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Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha

Nepal
Factors affecting the property in 2012*
  • Housing
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities
  • Legal framework
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Impact of the new structure of the Maya Devi Temple (constructed in 2002) on the archaeological remains, as well as on the visual integrity.

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Lack of a conservation policy and inappropriate management of the property;

b) Impact of the new structure of the Maya Devi Temple (constructed in 2002) on the archaeological remains, as well as on the visual integrity.

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2012

Total amount provided to the property: USD 931,606; USD 791,786 from the Japanese Funds-in-Trust for 2010 – 2013; Euro 5,000 from Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance in 2011; USD 20,000 from Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance in 2010; USD 62,620 from the Japanese Funds-in-Trust in 2009; USD 50,000 from Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance in 2008, and USD 7,200 from the Italian Funds-in-Trust in 2006.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2012
Requests approved: 3 (from 2000-2007)
Total amount approved : 70,000 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012

On 30 January 2012 the State Party submitted a report outlining the progress in the development of the Integrated Management Plan (IMP), activities for the conservation of archaeological remains and archeological surveys. Within the framework of the UNESCO Japan Funds-in-Trust (FIT) project for the “conservation and management of Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha” and the Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance, eight international missions have been organised by UNESCO between 2011 and March 2012 to assist the Department of Archaeology and the Lumbini Development Trust in various aspects, in particular the development and finalization of the IMP.

a) Integrated Management Plan (IMP)

Based on four consultation and training workshops with stakeholders, a draft Integrated Management Framework document was produced and will be submitted to the Cabinet for adoption by the Government of Nepal. Once the Cabinet has adopted the Integrated Management Framework, the management system will be implemented on a trial basis during the fiscal year July 2012 to July 2013. Thereafter, the implementation section of the IMP will accordingly be finalized and, if necessary, further refined.

b) Planned development projects

The report notes that various projects are planned in and around Lumbini. These include an improvement scheme of the site infrastructure, presentation and visitor facilities supported by the Asian Development Bank (USD 12,750,000); the Greater Lumbini Master Plan project, which aims to create a World Peace City, covering an area of three districts (Rupandehi, Kapilavastu and Nawalparashi) and is being prepared in cooperation with the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA); the proposed world’s highest Buddha statute to be erected in the New Lumbini Village, outside the World Heritage property. The State Party expresses in its report, that these projects will not have any impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies do not fully share this view point with regard to some of the proposed development projects, and they reiterate that any decision on these proposals should be based on a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidelines on Heritage Impact Assessments for World Heritage cultural properties, and also be considered in the framework of the finalized IMP. In addition, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that notice on any planned development should be given as soon as possible, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

c) Environmental degradation as result of industrial activity

The State Party noted that an Environmental Impact Assessment of Industrial Development around Lumbini had been carried out by IUCN, Nepal, and that a draft report had been presented in August 2011. Following this, the Industrial Promotion Board of the Government of Nepal decided to prohibit the establishment of new industrial activities in and around Lumbini World Heritage property. Specifically, the prohibition states, that an area within 15 km from the northern, eastern and western boundaries of the Lumbini Project Area (1 mile x 3 miles as per Prof. Kenzo Tange’s Master Plan) and towards the south up to the Indian boarder and 800 meter on both sides of the Lumbini - Bhairahawa corridor will be off limits for the establishment of new industries, except for those which do not emit carbon". The State Party has further contacted the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) for technical assistance to address the existing environmental degradation of the property.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that the environmental situation has worsened over the past years and that industrial development could adversely impact the setting of the property, part of which was considered as an extension at the 34th session of the World Heritage Committee (Brasilia, 2010). They further consider that for any future proposals, a Heritage Impact Assessment should be undertaken to consider the potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and its setting, as part of the wider Environmental Impact Assessments.  

d) Other issues

The UN Secretary General and the UNESCO Director General are considering an international initiative in collaboration with the State Party to raise awareness of the need for better preservation and management of the property possibly through the establishment of an International Expert Committee for the Safeguarding of Lumbini in the framework of the Japan FIT project.

Several restoration projects have been implemented with the assistance of international partners, among them the in-situ restorations of Ashoka Pillar, the Nativity Sculpture and the Marker Stone. Archeological surveys confirmed the presence of Pre-Ashokan layers in Maya Devi Temple.

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies hope that, through this initiative, a shared vision can be built by the national and international partners working at the property.

