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Historic Monuments and Sites in Kaesong

Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Impacts of tourism/visitor/recreation (Need to develop tourism management and interpretation plans)
  • Management systems/Management Plan (Need to further develop the monitoring system to ensure coordination between the monitoring bodies)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2019
Requests approved: 2 (from 2006-2009)
Total amount approved : 55,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2019**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

On 26 February 2019, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1278/documents/ and provides the following information:

  • The Tourism Management Plan requested by the Committee was endorsed by the Cabinet of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in November 2018 and is now in effect, according to the national legal framework. The Tourism Management Plan establishes actions for the period 2019-2028 and includes interpretation plans. The Plan was prepared in 2013-2015 with the cooperation of the World Heritage Centre, UNESCO Beijing Office and ICOMOS. The implementation of this Plan is reviewed at sessions of the non-permanent national heritage protection committee;
  • To strengthen the monitoring of the property and its setting, the State Party established some new structures within the existing management system. In 2018, the Management Office for Manwoldae, Kaesong National Heritage Protection and Management Office, and the Management Office for Mausoleum of King Wang Kon were established. These management bodies complement the responsibilities of the National Authority for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (NAPCH) and the provincial and city government agencies for cultural heritage. The State Party anticipates that these new arrangements will enhance monitoring capacity, and assist with the implementation of the Tourism Management Plan.

The State Party has also provided comments concerning ongoing challenges, particularly in relation to the conservation of wooden structures, roof tiles and mural paintings in the tombs. Conservation works have been undertaken in cooperation with technical experts from national institutions, but the State Party acknowledges that it is necessary to strengthen the technical expertise and means available of personnel working at the management bodies on site, thus allowing them to take immediate measures, in collaboration with national agencies concerned and conservation specialists.

Within the buffer zone, conservation efforts in the old residential quarter of Kaesong have also presented challenges, due in part to community aspirations and awareness. The State Party anticipates that these areas are assets in the potential for sustainable tourism, and will be aided by the implementation of the Tourism Management Plan.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2019

The efforts of the State Party to endorse and implement the Tourism Management Plan and associated interpretation plans are acknowledged, and the implementation of the actions for the first 5-year period should be actively monitored. The detail of these plans has not been reviewed, and the State Party should be requested to ensure that all planned projects or works that may have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property are subject to Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) processes and that these assessments are forwarded to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies.

The additional steps to strengthen the monitoring of the state of conservation and the effective management through the creation of additional management bodies are welcome. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that attention to the level of expertise available within these management bodies and to the coordination of their activities is important for the long-term effectiveness of these arrangements.

The issues identified by the State Party concerning the conservation of original fabric within the property are of concern, and the State Party’s willingness to increase the availability of technical expertise within the management bodies is warranted. It is therefore suggested that additional capacity-building initiatives are warranted and that additional international cooperation efforts between national institutions and international experts could be an effective means of advancing technical competence in these areas.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies share the concerns of the State Party concerning challenges to conservation of the historic fabric and character of the old residential quarter of Kaesong, located in the buffer zone. This area provides an important setting to the property and contributes to the integrity of the inscribed serial property. The State Party describes issues that are common to many historic cities, including demographic shifts, community aspirations, sustainable tourism, and awareness raising. It is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to address these issues proactively and to consider using the principles and tools arising from the implementation of the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
43 COM 7B.60
Historic Monuments and Sites in Kaesong (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) (C 1278rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.89, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Welcomes the information provided by the State Party concerning the formal endorsement of the Tourism Management Plan for the property, including the Interpretation Plan, the process to establish work plans for the 2019-2023 period, and the reported enhancements to the structure of the property management system in order to strengthen the monitoring and implementation of sustainable tourism initiatives;
  4. Notes that there are ongoing challenges to the conservation of wooden structures, roof tiles and mural paintings in the tombs, and encourages the State Party to develop and implement further capacity-building initiatives in these areas of technical expertise, including the provision of suitably skilled personnel within the management bodies responsible for the conservation of the inscribed property;
  5. Requests the State Party to ensure that all planned projects or works, including those that form part of the Tourism Management Plan, are subject to Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) in conformity with the 2011 ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties, and that information about any planned project that could have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the inscribed property is submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  6. Also encourages the State Party to actively address issues of urban heritage conservation in the old residential quarter of Kaesong, located within the buffer zone of the property, and to make full use of the principles and tools developed for the implementation of the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape;
  7. Also 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 review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.
Draft Decision: 43 COM 7B.60

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.89, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Welcomes the information provided by the State Party concerning the formal endorsement of the Tourism Management Plan for the property, including the Interpretation Plan, the process to establish work plans for the 2019-2023 period, and the reported enhancements to the structure of the property management system in order to strengthen the monitoring and implementation of sustainable tourism initiatives;
  4. Notes that there are ongoing challenges to the conservation of wooden structures, roof tiles and mural paintings in the tombs, and encourages the State Party to develop and implement further capacity-building initiatives in these areas of technical expertise, including the provision of suitably skilled personnel within the management bodies responsible for the conservation of the inscribed property;
  5. Requests the State Party to ensure that all planned projects or works, including those that form part of the Tourism Management Plan, are subject to Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) in conformity with the 2011 ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties, and that information about any planned project that could have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the inscribed property is submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  6. Also encourages the State Party to actively address issues of urban heritage conservation in the old residential quarter of Kaesong, located within the buffer zone of the property, and to make full use of the principles and tools developed for the implementation of the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape;
  7. Also 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 review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.
Report year: 2019
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Date of Inscription: 2013
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2019) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 43COM (2019)
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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