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Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu

Peru
Factors affecting the property in 2009*
  • Avalanche/ landslide
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Financial resources
  • Governance
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Delays in reviewing the Master Plan and developing detailed yearly operational plans, and inadequate budgetary support for effective implementation;

b) No evaluation of transport options, related geological studies, or the impact of bus traffic on increasing the risk of landslides;

c) Lack of impact studies related to the carrying capacity of the Citadel and Inca Trail;

d) Delays in the development and implementation of a public use plan;

e) Delays in implementing urban planning and control measures for the village of Aguascalientes, immediately adjacent to the property and its main point of entry, which has impacted on the visual values of the property;

f) Lack of effective management of the property;

g) Lack of risk management plans related to natural disasters;

h) Inadequate governance arrangements including lack of adequate coordination of activities between different institutions and stakeholders involved in site management;

i) Uncontrolled visitor access to the western part of the Sanctuary, related to the construction of the Carrilluchayoc bridge. 

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2009

Total amount provided to the property: USD 15,000 for the social participation workshop requested by the World Heritage Committee (Decision 30 COM 7B.35). 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2009
Requests approved: 11 (from 1986-2001)
Total amount approved : 166,625 USD
Missions to the property until 2009**

October 1997: IUCN/ICOMOS mission; October 1999: World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ICOMOS mission; February-March 2002: World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ICOMOS mission; October 2003: World Heritage Centre visit; April 2005: World Heritage Centre mission; April, 2007: World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ICOMOS mission; January 2009: World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ICOMOS Reinforced monitoring mission.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2009

The application of the Reinforced monitoring mechanism to the World Heritage property of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (Peru) for a period of two years was decided by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008). The property has also been the subject of reactive monitoring missions in 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007, predating the Reinforced monitoring mechanism.

 

Through Decision 32 COM 7B.44, the World Heritage Committee requested the World Heritage Centre, the Advisory Bodies and the international community to work closely with the State Party to provide additional technical and financial support to enhance both local and national capacities to urgently and effectively implement corrective measures, and requested the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ ICOMOS/ IUCN Reinforced monitoring mission to develop an action plan for the Reinforced monitoring period to address urgent and immediate conditions at the property. The World Heritage Committee asked in particular to be informed of the results of the Reinforced monitoring mission and any information relevant to the conservation of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The State Party did not request the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, despite the urging of the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session.

 

a) Reinforced monitoring mission

A Reinforced monitoring mission to the property was carried out from 19 to 23 January 2009. The objectives of the mission were to assess the current state of conservation of the property and to develop jointly with the State Party an action plan to effectively and adequately address immediate issues that could potentially threaten the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, focusing mainly on governance, risk preparedness, development at Machu Picchu Village and public use at the western access.  The assessment of the current status of the property focused on the critical issues pointed out by the World Heritage Committee in Decision 32 COM 7B.44.

 

The State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 30 of January 2009. This highlighted the following progress:

 

-The reactivation and work carried out by the Management Unit for the property;

-The cancellation of the helicopter flights over the Sanctuary, however, the final official decision to prohibit the touristic use of the helipad is pending;

- An improved visitor management system at the Citadel through the introduction of a remote control system, managed by the Instituto Nacional de Cultura (INC);

-The setting up of a technical team to start the formulation of the Plan for assessing geodynamic risks;

-Development of a Strategic Environmental Evaluation by the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) for the region of Urubamba;

-Initiation of a Risk Prevention Plan by Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado (SERNANP), requested by the Committee over the past six years. The report is related to a study on risk mitigation prepared by the University of Maryland;

-The implementation of training and awareness-raising activities for the people and authorities of Aguas Calientes on the promotion of cultural identity, public health, environmental education, disaster prevention, etc.