The Committee may take note of the progress made with respect to the development of the IMP but observe with concern the various development projects proposed and urge the need for a comprehensive Heritage Impact Assessments to be conducted to determine their potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The various missions and activities being undertaken should be in conformity with the IMP and the overall vision established for the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The State Party should further be encouraged to continue its efforts to reduce industrial activity in the property vicinity and develop programmes for environmental regeneration. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2012
36 COM 7B.65
Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha (Nepal) (C 666 rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.74, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Notes the progress in developing the Integrated Management Plan (IMP) as well as the conservation measures taken for the property;

4.   Requests the State Party to continue its work on the finalization of the Integrated Management Plan (IMP), and to continue its commitment to not approving any development project within the property or in the adjacent areas identified as having potential archaeological significance before the completion of the IMP and before conducting Heritage Impact Assessments, in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidelines on Heritage Impact Assessments for World Heritage cultural properties;

5.   Encourages the State Party to continue to develop also strategies to further reduce industrial activity in the vicinity of the property; and requests that for any future proposals an Heritage Impact Assessment should be undertaken to consider the potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and its setting, as part of a wider Environmental Impact Assessment, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

6.   Reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre detailed information on any proposed major restoration or new construction in the vicinity of the property, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

7.   Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, 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 38th session in 2014. 

36 COM 8D
Clarifications of property boundaries and areas by States Parties in response to the Retrospective Inventory

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/8D,

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 8D adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Acknowledges the excellent work accomplished by States Parties in the clarification of the delimitation of their World Heritage properties and thanks them for their efforts to improve the credibility of the World Heritage List;

4.   Recalls that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies will not be able to examine proposals for minor or significant modifications to boundaries of World Heritage properties whenever the delimitation of such properties as inscribed is unclear;

5.   Takes note of the clarifications of property boundaries and areas provided by the following States Parties in response to the Retrospective Inventory, as presented in the Annex of Document WHC-12/36.COM/8D:

    • Algeria: M’Zab Valley;
    • Argentina: Los Glaciares National Park;
    • Australia: Lord Howe Island Group; Wet Tropics of Queensland; Shark Bay, Western Australia; Heard and McDonald Islands;
    • Cambodia: Angkor;
    • China: The Great Wall; Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian; Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area; Ancient City of Ping Yao; Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in Beijing; Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing;
    • Colombia: Historic Centre of Santa Cruz de Mompox;
    • Croatia: Plitvice Lakes National Park;
    • Czech Republic: Historic Centre of Prague;
    • Finland: Fortress of Suomenlinna;
    • Georgia: Historic Monuments of Mtskheta;
    • Germany: Aachen Cathedral; Collegiate Church, Castle and Old Town of Quedlinburg;
    • Germany and the United Kingdom: Frontiers of the Roman Empire: Hadrian’s Wall;
    • Honduras: Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve;
    • India: Ajanta Caves; Kaziranga National Park;
    • Indonesia: Borobudur Temple Compounds;
    • Japan: Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area; Himeji-jo; Yakushima; Shirakami-Sanchi; Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama; Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome); Itsukushima Shinto Shrine; Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara;
    • Nepal: Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha;
    • Sri Lanka: Sinharaja Forest Reserve;
    • Seychelles: Aldabra Atoll;
    • Spain: Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid; Works of Antoni Gaudí; Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct; Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias; Santiago de Compostela (Old Town); Old Town of Cáceres; Old City of Salamanca; Poblet Monastery; Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida; Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe;
    • Syrian Arab Republic: Ancient City of Aleppo;
    • Thailand: Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns; Historic City of Ayutthaya; Ban Chiang Archaeological Site;
    • Tunisia: Archaeological Site of Carthage;
    • Turkey: Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia;
    • Uzbekistan: Itchan Kala; Historic Centre of Bukhara; Samarkand – Crossroad of Cultures;

6.   Requests the States Parties which have not yet answered the questions raised in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory to provide all clarifications and documentation as soon as possible and by 1 December 2012 at the latest.

36 COM 8E
Adoption of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/8E,

2.   Congratulates States Parties for the excellent work accomplished in the elaboration of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in their territories;

3.   Adopts the retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, as presented in the Annex of Document WHC-12/36.COM/8E, for the following World Heritage properties:

    • Australia:  Great Barrier Reef; Lord Howe Island Group; Gondwana Rainforests of Australia; Wet Tropics of Queensland; Fraser Island; Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh / Naracoorte); Heard and McDonald Islands; Macquarie Island; Purnululu National Park;
    • Bangladesh: Historic Mosque City of Bagerhat;
    • Cambodia: Angkor;
    • China: Mount Taishan; The Great Wall; Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang; Mogao Caves; Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian; Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area; Temple and Cemetery of Confucius, and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu; Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains; Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa; Lushan National Park; Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area; Old Town of Lijiang; Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing; Mount Wuyi; Dazu Rock Carvings; Mount Qincheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System; Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom; Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries – Wolong, Mt Siguniang and Jiajin Mountains;
    • Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea: Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve;
    • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: Complex of Koguryo Tombs;
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo: Virunga National Park; Garamba National Park; Kahuzi-Biega National Park; Salonga National Park;
    • Egypt: Wadi Al-Hitan (Whale Valley);
    • Estonia: Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn;
    • Ethiopia: Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela; Lower Valley of the Awash; Lower Valley of the Omo; Harar Jugol, the Fortified Historic Town;
    • Gambia: Kunta Kinteh Island and Related Sites;
    • Gambia and Senegal: Stone Circles of Senegambia;
    • Ghana: Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions; Asante Traditional Buildings;
    • India: Taj Mahal; Keoladeo National Park; Sundarbans National Park; Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks;
    • Indonesia: Borobudur Temple Compounds; Prambanan Temple Compounds;
    • Islamic Republic of Iran: Bam and its Cultural Landscape;
    • Kazakhstan: Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi; Petroglyphs within the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly;
    • Madagascar: Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve; Royal Hill of Ambohimanga;
    • Malaysia: Gunung Mulu National Park;
    • Mali: Timbuktu; Cliff of Bandiagara (Land of the Dogons); Tomb of Askia;
    • Mongolia: Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape;
    • Nepal: Sagarmatha National Park; Kathmandu Valley; Chitwan National Park; Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha;
    • New Zealand: Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand; New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands;
    • Nigeria: Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove;
    • Pakistan: Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro;
    • Philippines: Baroque Churches of the Philippines; Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park;
    • Republic of Korea: Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple; Haeinsa Temple Janggyeong Pangeon, the Depositories for the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks; Jongmyo Shrine; Changdeokgung Palace Complex; Hwaseong Fortress; Gyeongju Historic Areas; Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites;
    • Solomon Islands: East Rennell;
    • Thailand: Historic City of Ayutthaya;
    • Turkmenistan: State Historical and Cultural Park “Ancient Merv”; Kunya-Urgench;
    • United Republic of Tanzania: Serengeti National Park; Kondoa Rock-Art Sites; 
    • Uzbekistan: Historic Centre of Bukhara; Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz; Samarkand – Crossroad of Cultures;
    • Viet Nam: Ha Long Bay; My Son Sanctuary; Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park;
    • Zambia and Zimbabwe: Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls;
    • Zimbabwe: Great Zimbabwe National Monument; Khami Ruins National Monument; Matobo Hills;

4.   Decides that retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in Danger will be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies in priority;

5.   Further decides that, considering the high number of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value to be examined, the order in which they will be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies will follow the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting, namely:

    • World Heritage properties in the Arab States;
    • World Heritage properties in Africa;
    • World Heritage properties in Asia and the Pacific;
    • World Heritage properties in Latin America and the Caribbean;
    • World Heritage properties in Europe and North America. 
Draft Decision: 36 COM 7B.65

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.74, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3. Notes the progress in developing the Integrated Management Plan (IMP) as well as the conservation measures taken for the property;

4. Requests the State Party to continue its work on the finalization of the Integrated Management Plan (IMP), and to continue its commitment to not approving any development project within the property or in the adjacent areas identified as having potential archaeological significance before the completion of the IMP and before conducting Heritage Impact Assessments, in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidelines on Heritage Impact Assessments for World Heritage cultural properties;

5. Encourages the State Party to continue to develop also strategies to further reduce industrial activity in the vicinity of the property; and requests that for any future proposals an Heritage Impact Assessment should be undertaken to consider the potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and its setting, as part of a wider Environmental Impact Assessment, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

6. Reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre detailed information on any proposed major restoration or new construction in the vicinity of the property, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, 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 38th session in 2014. 

Report year: 2012
Nepal
Date of Inscription: 1997
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(vi)
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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