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Decision 43 COM 7B.58
The Great Wall (China) (C 438)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.86, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Commends the State Party’s efforts to update and revise the legal and management frameworks for the property, encourages it to continue this work, to ensure that regulations are implemented harmoniously at all levels, and to implement the Master Plan of the Great Wall 2018-2035 following approval by the State Council of China;
  4. Welcomes the new regulations concerning impact assessments for projects that may have an impact on the Great Wall and its setting, but regrets that the implementation of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou Inter-City rail line project occurred before feedback was obtained from the World Heritage Committee and Advisory Bodies and without the submission of a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) in keeping with the ICOMOS Guidelines on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties, as requested by the Committee in Decision 41 COM 7B.86;
  5. Reminds the State Party to comply fully with the prescriptions of Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines and to obtain and respond to feedback for projects before any irreversible decision or action occurs;
  6. Also welcomes the conservation activities carried out by the State Party and also encourages the State Party to continue its efforts to use appropriate materials and techniques; notes the State Party’s intention to use new technologies for conservation and documentation of the Great Wall and further encourages the State Party to make the information on the processes and outcomes of these activities available as good practice cases, notably through the World Heritage Centre website;
  7. Further welcomes the State Party’s capacity-building and research efforts and encourages furthermore the State Party to continue providing regular training opportunities to all those involved in the conservation and promotion of the property, including local communities;
  8. Also notes the State Party’s initiatives to increase funding through public/private partnerships and fundraising for the benefit of the property and encourages moreover the State Party to share the overall guiding principles for the conservation and management of the property, and user-friendly versions of the legal and management frameworks, with all stakeholders involved;
  9. Welcomes furthermore the State Party’s international cooperation initiatives with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and considers that, in due time, the States Parties involved should share information about this initiative and good practice, including through the World Heritage Centre website;
  10. Reiterates its concern that the State Party has not provided requested information indicating how the proposed new station at the Badaling section of the Great Wall may affect the already high number of visitors, or what measures are proposed to address this issue, and urges the State Party to:
    1. Ensure that the potential impacts arising from increased visitation are addressed as part of a sustainable tourism management strategy to be prepared for the property,
    2. Take all necessary measures to mitigate the impacts of mass tourism on the property,
    3. Take all necessary measures to minimize the cumulative impacts of tourism infrastructure on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, especially with regard to sight lines to and from the Great Wall;

    and further notes that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies stand ready to support the State Party in this regard, if needed, through the Sustainable Tourism Programme;

  11. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, an 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 45th session in 2021.
Decision Code
43 COM 7B.58
Themes
Conservation
States Parties 1
Properties 1
Year
2019
State of conservation reports
2019 The Great Wall
Documents
WHC/19/43.COM/18
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision
WHC-19/43.COM/7B
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