1.         Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System (Argentina,Bolivia (Plurinational State of),Chile,Colombia,Ecuador,Peru) (C 1459)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2014

Criteria  (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/1459/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2005-2005)
Total amount approved: USD 75,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1459/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 450,000 for the project “Support to the reinforcement of the participative management structure of the Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System” (UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust for World Heritage -JFIT-) (approved by the Donor in June 2016 and successfully concluded in 2019)

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1459/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 12 March 2021, the States Parties submitted a joint state of conservation report available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1459/documents/, providing the following information:

The States Parties informed of three major projects that might affect the OUV of the property: 1) the Chinchero-Cusco International Airport, 2) the South Peruvian Gas Pipeline and 3) the improvement of the public tourist services of the Choquequirao Archaeological Park. Four smaller projects are also mentioned. Furthermore, impacts on some sections of the property in Chile due to heavy rains were described.

In April, the State party of Peru transmitted to the World Heritage Centre general information concerning the current status of the construction of the Chinchero-Cusco international airport project and the situation with regard to the development of Heritage and Environmental Impact Assessments.

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

The States Parties highlight in their report the significant work and progress made for the reinforcement of the Integral Management System of the property in the framework of the JFIT. The successful implementation of this project has greatly contributed to responding to the recommendations made by the Committee at the time of the inscription of the property, and this should be commended. The participatory approach and the involvement of the communities throughout the development of the two main axes of the collaborative work should be also highlighted. It is noteworthy that the participative and collaborative work have been conducted based on field workshops/meetings held between the Technical Secretariats of the six countries, representatives of the local communities and other local actors involved. The “Manual for the Conservation of Archaeological Structures in Earth and Stone” is a good example of the important tools developed through this collaborative process.

The meetings of the Technical Committee undertaken, despite the ongoing pandemic situation, are appreciated, as well as the transfer of the Pro Tempore Secretariat from Argentina to Bolivia in 2019, acknowledging it as a sign of the coordinated and integrative work between the States Parties. It is recommended that the States Parties and the Technical Committee continue these efforts of collaboration for the long-term conservation of the property.

It is noted that through the Technical Committee, the States Parties carried out a diagnosis of the progress of the implementation of the Management System in each country, underpinning the achievements and analysing the limitations encountered. Under the coordination of the Technical Secretariat of Argentina, a "Glossary of Concepts and Technical Terms of Management for the Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System, World Heritage" (2020) was prepared in order to standardize a common vocabulary and offer an overview of the main concepts and technical terms for the management of the Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System.

It is also noted that the updated document of the International Management System is already in the final stage of formulation, pending the final review by the cultural authorities of each State Party It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee request the States Parties to finalize and validate the updated International Management System document, and to send it for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies once completed.

As a continuation of the work on the development of Conservation and Management Plans, the Committee should acknowledge the receipt of the Management Plans of four sections correspondent to the Cusco region of Peru (Puente Q'eswachaka; Cusco - La Raya Section (Cusco - Desaguadero); Ollantaytambo. Lares - Valle Lacco section; and Vitkus Section -Choquequirao). Differences of the Management Plans due to the different legal provisions and management practices of the countries are noted, nevertheless the Plans should follow a similar methodology and a general overall framework, as suggested by ICOMOS in its technical review of the Management Plans previously submitted. 

As for the two mobile applications developed, Kamayuq for monitoring and evaluations of risks, and AYLLU for monitoring the state of conservation of the property, the States Parties should be commended for their development and encouraged to continue testing the mentioned technological tools to improve their functioning.

Regarding the intangible heritage aspects, the “Action Program for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural heritage Associated with Qhapaq Ñan” document foresees the involvement of local communities in the monitoring system of the intangible elements and in the process of implementation of measures to monitor the state of conservation of the property and the States Parties should be commended for that approach.

It is also noted the systematization work in view of the definition of attributes of the OUV for the property and the definition of Terms of Reference for contracting HIAs. The States Parties are requested to submit the “Common Guidelines for realization of Heritage Impact Assessments” once developed, for its review by the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre, and should be also encouraged to finalize the identification of projects with potential impacts on the OUV to mitigate those potential impacts as an urgent matter.

