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Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu

Peru
Factors affecting the property in 2012*
  • Avalanche/ landslide
  • Flooding
  • Governance
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Delays in reviewing the Master Plan and developing detailed yearly operational plans, and inadequate budgetary support for effective implementation;

b) No evaluation of transportation options, related geological studies, or the impact of bus traffic on increasing the risk of landslides;

c) Lack of impact studies related to the carrying capacity of the Citadel and Inca Trail;

d) Delays in the development and implementation of a public use plan;

e) Delays in implementing urban planning and control measures for Machu PicchuVillage, the main point of entry to the property, which has impacted the visual values of the property;

f) Lack of effective management of the property;

g) Lack of risk management plans related to natural disasters;

h) Inadequate governance arrangements including lack of adequate coordination of activities between different institutions and stakeholders involved in site management;

i) Uncontrolled visitor access to the western part of the Sanctuary, related to the construction of the CarrilluchayocBridge.

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2012

Total amount provided to the property: USD 15,000 for the social participation workshop requested by the World Heritage Committee (Decision 30 COM 7B.35). 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2012
Requests approved: 11 (from 1986-2001)
Total amount approved : 166,625 USD
Missions to the property until 2012**

October 1997: IUCN/ICOMOS mission; October 1999: World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ICOMOS mission; February-March 2002: World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ICOMOS mission; October 2003: World Heritage Centre visit; April 2005: World Heritage Centre mission; April, 2007: World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; January 2009: World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ICOMOS reinforced monitoring mission; February 2010: World Heritage Centre technical emergency mission; May 2012: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN Advisory Mission.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012

The State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property on 23 February 2012 in response to the Decision of the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011). The report provides information on progress achieved in addressing unresolved issues facing the property. Several documents in Spanish are annexed to the report, including the terms of reference for updating the Master Plan, a copy of an architectural project, and specifications regarding a proposed infrastructure development for the Western access.

At the time of preparing this report, discussions were ongoing between the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies regarding the organization of an advisory mission, as noted in Decision 35 COM 7B.38, and the development of the terms of reference for the International Support Panel, which is intended to provide technical advice on the implementation of the Emergency Action Plan developed during the 2009 reinforced monitoring mission.

a) Updating of the Management Plan to define provisions to strategically address unregulated access to the site, public use and urban planning, especially in the Western access

The State Party notes that a decision has been made by the newly reactivated Management Unit for the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (UGM) to update the Master Plan for the property. According to the terms of reference for the process, updating the Plan will take approximately 9 months. The State Party notes that provisions will be included regarding unregulated access, public use and urban planning, but provides no further detail on these.

No information was provided on the current status of the Tourist and Recreation Use Plan or the Public Use Plan, that were reported as in progress since 2010; nor have copies been forwarded for review.

b) Definition of strategies to address the Western access to the property and identify alternatives to the proposed Santa Teresa Road

The State Party reports that negotiations have started with the EGEMSA Company to lease land at Intihuatana to set up a post for the control and permanent surveillance of the Western access. The report indicates that no new proposals have been made for the road to Santa Teresa and that the Supreme Executive Order 026-2011-MTC, which indicates that the road will not enter the property, still stands.

c) Risk reduction and disaster recovery plans, including a clear and precise course of action

The State Party indicates that the Early Alert System for the town of Machu Picchu is expected to be concluded in the spring of 2012. It also notes that coordination has been initiated with INGEMMET and consultants specialized in risk management so that a Contingency Plan can be drafted. No time frame for expected completion has been provided.

d) Harmonization of legislative frameworks and enforcement of regulatory measures

An overview of current legislations and regulations was included in the report submitted by the State Party. The approval of Supreme Executive Order 003-2011-MC, which rules that the UGM is responsible for the implementation of the comprehensive management strategy of the property, is considered as an important tool to harmonize decision-making processes in regard to the management of the property within the mandates of each authority.

e) Inventory of land ownership of the property and enforcement of regulatory measures

