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World Heritage Convention

Decision 44 COM 7B.183
Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area (China) (N 640)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.6, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s ongoing efforts to manage impacts on the property, including integrated water management, and its commitment towards effective protection and management measures in the future;
  4. Notes the updated information that the infrastructure projects approved and undertaken to date by the State Party relate to minor improvements to existing facilities, and therefore do not appear to pose a threat to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  5. Also notes that no new road has been constructed within the property since 2015, but recalls its previously expressed concern that road construction continues to be allowed in principle, and therefore requests the State Party to confirm that no new road development will be permitted within the property in the future;
  6. Regrets that the State Party did not submit the 2005-2020 Overall Plan of Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area and reiterates its requestto the State Party to submit the revised draft Overall Plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN as soon as it is available;
  7. Also welcomes the finalisation of the Sustainable Tourism and Development Strategy of the property, in line with the conclusions and suggestions provided through a pilot study on World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism in Wulingyuan, commissioned by the World Heritage Centre and implemented by the World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region (WHITR-AP/Shanghai), a Category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO;
  8. Also recalls that visitation numbers to the property were increasing every year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also requests the State Party to provide information on how clear and quantifiable tourism carrying capacity limits will be established in the Overall Plan and how they will be implemented, in order to ensure visitation does not negatively impact the property once the tourism market recovers at the property;
  9. Also recalling its request that the State Party ensure that any relocation programme is implemented in line with the 2015 Policy Document on the Integration of a Sustainable Development Perspective into the Processes of the World Heritage Convention and that effective consultation, fair compensation, access to social benefits and skills training, and the preservation of cultural rights are guaranteed, notes with appreciation the State Party’s efforts to positively engage with local communities;
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for review by the Advisory Bodies.
Decisions adopted at the 44th extended session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision