1.         Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration (Japan) (C 1418)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2013

Criteria  (iii)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1418/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1418/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Threat identified at the time of inscription of the property:

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1418/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 27 January 2016, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1418/documents. The report addresses the Committee’s specific requests at the time of inscription (Decision 37 COM 8B.29) as follows:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The State Party has produced a detailed and comprehensive report on work undertaken since the inscription to address the requests of the Committee. In particular, the development of a Vision to overarch a holistic management approach is very welcome. This allows the management of the property as a cultural landscape to bring together work related to various different disciplines such as research, interpretation, visitor management, strengthened protection, and conservation in an iterative process whereby each disciplines reinforces the others.

The revised Management Plan is now a comprehensive document that clearly sets out the scope of the property, its OUV and the attributes of the various components sites in the context of their history. It clearly articulates the need for “sustainable relationships between people and Fujisan by looking forward at land utilization based on the historical land utilization of the areas at the foot of the mountain, together with maintaining and improving upon the hallmarks of beauty and divinity possessed by Fujisan”.

The issues that are being addressed cannot be easily “solved” or “completed”. The crucial need is to embed them within the management framework and to monitor the impact of work being undertaken. Some progress has already been made with the voluntary reduction of litter on the mountain as climbers become more aware of cultural and environmental issues, in the coordination of management for mountain routes, mountain huts and tractor routes; in assembling research on the multiple lower level routes and shrines to allow an understanding of religious approaches and different historical approaches during which  the routes were used; and in strengthening coordination between different authorities to promote more effective use of planning policies. The removal of electric wires from key views of the mountain has also had a significant impact.

The scope and extent of the outlined programme are both impressive and absolutely necessary if the mountain – both its upper summit and lower flanks – is to be understood as a whole and as a place of religious and artistic inspiration in tune with its natural and cultural environments. The development pressures around the property are considerable and it is acknowledged that work on mapping the lower pilgrim routes must be done as soon as possible before development severely compromises essential links.

There has clearly been considerable energy put into addressing the issues since the inscription and this implies significant coordination between all the many authorities involved in the management of the property. If the momentum is to be maintained, there will be a need for strong coordination from the Fujisan World Cultural Heritage Council and effective sharing of information.

It is considered that the multidisciplinary work being undertaken is exemplary in its scope, aims and ambitions. In bringing together experts and communities, cultural and natural dimensions, spiritual and recreational needs, development and conservation on the large canvas of Fujisan and its buffer zone, it is providing an excellent example of how the management of a property can deal not only with conservation but  can add value through enhanced cultural identities and social responsibilities. 

It is suggested that, as much as feasible, the work being undertaken and the lessons learnt should be shared with other extensive cultural landscapes that share similar conservation and management challenges.

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 7B.39

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 8B.29, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Acknowledges the well-detailed and informative progress report from the State Party on work undertaken to address the requests of the Committee at the time of inscription;
  4. Welcomes the considerable efforts and progress made by the State Party in putting in place an inter-disciplinary and sustainable management system that draws in local communities and considers both the property and its buffer zone as an overall cultural landscape unit;
  5. Also welcomes the focus on bringing together experts and communities, cultural and natural dimensions, spiritual and recreational needs, conservation and development;
  6. Also acknowledges the significant coordination between the many authorities involved in the property in taking this work forward and considers that if the momentum is to be maintained, there will be a need for strong coordination from the Fujisan World Cultural Heritage Council and effective sharing of information;
  7. Also considers that the approach being promoted provides an excellent example of how the management of a property can deal not only with conservation, but can add value through enhancing cultural identities and social responsibilities;
  8. Encourages the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to find opportunities to share Fujisan’s practices with other extensive cultural landscapes that face similar conservation and management challenges;
  9. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019.