial transnational property, and notably of its Secretariat based at the ICOMOS International Conservation Centre in Xi’an (China);
  10. Finally requests the three States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, a joint updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020.
Decisions adopted during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee (Manama, 2018)
Context of Decision