The State Party indicates that the registry of population and land titles, a process that started in 2003, continued in 2011 to cover the Choquellusca Sector of San Antonio de Torontoy. No further cadastral information on the property or the buffer zone was provided or additional data regarding the enforcement of regulatory measures.

f) Strengthening of decision-making processes and governance at the property

The State Party notes that the reactivation of the Management Unit is positive for the improvement of management operations within the property. A Technical Committee has also been functioning to address technical and management issues, such as the drafting of terms of reference to update the Master Plan.

g) Other issues

The State Party report also includes information about other activities implemented as part of the Institutional Operating Plan. These include preservation of cultural heritage through maintenance and conservation, archaeological research, monitoring etc. It indicates that the implementation of the Comprehensive Machu Picchu Project is expected to begin in 2012. The objective of this project is to propose alternate visitation routes and visits to other sites which are historically and spatially integrated with the property.

Throughout 2011 and early 2012, the World Heritage Centre received several notifications that the established carrying capacity of 2500 visitors per day had been exceeded on numerous occasions. In the working proceedings of the UGM Management Unit, the Vice Ministry of Tourism had indicated that a carrying capacity study, commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) and funded by the World Bank, has indicated that there can be 2,200 tourists simultaneously at the property at any given time. The minutes further notes that, with some improvements in the existing visitation routes, this number could easily be doubled. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies brought to the attention of the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session that the commissioned studies, included in the 2011 state of conservation report, provided questionable technical arguments to increase carrying capacity at the property.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2012

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies have expressed their deep concern since 1999 about the conditions that pose a threat to the property. They note that to date no substantial progress has been achieved as yet in the implementation of the costed and prioritized Emergency Plan developed during the reinforced monitoring mission of 2009, and many actions have remained at the planning stages or have only achieved partial implementation.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that the updating of the Master Plan was also reported as a proposed action in 2011 but that there are no indications on how this process will be articulated with the proposed evaluation of management effectiveness, and planning processes for the development of the Tourist and Recreation Use Plan or the Public Use Plan.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies would also like to recall that the illegal and forced opening of Carrilluchayoc Bridge in 2007 enabled this access which was neither planned for nor authorized. Since no actions were taken at the time, it is now constantly used as an alternative access to the property. The current proposal foresees a total area for infrastructure of 2370.33745 sq. meters and is only a patchwork solution to provide visitor facilities and better control access in the middle of an industrial site that is inappropriate and unsafe for visitor access. It does not constitute a comprehensive strategy for the Western access, and indeed the overall problem of a safe and high quality access to the Citadel, as it does not address pedestrian access, risks derived from landslides and other issues that have been raised in previous reactive monitoring missions to the site and reports to the World Heritage Committee. They wish to also note that much of the land along the railway line, inside the inscribed property, is privately owned so the area could become the locus of uncontrolled development of tourism facilities in addition to those that have already been developed in Machu Picchu Village. Moreover, some of the property’s finest exemplars of rainforests stand on this land, and any development in this zone would have a detrimental impact on the site’s natural values.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies further note that although several documents have been produced in the past years and actions have been partially implemented, to date no comprehensive disaster risk management plan has been fully developed or is currently in place.

They note that although the reactivation of the Management Unit is an important step, the harmonization of legal instruments and regulatory measures to strengthen compliance and implementation remains unaddressed. The existing systems do not preclude the possibility of decisions being made outside the scope of action of the UGM Management Unit as was illustrated last year by the approval, and later reversal, of the Santa Teresa Road. They also wish to reiterate that clarity on land tenure is essential for the development of a strategic response to sustain the Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of the property.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies recognize that there are many challenges that have not been successfully met, including the uncontrolled development at Machu Picchu village, the increase in visitation, and continuing problems with visitor access, among others. They consider that the intention to increase the number of visitors to the property would further exacerbate existing problems.

