1.         The Great Wall (China) (C 438)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1987

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(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/438/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/438/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/438/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

The State Party has continued its work implementing the Master Plan of the Great Wall 2018-2035, following its approval by the State Council of China, and has launched the National Culture Park of the Great Wall. The State Party’s efforts also included on-site conservation activities, capacity building for conservation professionals, a consolidation of the legal basis for the conservation of the property, research and training activities, public outreach activities, and the active use of new technologies for conservation. The State Party has also continued its cooperation with the State Party of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: in November 2019, the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage and Historic England jointly published Wall-to-Wall Dialogue: the Collection of Papers on the Symposium on the Conservation and Management of the Hadrian’s Wall and the Great Wall of China, as a result of the second ‘Wall-to-Wall Dialogue’ (9-13 November 2019). On 5 October 2020, the States Parties co-organised an international Online Symposium on the Presentation and Interpretation of the Hadrian’s Wall and the Great Wall of China, co-hosted by Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture and Newcastle University.

In response to the Committee’s Decision 43 COM 7B.58, Paragraph 10, which urged the State Party “to ensure that the potential impacts arising from increased visitation are addressed […] [and to] take all necessary measures to mitigate the impacts of mass tourism on the property […] [and] minimize the cumulative impacts of tourism infrastructure on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property”, the State Party has reported that several measures have been taken to ensure sustainable tourism in the Badaling Section, including the establishment of a daily optimum carrying capacity of 65,000 visitors since 1 June 2019, the introduction of an online ticket booking system, and an early warning response system to enable real-time management responses. These carrying capacities and visitation numbers may need to be adjusted according to the post-COVID-19 rules and regulations.

As requested by the Committee in Decision 41 COM 7B.86, the State Party has also submitted a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for the Beijing-Zhangjiakou High-Speed Railway, which started operating at the end of 2019. The HIA indicates that the high-speed railway does not have any negative impact on the property or the landscape environment of the Badaling Section.

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

As indicated in previous decisions, the State Party is invited to comply fully with the requirements of Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines and to inform the World Heritage Centre in due course about any major development project that may negatively impact the OUV of a property, before any decisions are made that would be difficult to reverse.

Decision Adopted: 44 COM 7B.200

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Takes note with satisfaction of the measures taken by the States Parties concerned to address its previous requests to mitigate the threats on the Outstanding Universal Value of the following World Heritage properties:
    • The Great Wall (China) (C 438)
    • Comoé National Park (Côte d’Ivoire) (N 227)
    • Taï National Park (Côte d’Ivoire) (N 195)
  3. Encourages the States Parties concerned to pursue their efforts to ensure the conservation of World Heritage properties;
  4. Recalling the benefits to States Parties of systematically utilizing Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) in the review of development projects, encourages States Parties to integrate the EIA/HIA processes into legislation, planning mechanisms and management plans, and reiterates its recommendation to States Parties to use these tools in assessing projects, including assessment of cumulative impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value of properties, as early as possible and before any final decision is taken;
  5. Reminds the States Parties concerned to inform the World Heritage Centre in due course about any major development project that may negatively impact the Outstanding Universal Value of a property, before any irreversible decisions are made, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.