 

b) Reinforced monitoring mission addressed the following issues

 

- Reactivation of the Management Unit has enhanced collaboration among the national authorities mandated with the conservation of the property mainly cultural heritage, natural heritage and tourism. However, there continues to be deficiencies in coordination among the different levels of government (national, regional and local) that negatively impact the effective implementation of conservation and management measures given that local communities and governements impacted by the decisions are not actively consulted or informed about their implications;

- Local governments demand participation in the Management Unit and in the decision-making process. With the limited participation from the Regional Government their interests and concerns are not being explicitly addressed. If this issue is not urgently addressed, it will continue to generate conflicts and the situation could further deteriorate;

- The implementation unit (Comité Alterno) for the Management Unit has insufficient financial and human resources to attend to the diversity and magnitude of the tasks at hand; and actions continue to be reactive and not proactive. This is further exacerbated by the lack of a central repository of information, which would allow for efficient and informed decision-making;

- Legal frameworks have yet to be harmonized leading to overlapping mandates, conflicting regulatory measures and loopholes that are detrimental to efficient and coordinated implementation of protection and regulatory measures. This has been highlighted previously and warrants the highest priority in addressing;

- There are unresolved and latent conflicts between municipalities, both within the property and at the buffer zones, and the national agencies mandated with the conservation of the site. This conflicts, coupled with the limited available resources, contribute to inadequacies in the comprehensive management of the property and its buffer zone, and to the escalation of the situation which would be detrimental to the property;

- Urban development at the Machu Picchu Village continues to be uncontrolled and unregulated by the local municipal authorities and in clear disregard of regulations set forth by SERNANP. New buildings located close to the riverbed and under cliff faces are a threat to both visitors and local inhabitants and contribute to increased urban and social problems. The existing situation does not reflect the implementation of the urban plan or the efficient application of regulations and sanctions to control development;

- There is evidence of lack of control and insufficient regulations for some of the new constructions and those currently under progress to guarantee the quality of the buildings and the security of potential users;

- Although the State Party mentioned that a new area for solid waste disposal is currently programmed, the mission noted that solid waste disposal continues to be a critical issue and a potential health and environmental hazard. Similarly, representatives from the health and law enforcement sectors indicated that resources are insufficient to attend to current conditions;

- As foreseen by previous reactive monitoring missions, the building of the Carrilluchayoc bridge has increased accessibility to the Sanctuary through the western area. Visitors are currently walking along the railroad track that connects the Hydroelectric Plant with the Machu Picchu Village, which poses some risks for visitor’s safety. In addition, this has generated social conflicts with the town of Santa Teresa, which is now demanding road access through the Sanctuary;

- There is no evidence of information for visitors regarding the potential risks associated with visits to the site. The mission was also informed that emergency simulations are not taken seriously by the population and continue to have limited participation, indicating the lack of awareness about the vulnerability of the place. Collaboration between the Management Unit and the Municipality of Machu Picchu has been limited in implementing a comprehensive plan for disaster preparedness;

- The mission reviewed the status of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. In general, the state of conservation of the pre-Columbian construction materials is good and appropriate interventions are being carried out to address deterioration factors. However, visitor management is somewhat limited and congestion was evident at the Citadel. If this continues to be mismanaged this could lead to direct decay factors on the original materials. The aesthetic qualities of the property continue to be impacted by developments in Machu Picchu Village and in the western access. Natural values are threatened by the chaotic and unplanned development of Machu Picchu Village along the railway line to the hydroelectric plant, which could eliminate some of the most important humid forest in the Sanctuary. These forests are an essential element of the landscape and substantially contribute to stabilizing the slopes thus reducing the risk of landslides;

- Interpretation and presentation at the site is deficient and does not contribute to the understanding of the significance of the property, both from natural and cultural perspectives. The newly-restored Puente Inka (Inca Bridge) section poses a threat to visitors, as access in some sections is somewhat dangerous. Visitors should be informed about the potential risks and measures to enhance their security. The chaotic development at Machu Picchu Village and the threats of uncontrolled development in the western access are problems chiefly related to the quality and safety of the visitor experience, and the presentation of Outstanding Universal Value. Unless the interdependency of all factors is clearly understood and addressed, the existing situation will continue further jeopardizing quality experience and visitors safety;