Regarding the specific major interventions mentioned on the state of conservation report, it is noted that in 2020, ICOMOS undertook a technical review of the documentation submitted by the State Party of Peru concerning the potential impact of the construction of the Chinchero-Cusco international airport. The review pointed out that major infrastructural works, even if they would not have a direct impact, could have quite pronounced indirect impacts on the setting and context of the property and, in the case of Qhapaq Ñan, on the traditional practices of local societies, as a result of indirect and cumulative impacts in relation not only to the construction work of the airport but to operational practices such as flight routes and visual and acoustic impacts, to larger number of visitors to the area, and particularly to any new associated infrastructure and new tourist accommodation. In this regard, the State Party of Peru informed, in the additional information provided in April 2021, that the HIAs are currently under development taking into consideration the guidelines and recommendations of the 2020 ICOMOS technical review. These HIAs are expected to be finalized by June 2022. It would however be essential to recall to the States Parties that appropriate HIAs should be undertaken for this and any other major project planned to be developed within or in the surrounding areas of the property, in order to take into consideration the potential impacts to its OUV, including integrity and authenticity. These studies should be submitted for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies before any projects are approved or works undertaken.

Finally, the outcomes of the collaborative work done with the support of the JFIT project are remarkable, also the Committee should note with appreciation the reinforced cooperation between the six States Parties for the sustainable conservation and integral management of the property, understanding that one major challenge that the Qhapaq Ñan faces is the level of coordination required between regions and States Parties due to the extension and complexity of the property. 

Decision Adopted: 44 COM 7B.162

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.33, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Commends the six States Parties for their work, with collaboration and support of the UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust for the Preservation of the World Cultural Heritage (JFIT), particularly for the high level of participation of the indigenous peoples and local communities on the activities conducted, through the workshops and meetings held, and, the tools developed such as the “Manual for the Conservation of Archaeological Structures in Earth and Stone”;
  4. Expresses its appreciation for the commitment of the Technical Committee and its continuous coordinated work despite the ongoing pandemic circumstances, and acknowledges the transfer in 2019 of the Pro Tempore Secretariat, from Argentina to Bolivia, as an expression of political coordination to guarantee the long-term management of the property;
  5. Notes with appreciation the diagnosis on the progress of the implementation of the Management System undertaken by the six States Parties and the preparation of the "Glossary of Concepts and Technical Terms of Management for the Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System, World Heritage” concerning a standardization of common vocabulary, and strongly encourages the six States Parties to continue working in a coordinating manner, to address the management challenges of the property;
  6. Requests the States Parties to finalize and validate the updated document of the International Management System, and submit it for review by the World Heritage Center and the Advisory Bodies as soon as it is available;
  7. Also takes note of the finalization of the Management Plans of 4 sections corresponding to Peru (Puente Q'eswachaka; Cusco - La Raya Section (Cusco - Desaguadero), Ollantaytambo. Lares - Valle Lacco section, and Vitkus Section –Choquequirao), and also requests the States Parties to follow a common methodology and framework for the remaining local management and conservation plans that need to be submitted;
  8. Also commends the States Parties for the development of two mobile applications: “Kamayuq” for the monitoring and evaluation of risks, and “AYLLU” for the monitoring of state of conservation, as strategies towards a comprehensive conservation and management system of the property, and also encourages them to continue with their development and to adopt and implement them when the tools are fully tested;
  9. Further requests to fully implement the documents approved and adopted at the international workshop on risk preparedness and disaster management, held in Cusco in October 2018;
  10. Takes note of the 'Action Program for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Associated with Qhapaq Ñan' document, and similar actions that strengthens the monitoring system for the property, and further encourages the States Parties to continue their efforts towards the implementation of a complete operating monitoring system;
  11. Also takes note of the advances on the definitions of attributes that are the base of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and the Terms of Reference for the elaboration of Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs), and requests furthermore the States Parties to submit the document “Common Guidelines for the realization of Heritage Impact Assessments” for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  12. Recalls that any major infrastructure or major project need to be properly assessed in terms of their possible impacts on the property’s OUV, authenticity and integrity, and the necessity to develop and submit the corresponding Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) of the projects for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies before any projects are approved or works undertaken, and recommends to the State Party of Peru to consider the recommendations made by ICOMOS regarding the construction of the Chinchero-Cusco International Airport;
  13. Requests moreover the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, an updated joint report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 46th session.