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Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras

Philippines
Factors affecting the property in 2007*
  • Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system
  • Financial resources
  • Human resources
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Society's valuing of heritage
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Lack of an effective site management authority and adequate legislation;

b) Absence of a finalized strategic site management plan;

c) Development of inappropriate river control structures and irregular construction in the rice terraces;

d) Diminishing interest of the Ifugao people in their culture and in maintaining the Rice Terraces;

e) Lack of human and financial resources.

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • The abandonment of the terraces due to neglected irrigation system and people leaving the area;
  • Unregulated development threatening the heritage area;
  • Tourism needs are not addressed;
  • Lack of an effective management system.
Corrective Measures for the property

The following corrective measures were adopted by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006):

a) Establish a functioning management mechanism at the provincial and municipal levels;

b) Put in place zoning and land-use plans responding to community-based activities and traditional value systems;

c) Provide regulations over tourism and infrastructure developments to encourage community based tourism which benefits the Rice Terraces and the local communities;

d) Develop a resource strategy at the national, provincial, municipal and village (barangay) levels and put in place a five year plan, according to the management objectives determined in the Conservation and Management Plan, with top priority given to the regular maintenance and stabilisation of the rice terraces and lifeline irrigation systems so as to reverse their deterioration;

e) Establish appropriate development control procedures for development projects in the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordillera, including by designating the World Heritage cluster sites of the Rice Terraces and their supportive eco-system (i.e. watershed system) as “environmental critical areas”, where an environment impact assessment (EIA) is required for any proposed development projects. Cultural heritage conservation expertise should be also included in the EIA review committee;

f) Strengthen the reforestation programme to include a wider range of endemic trees species to protect the watershed system for the rice terraces and prevent the introduction of exotic species in the private or communal watersheds of the rice terraces.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
In its Decision 30 COM 7A.28, the Committee requested that the above corrective measures be implemented by 2007. A revised timeframe is proposed in the Draft Decision below.
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2007
Requests approved: 4 (from 1994-2001)
Total amount approved : 153,200 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

A joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the World Heritage property took place in 2006 as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 29th session (Durban, 2005). The objective of the mission was to assess the steps taken by the State Party to implement the recommendations of earlier missions, in 2001 and 2005, and the feasibility of the Conservation and Management Plan. The mission defined corrective measures to address the threats to the property with a view to possible removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. These were agreed upon by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006).

In its report of March 2007, the State Party refers to various initiatives that were presented to the April 2006 monitoring mission and has initiated some but not all of the corrective measures, as follows:

a) A resource strategy:

The aim was to provide a resource strategy for national, provincial, municipal and villages levels to enable the implementation of the Conservation and Management Plan and particularly the stabilisation of the rice terraces and sustaining local rice cultivars. Although no progress is reported on an overall strategy, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) released in December 2006 the last instalment of the funds allocated by the State Party to aid in the conservation and preservation of the rice terraces after the property was placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, for an amount of USD 102,396. These funds will be used for the following at identified priority sites:

(i) The rehabilitation of concrete irrigation systems;

(ii) Watershed management – reforestation;

(iii) Agricultural management – repair of rice terraces.

 

b) Adequate management mechanisms to implement the Management Plan:

In response to the need for a functioning ‘site management authority with qualified staff’, the Ifugao Province has recently created the Ifugao Cultural Heritage Office (ICHO) and abolished the former site management authority, , under the Provincial Ordinance No. 2006-032, including the creation of a post of Cultural Officer. The ICHO will have the following functions:

(i) To safeguard the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Ifugao people;

(ii) To ensure the protection, preservation, and conservation of the local cultural and historical heritage of Ifugao people;

(iii) To ensure the implementation of activities for the promotion, development, protection, transmission and conservation of local culture and arts;

(iv) To encourage the development of culture and arts down to grassroots level.

 

The creation of this Office is a positive step forward, but it needs adequate resources. The implementation of the Conservation and Management Plan should be added to its list of functions.

c) Zoning and land-use plans:

No progress is reported on their establishment.

d) Plan for promotion of community based tourism:

Although no progress is reported on an overall plan for community-based tourism in the World Heritage property, the State Party indicates that on 21 July 2007 a Multi-stakeholder workshop will discuss, amongst other subjects, the Sustainable Tourism Development Programme which is part of the 2003-2012 Master Plan for the Province.

e) Controls for infrastructural developments:

In September 2006, the UNESCO National Committee (UNACOM) organized a meeting with the Provincial Government of Ifugao and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).It was agreed that a 10-week workshop be organized to link the Provincial Government with the University of Santo Tomas, Center for Conservation of Cultural Property in the Tropics, on the theme: “Developing Infrastructure Guidelines for the Rice Terraces Heritage Sites of Ifugao”. It should take place during the first semester of 2007.

f) A strengthened reafforestation programme

Reafforestation will benefit from the funds released by the State Party (see above).