- The helipad on the outskirts of the Machu Picchu Village is currently blocked by iron obstacles. However, this is a temporary measure that can be removed and the use of this practice can continue as long as there is no final decision on banning flights and a precise mechanism to ensure such decision is respected. Although criteria and technical justification for banning helicopter over flights the practice have yet to be fully developed, it is clear that such flights are a significant source of disturbance that directly impacts on the aesthetic values of the property;

- The mission concluded that, despite measures implemented by the State Party, the conditions regarding the threat to the values of the property and its integrity have changed little in the time since the last mission to the property.

 

c) Priorities and action plan suggested by the mission

Considering the existing severe situation and in response to the issues underlined by the World Heritage Committee, four priorities were identified by the mission: Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, governance, risk, and western access. The mission recommended an action plan of essential work to address urgent actions in the immediate future.

 

The action plan is proposed for a two-year period and encompasses underlying principles for its implementation, tools for implementing the specific activities, and a series of activities under each of a number of themes, along with their objectives, expected outcomes, timelines and budgets. At least two years (2009-2011) will be required to implement the required actions.

 

The principles for implementation within the proposed action plan consider integration, cooperation, transparency and commitment to promoting the successful implementation of actions and a shared responsibility in the conservation and management of the property. In addition, decisions need to be informed, technically substantiated and feasible to promote a more proactive rather than reactive attitude towards conservation and management.

 

Participatory workshops, conflict resolution activities and management effectiveness are tools to consider for the implementation of the proposed two-year action plan proposed by the mission. A series of capacity building activities are also foreseen, ranging from the implementation of the World Heritage Convention to risk preparedness. The action plan also considers broad participation and inclusion of diverse interest groups in the decision-making process to secure their commitment to implementation and guarantee sustainability, an approach already subscribed to during the participatory workshop of April 2007. The estimated extra-budgetary cost for the implementation of the action plan is estimated at USD 580,000 at the national level and USD 122,000 at the international level. The sources of funding to implement this plan have not been identified at the present time.

 

The World Heritage Centre, IUCN and ICOMOS remain extremely concerned by the overall situation at the property which, unless urgent action is taken, could impact irreversibly on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and might also threaten the safety of visitors. They consider that the implementation of the action plan, suggested by the mission, needs to be given the highest priority by the State Party, in terms of support and adequate financial and human resources. It is essential that demonstrable progress is made in addressing the severe threats to certain parts of the property within a specific timeframe and acknowledging the shared responsibility for the conservation and management of the property. Although the further application of the Reinforced monitoring mechanism is foreseen in Decision 32 COM 7B.44, follow-up activities to assess implementation of the action plan can be accommodated through the standard processes of reactive monitoring.

 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2009
33 COM 7B.42
Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (Peru) (C/N 274)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7B.44, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Recognizes that there has been progress in the reactivation of the Management Unit, improvements to the visitor management system, the initiation of risk prevention plans, the cancellation of helicopter flights over the Sanctuary and outreach activities to enhance the management and presentation of the property and raise awareness of conservation;

4. Notes the limited progress in addressing governance issues in the implementation of effective measures to address risk and in the continued uncontrolled development at Machu Picchu Village, issues with congestion and visitor management, and the unplanned development at the western access and urges the State Party to ensure strengthening collaboration with the Municipality of Machu Picchu, with the municipalities within the buffer zone and with other stakeholders for the effective implementation of the urban development plan;

