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Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain and its surrounding sacred landscape

Mongolia
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Factors identified at the time of inscription of the property:
  • Legal Framework (Lack of legal protection for the property that covers cultural as well as natural attributes) (issue resolved)
  • Mining (Mining or extractive industry)
  • Management systems/Management Plan (Need to define the protection offered by the buffer zone; Lack of an overall management structure with resources 
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2019
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2019**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

On 3 December 2018, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report on the property, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1440/documents.The report addresses progress made on the implementation of the previous Committee Decision and presents additional information on activities undertaken to support and enhance the understanding and management of the property, as follows:

  • Explanation of the legal environment for the protection of cultural heritage in Mongolia;
  • Actions to implement the recommendations of the Committee, including newly promulgated legislation to protect the property from potential mining activities, additional legal protection for cultural heritage, measures taken to enhance the monitoring and control of the property, steps towards putting in place an overall management system, and physical protection and activities to mark and promote the property;
  • Activities related to the application of the Operational Guidelines as well as international cooperation with other similar properties and research institutions. Much of this research focused on the natural heritage aspects of the property and included hydrological systems and their quality, along with the mammals and plants present within the property;
  • Conferences, seminars and meetings with international partners and other similar cultural landscape properties such as Fujisan were organized to strategize research, management and conservation at the property;
  • Publications and promotion of the property and its values.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2019

The management of the property and its buffer zone is currently the responsibility of the Khan Khentii State Protected Area Administration, but will be transferred to a new statutory body, to be established in 2020.

The State Party reports much progress made in researching, demarcating and controlling the property, including on its legislation. The Khan Khentii State Protected Area Administration has undertaken meetings and conferences, in close collaboration with the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO, the Japan World Heritage National Committee, and the Department of History and Archaeological Studies of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences. These interactions have included exchanging experiences on the management of this and other similar properties.

Research has focused mainly on natural heritage and on assessing the status and dynamics of hydrology, plant and animal populations. Collaboration with the Japan World Heritage National Committee and other institutes, including Japanese universities have resulted in expert meetings on the conservation and management of sacred landscape, but have not yet led to fieldwork research into the cultural heritage of the property, including archaeological heritage. These studies and international exchanges are commendable and the Committee may wish to congratulate all parties involved.

The State Party also highlights the steps taken to legislate the protection of the property and its buffer zone, including the 2014 legislation of cultural heritage memorial sites to include World Heritage. New legislation, implemented since the inscription of the property on the World Heritage List in 2015, includes the implementation of a series of sanctions that can be imposed, should illegal activities be undertaken within the boundaries and buffer zones of cultural heritage memorial sites, and therefore also the property. However, these sanctions are not sufficiently dissuasive.

Other positive actions include the establishment of a better fire control infrastructure, a formalized property entrance, the demarcation of the property, the publication of material on the history and heritage of the property, and better accommodation for the rangers of the property. However, these activities have not yet led to:

  • a clear indication of a timeline to update and implement the Management Plan for the property;
  • a Research and Conservation Plan for the property, the latter covering preventative and active measures, based on a broad assessment of need and priorities;
  • a clarification of the specific and strategic nature of protection that the buffer zone should offer the property, or
  • an alignment of the boundaries of the Khan Khentii State Protected Area with that of the property (a disparity highlighted at the time of nomination).

It would be beneficial for the property if these aspects could be addressed even before the establishment of the new statutory management authority in 2020, as they may have an influence on the nature, organizational structure, and specific skill required for such an authority.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
43 COM 7B.69
Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain and its surrounding sacred landscape (Mongolia) (C 1440)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 8B.15, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Commends the State Party and its partners for the actions undertaken to further the conservation of the property;
  4. Requests the State Party to:
    1. Align the boundaries of Khan Khentii State Protected Area with the property boundary,
    2. Clarify the nature of the protection that the buffer zone should offer the property and provide further protective measures for the buffer zone, including appropriate regulatory process to limit land use and new construction,
    3. Submit an updated draft Management Plan with a timeline for its implementation for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies,
    4. Develop and submit a Research and Conservation Plan for the cultural and natural heritage of the property, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Also requests the State Party to ensure that the new authority for the management and conservation of the property and its buffer zone, to be established in 2020, is allocated appropriate resources to implement an updated and approved Management Plan and Research and Conservation Plan for the property and its buffer zone;
  6. Finally 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 examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.
Draft Decision: 43 COM 7B.69

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 8B.15, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Commends the State Party and its partners for the actions undertaken to further the conservation of the property;
  4. Requests the State Party to:
    1. Align the boundaries of Khan Khentii State Protected Area with the property boundary,
    2. Clarify the nature of the protection that the buffer zone should offer the property and provide further protective measures for the buffer zone, including appropriate regulatory process to limit land use and new construction,
    3. Submit an updated draft Management Plan with a timeline for its implementation for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies,
    4. Develop and submit a Research and Conservation Plan for the cultural and natural heritage of the property, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Also requests the State Party to ensure that the new authority for the management and conservation of the property and its buffer zone, to be established in 2020, is allocated appropriate resources to implement an updated and approved Management Plan and Research and Conservation Plan for the property and its buffer zone;
  6. Finally 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 examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.
Report year: 2019
Mongolia
Date of Inscription: 2015
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2018) .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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