It is essential that the Conservation and Management Plan becomes the main tool for sustainable development at the property. Currently although progress has been made in a number of areas, these do not seem to be coordinated or strongly focused on the specific needs of the property. The resources allocated by the national authorities and Ifugao Provincial Government are still inadequate to address the conservation challenges identified in the Conservation and Management Plan prepared with Emergency Assistance from the World Heritage Fund.

In reviewing the progress made by the State Party against the measures identified by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006), the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS consider that a revised and more realistic timeframe should be established to reflect the challenges to be addressed and the reality on the ground, alongside the definition of appropriate benchmarks. It is further suggested that the State Party should consult with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS over the next year to develop the above mentioned benchmarks and timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures, for consideration by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2007
31 COM 7A.25
Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines) (C 722)
 

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7A,

2.       Recalling Decision 30 COM 7A.28, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3.       Notes the setting up of the Ifugao Cultural Heritage Office (ICHO) with the objective of safeguarding the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Ifugao people;

4.       Also notes the initiative to run a Workshop at the University of Santo Tomas, Center for Conservation of Cultural Property in the Tropics, in Spring 2007, in order to develop infrastructure guidelines for  the property;

5.       Encourages the State Party to implement the corrective measures identified by the Committee, notably as regards the development of a resource strategy, of zoning and land-use plans and of a specific plan for the promotion of community based tourism at the World Heritage property;

6.       Requests the State Party to support the ICHO with necessary funds to allow it to begin implementing the Conservation and Management Plan which should become the key document for the management of the property;

7.       Requests the State Party in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, to develop a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008;

8.       Also requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, to develop a draft statement of the desired state of conservation for the property based on its Outstanding Universal Value;

9.       Further requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2008, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property, and on progress in implementing the corrective measures adopted by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006), for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008;

10.     Decides to retain the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

31 COM 8C.2
Update of the list of the World Heritage in danger - maintenance

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following the examination of the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-07/31.COM/7A and WHC-07/31.COM/7A.Add, WHC-07/31.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC-07/31.COM/7A.Add.3),

2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 31 COM 7A.20)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley, (Decision 31 COM 7A.21)
  • Azerbaijan, Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower (Decision 31 COM 7A.26)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 31 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 31 COM 7A.29)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 31 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 31 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Virunga National Park (Decision 31 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 31 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Garamba National Park (Decision 31 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Salonga National Park (Decision 31 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 31 COM 7A.8)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 31 COM 7A.16)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 31 COM 7A.9)
  • Germany, Dresden Elbe Valley (Decision 31 COM 7A.27)
  • India, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (Decision 31 COM 7A.11)
  • Islamic Republic of Iran, Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Decision 31 COM 7A.22)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 31 COM 7A.17)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 31 COM 7A.18)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 31 COM 7A.10)
  • Pakistan, Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Decision 31 COM 7A.24)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 31 COM 7A.30)
  • Philippines, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Decision 31 COM 7A.25)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 31 COM 7A.28)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 31 COM 7A.15)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 31 COM 7A.31)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 31 COM 7A.19)
Draft Decision: 31 COM 7A.25

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 30 COM 7A.28, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3. Notes the setting up of the Ifugao Cultural Heritage Office (ICHO) with the objective of safeguarding the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Ifugao people;

4. Also notes the initiative to run a Workshop at the University of Santo Tomas, Center for Conservation of Cultural Property in the Tropics, in Spring 2007, in order to develop infrastructure guidelines for the property;

5. Regrets that no substantial progress has been made towards addressing the corrective measures identified by the Committee, notably as regards the development of a resource strategy, of zoning and land-use plans and of a specific plan for the promotion of community based tourism at the World Heritage property ;

6. Requests the State Party to support the ICHO with necessary funds to allow it to begin implementing the Conservation and Management Plan which should become the key document for the management of the property;

7. Also requests the State Party to consult with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS over the next year to develop appropriate benchmarks and a revised timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures, for consideration by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.

8. Further requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2008, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property, and on progress in implementing the corrective measures adopted by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006), for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.

9. Decides to retain the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

 

Report year: 2007
Philippines
Date of Inscription: 1995
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)(v)
Danger List (dates): 2001-2012
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 31COM (2007)
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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