5. Decides not to continue to apply the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism to the property;

6. Requests the State Party to implement the action plan recommended by the Reinforced monitoring mission of January 2009, and to determine the timetable for the completion of the emergency action plan, management assessment, regulatory measures and legal frameworks in coordination with the Advisory bodies and the remaining recommendations of the six previous reactive monitoring missions to the property, in particular:

a) Implementation of participatory and conflict resolution workshops commencing in 2009 to address community interests and demands, particularly in regard to access to the site, public use, urban development and planning, both inside the inscribed property and in the buffer zone so as to promote the shared responsibility in the management of the property and to improve governance at the site,

b) Submission by 1 February 2010 of a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value and desired state of conservation, through a participatory workshop in conjunction with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies,

c) Completion of an emergency action plan for risk reduction and disaster recovery at the Historic Sanctuary, supported by geodynamic and vulnerability studies, to respond to identified risks,

d) Implementation of a management effectiveness assessment of the work of the Management Unit, and agreement of a three-year plan to address the improvement of its effectiveness,

e) Establishment and implementation of regulatory measures for the western access to the Sanctuary and definition of public use regulations,

f) Harmonization of existing legal frameworks and regulatory measures and definition of strategies for efficient implementation,

g) Analysis of land tenure status and mapping of current uses to identify adequate measures to maintain the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

7. Also requests the international community to work closely with the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to provide additional technical and/or financial support to enhance the local and national capacity in order to allow the prompt and effective implementation of these measures;

8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and on the progress made in the implementation of the 2009-2010 actions foreseen within the action plan, as well as the recommendations established in the Reinforced monitoring mission report, and the recommendations of previous missions for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010.

Draft Decision: 33 COM 7B.42

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7B.44, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Notes there has been some progress in reactivation of the Management Unit, improvements to the visitor management system, the initiation of risk prevention plans, the cancellation of helicopter flights over the Sanctuary and the outreach activities to enhance the management and presentation of the property and raise awareness of conservation;

4. Notes with great concern the limited progress in addressing governance issues in the implementation of effective measures to address risk and in the continued uncontrolled development at Machu Picchu Village, issues with congestion and visitor management, and the unplanned development at the western access and urges the State Party to ensure strengthening collaboration with the Municipality of Machu Picchu, with the municipalities within the buffer zone and with other stakeholders for the effective implementation of the urban development plan;

5. Requests the State Party to implement the action plan recommended by the Reinforced monitoring mission of January 2009, and the remaining recommendations of the six previous reactive monitoring missions to the property, in particular:

a) Implementation of participatory and conflict resolution workshops commencing in 2009 to address community interests and demands, particularly in regard to access to the site, public use and urban development and planning, both inside the inscribed property and in the buffer zone so as to promote the shared responsibility in the management of the property and to improve governance at the site,

b) Completion by June 2011 of the definition of a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value and Desired state of conservation, through a participatory workshop in conjunction with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee,

c) Completion by June 2011 of an emergency action plan for risk reduction and disaster recovery at the Historic Sanctuary, supported by geodynamic and vulnerability studies, to respond to identified risks,

d) Implementation by June 2011 of a management effectiveness assessment of the work of the Management Unit, and agreement of a three-year plan to address the improvement of its effectiveness,

e) Establishment and implementation by June 2011 of regulatory measures for the western access to the Sanctuary and definition of public use regulations,

f) Harmonization by June 2011 of existing legal frameworks and regulatory measures and definition of strategies for efficient implementation,

g) Analysis of land tenure status and mapping of current uses to identify adequate measures to maintain the Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of the property;

6. Also requests the international community to work closely with the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to provide additional technical and/or financial support to enhance the local and national capacity in order to allow the prompt and effectively implementation of these measures;

7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and on the progress made in the implementation of the 2009-2010 actions foreseen within the action plan, as well as the recommendations established in the Reinforced monitoring mission report, and the recommendations of previous missions for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010, with a view of considering, in absence of substantial progress, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger. 

Report year: 2009
Peru
Date of Inscription: 1983
Category: Mixed
Criteria: (i)(iii)(vii)(ix)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 33COM (2009)
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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