1.         Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Palpa (Peru) (C 700)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1994

Criteria  (i)(iii)(iv)

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/700/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1998-1998)
Total amount approved: USD 50,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/700/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Damage caused by illegal mining and farming activities;

b) Continued vehicle traffic through the geoglyphs;

c) Lack of systematic monitoring of the property;

d) Insufficient air traffic security measures;

e) Lack of a management plan;

f) Planned infrastructure projects (i.e. Interoceanic highway, new airport construction).

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/700/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

The State Party submitted its state of conservation report on 2 February 2011 which responds to issues raised by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.

a) Finalize the development of the management plan for the property and secure adequate resources to sustain its implementation

The report states that the drafting of the management plan commenced in 2009 with co-operation between the National Institute of Culture (INC) and the Executive Unit from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Commerce (COPESCO) National Plan, and was financially administered by the UNESCO Lima Office through an agreement with the INC. In October 2010 a cross agency meeting was held and a final document ‘Management System for the cultural and natural heritage of the Nasca and Palpa territory’ was produced and submitted to the public and private authorities of the Nasca and Palpa provinces and the Ica Region for review. Final editing is now taking place. The State Party has submitted an executive summary which indicates planned action lines for the research and dissemination of knowledge, conservation and management of cultural and natural heritage, public use and management of the territory, and human development. The report also indicates that the completed management plan will include a risk management component aimed at preventing possible impacts of seasonal and or cyclical phenomena. No timeline was provided for the submission of the finalized management plan or information on the resources to ensure its implementation.

The report also indicates that a mining extraction quarry was found in 2010, and that plans are underway to remove it from the site and to tighten surveillance. No further information was provided on this, or how this tightened monitoring relates to or fits in with current surveillance which falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture. The site’s systematic monitoring has proved to be an ongoing issue for several years. The submitted executive summary has also not indicated how or if this issue will be dealt with in the finalized management plan.

b) Planned projects that might impact the property, in particular the Interoceanic Highway, the national airport and the proposed investment by the Regional Government

The State Party reports that the Interoceanic Highway segment running through Puquio, Nasca and Marcona has been upgraded and concluded. The report states that the highway runs south of the World Heritage property and does not impact it. A map has been submitted with the report which shows the location of a portion of the highway in relation to the property. No other technical information was submitted to enable a proper assessment of the removal of this threat, particularly maps indicating the previous trace of the highway, including points of access as they relate to the inscribed property. There was also no information on any archaeological assessments conducted relating to the construction of the highway.

The State Party has also indicated that plans for the National Airport at Nasca have been discarded. No other information was provided regarding proposed investments by the Regional Government.

c) Other conservation issues

The report indicates that there was an aeronautical accident at the site in February 2010 resulting in the loss of life of the plane’s passengers. An inspection conducted by staff of the Ica Cultural Department revealed that none of the geoglyphs were damaged.

Also highlighted in the report are the various institutional initiatives which have been undertaken regarding protection and conservation, such as the cleaning of the South Pan-American Highway road shoulders and the dredging and cleaning of sewerage.

The State Party has submitted project documentation on the ‘New Tourist Metal Gazer Project’ for evaluation in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines of the World Heritage Convention. The proposal includes the technical specifications for the project, as well as the environmental impact assessment and feasibility study carried out. The proposed project entails the construction of an 80 m viewing tower that would include thee major levels for the observation of the glyphs and multimedia facilities along with new parking facilities. It would be located at the area where the existing one is located. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that although there is a pressing need to improve public use at the property, particularly in regard to presentation and improvement of facilities, the proposed project would have a significant impact on the attributes that sustain the property’s Outstanding Universal Value. Such a massive development would compromise the integrity of the landscape and the relationship between the glyphs and its setting. 

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies take note of the progress made in the development of the property’s management plan, particularly as it relates to the participation of various stakeholders; and to the inclusion of a risk management component. Although the State Party’s report indicates that the management plan is in the final stages of editing, no timeframe has been provided with regards to its completion. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies also consider it prudent that the issues relating to the property’s monitoring and security be fully addressed in the plan, as this has been an ongoing concern for several years. They remain concerned regarding the growing number of aeronautical accidents at or close to the site, and recommend that effective security measures be implemented to ensure that there is no loss of life or continued threats to the geoglyphs. They also express their concern about the potential construction of a viewing tower that would compromise the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and consider that alternative designs which minimize the height of the tower, need to be explored.

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7B.131

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.144, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Acknowledges that plans for the construction of a National Airport in Nasca have been discarded;

4. Recognizes the efforts of the State Party in working to finalize outstanding issues related to the property's management and recommendations made by the World Heritage Committee, and urges it to finalize the property's management plan and to secure the necessary resources for its full implementation;

5. Requests the State Party to submit by 30 November 2011, three printed copies of the management plan to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for review;

6. Expresses its concern about the potential plans to construct a new tourist viewing tower at the property and also urges the State Party to develop, in collaboration with the heritage authorities, alternative designs that take into account the conservation of the attributes that sustain the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

7. Also requests the State Party, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, to submit new designs and technical specifications for the viewing tower for consideration and review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies prior to approval and implementation;

8. Further requests the State Party to provide updated information on progress achieved in the removal of illegal settlements and mining quarries at the property by 30 November 2011;

9. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, 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 37th session in 2013.