They note the on-going discussions between the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies regarding the development of the terms of reference for the International Support Panel, and recommend that the Committee highlights that the successful establishment of the Panel would be a crucial step towards expediting the implementation of the Emergency Plan.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies have repeatedly recommended that the World Heritage Committee consider inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger to provide the opportunity for adopting strong corrective measures and to mobilize resources to holistically and sustainably address factors that continue to threaten the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. They consider that in the absence of substantial progress in the implementation of the Emergency Plan by its 37th session in 2013, the Committee should consider the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2012
36 COM 7B.39
Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (Peru) (C/N 274)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B.Add,

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.38, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Acknowledges the information provided on the implementation of actions at the property, and regrets that no substantial progress has been made in addressing threats to the property that have been underscored for more than ten years;

4.   Considers that threats to the property derived from increased public use, continued difficulties with access routes, deficiencies in decision-making and governance mechanisms, uncontrolled development at the Machu Picchu Village, among others, have not been comprehensively addressed;

5.   Notes the ongoing discussions between the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies regarding the organization of an advisory mission and the development of terms of reference for the International Support Panel, and also considers that the successful establishment of the Panel would be a crucial step towards the urgent implementation of the Emergency Action Plan; 

6.   Reiterates its requests to the State Party to complete work to address unresolved issues with special attention to the:

a)  Definition of provisions to strategically address public use and urban planning within the framework of the updating of the Management Plan by the end of 2012, and to include a Limits of Acceptable Change Study and a related carrying capacity study for Aguas Calientes village, 

b)  Definition of a comprehensive strategy for the Western access to the property,

c)  Full development of risk reduction and disaster recovery plans, including a clear and precise course of action,

d)  Harmonization of legislative frameworks and enforcement of regulatory measures,

e)  Finalization of the inventory of land ownership of the property and in its immediate setting and definition of regulatory measures in accordance to established land use zones,

f)   Strengthening of decision-making processes and governance at the property, and approving the regulations of the Management Unit still pending, so as to establish a real collegiate authority for the Sanctuary,

g)  Establishment of a clear and unambiguous carrying capacity for the Sanctuary and consistent guidelines for a Public Use Plan that should be officially approved by the Management Unit of the Sanctuary; 

7.   Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a report on the state of conservation of the property, including a comprehensive report on the actions taken according to the recommendations of the technical mission report of the International Support Panel, and the progress made in the implementation of the Emergency Action Plan, as well as on the steps taken to implement the above-mentioned recommendations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013.

Draft Decision: 36 COM 7B.39

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.38, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3. Acknowledges the information provided on the implementation of actions at the property, and regrets that no substantial progress has been made in addressing threats to the property that have been underscored for more than ten years;

4. Considers that threats to the property derived from increased public use, continued difficulties with access routes, deficiencies in decision-making and governance mechanisms, uncontrolled development at the Machu Picchu Village, among others, have not been comprehensively addressed;

5. Notes the ongoing discussions between the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies regarding the organization of an advisory mission and the development of terms of reference for the International Support Panel, and also considers that the successful establishment of the Panel would be a crucial step towards the urgent implementation of the Emergency Action Plan; 

6. Reiterates its requests to the State Party to complete work to address unresolved issues with special attention to:

a) Definition of provisions to strategically address public use and urban planning within the framework of the updating of the Management Plan,

b) Definition of a comprehensive strategy for the Western access to the property,

c) Full development of risk reduction and disaster recovery plans, including a clear and precise course of action,

d) Harmonization of legislative frameworks and enforcement of regulatory measures,

e) Finalization of the inventory of land ownership of the property and in its immediate setting and definition of regulatory measures in accordance to established land use zones,

f) Strengthening of decision-making processes and governance at the property,

g) Establishment of a clear and unambiguous carrying capacity for the Sanctuary, and consistent guidelines for a Public Use Plan that should be officially approved by the Management Unit of the Sanctuary; 

7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a report on the state of conservation of the property, including a comprehensive report on the actions taken according to the recommendations of the technical mission report of the International Support Panel, and the progress made in the implementation of the Emergency Action Plan, as well as on the steps taken to implement the above-mentioned recommendations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013.

Report year: 2012
Peru
Date of Inscription: 1983
Category: Mixed
Criteria: (i)(iii)(vii)(ix)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 36COM (2012)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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