Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu

Factors affecting the property in 2000*
  • Fire (widlfires)
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Accident of a crane which damaged one of the most important monuments at Machu Picchu, the Intihuatana or stone sundial

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Dam construction;
  • Power line development;
  • Wild fires (issue resolved); 
  • Encroachment;
  • Urbanization of the valley;
  • Helicopters flights
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2000
Requests approved: 10 (from 1986-1992)
Total amount approved : 161,625 USD
Missions to the property until 2000**

1997: joint ICOMOS/IUCN mission; October 1999: joint ICOMOS/IUCN mission

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2000

Previous deliberations
Twenty-third session of the Bureau - paragraph number IV.50.
Twenty-third session of the Committee - paragraph number X.31

New information: As requested by the Committee at its twenty-third session, the Peruvian authorities submitted a report on Machu Picchu that includes separate information from the National Institute for Culture (INC) and the National Institute for Natural Resources (INRENA). The information provided can be summarised as follows:

Planning and management arrangements:

  • The Statute on the Organization and Functions of the Management Unit for Machu Picchu was adopted by INRENA and INC on 28 March 2000. It defines the organizational and functional structure of the Management Unit and establishes that all projects and activities in the Sanctuary will be co-ordinated through the Management Unit.
  • The Management Committee that will consist of all relevant institutions involved in Machu Picchu will be established in the course of the first half of this year.
  • The Operational Plan for the year 2000 has been prepared and is now in the process of evaluation.
  • Monitoring of the effective and timely implementation of the Master Plan is inscribed in the activities of the Management Unit.

Access to the Historic Sanctuary and to the Ciudadela:

  • Cable car project: The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the cable car project was observed by the National Institute for Culture (INC) and the National Institute for Natural Resources (INRENA) and returned by them in 1998. To date, neither INRENA nor INC had received a new EIA.
  • A Plan for the Public Use of the Sanctuary is presently being prepared. This plan will include the definition for the carrying capacity of the Ciudadela, the Camino Inca and the village of Aguas Calientes. INC has already prepared a detailed study on the rationalisation, routing and limits to the number of visitors to the Ciudadela.
  • INRENA and INC adopted and introduced on 8 May 2000 an Ordinance for the Tourism Use of the Camino Inca. For the year 2000, the maximum number of persons that will be allowed to enter the Sanctuary via the Camino Inca has been established at 500 per day.

Works and projects with (potential) impact on the World Heritage Site:

  • A Plan for the village of Aguas Calientes is being developed.

Potential extension of the World Heritage site:

  • The introduction of a Geographic Information System is being considered in collaboration with Conservation International. This system will be the basis for monitoring and study that will eventually lead to the study of a possible extension of the site. INC informed that such extension would contemplate the area up to and including Ollantaytambo that is a major archaeological site.

Overall state of conservation:

Several studies are being undertaken on eco-systems, species, and disaster preparedness.

Under the UNESCO-Kyoto University Project IGCP-425 ‘Landslide Hazard Assessment and Mitigation for Cultural Heritage Sites and other Locations of High Societal Value’, experts from the Kyoto University undertook a mission to Machu Picchu in March 2000. A preliminary conclusion is that ‘various phenomena suggest that the Machupicchu citadel is in danger of landslides’. Further detailed investigations will need to be undertaken.

All information on Machu Picchu was transmitted to IUCN and ICOMOS for review. The advisory bodies will present their views during the Bureau session.

Action Required
The Bureau may wish to examine information that will be available at the time of its session and take the appropriate decision thereupon.
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2000

The World Heritage Centre received from the Peruvian authorities a report by the Machu Picchu Management Unit on the following points:

·         The Technical Committee for Touristic Use of the Cultural and Natural Heritage of the Nation was constituted.

·         The Management Committee for the property was put in place.

·         An Integrated Forest Fire Prevention Plan was approved.

·         The projects concerning problems with the management of liquid and solid waste were advanced.

·         The time limit for the implementation of the Regulation for the Use of the Inca Trail had to be extended to the end of December 2000.

·         Possibilities are being investigated of financial collaboration with the Japanese Government in the UNESCO-Kyoto University project on Landslide Hazard and Mitigation (IGCP-425).

The Management Unit considers it to be of great importance to conclude a study on the carrying capacity of the Inca Trail and the Acropolis of Machu Picchu.

At the beginning of September 2000, the World Heritage Centre received from the Comisión de Promoción de la Inversión Privada (COPRI) a draft version of the Terms of Reference for a study to identify a new location for the planned cable car in Machu Picchu. The Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales (INRENA) emphasised the importance of considering the project’s impact on the landscape as well as the necessity of extending the study of possible locations to areas other than Puente Ruinas.

Furthermore, information reached the World Heritage Centre that during the production of a beer commercial at the site, a crane that formed part of the film team’s equipment fell on the Intihuatana or stone sundial, chipping off a piece of stone. The Secretariat expressed its concerns and has requested a detailed report on this matter.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2000
24 BUR IV.B.49
Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (Peru)

The Secretariat informed the Bureau that, upon the request of the Committee at its twenty-third session, the Peruvian authorities submitted a response to the recommendations of the UNESCO-IUCN-ICOMOS mission to Machu Picchu in October 1999. The Secretariat also informed the Bureau that it had received from the Peruvian Permanent Delegation a request for collaboration in the further undertaking of geological studies on the potential of landslides on the slopes of the mountain on which the Ciudadela is located. These studies would be undertaken in the framework of the UNESCO – Kyoto University project ‘Landslide Hazard Assessment and Mitigation for Cultural Heritage Sites and other Locations of High Societal Value’.

Both IUCN and ICOMOS acknowledged the efforts of the government to address the recommendations of the UNESCO-IUCN-ICOMOS mission. IUCN, however, referred to the observations made by a mission that was undertaken by the Social Affairs Committee of the Finnish Parliament, in the framework of the assistance provided by Finland (Programma Machu Picchu). This mission noted as key issues the problems with the management of water and solid waste, increased tourism pressure and the delays in the implementation of the Programma Machu Picchu. ICOMOS supported these observations and made particular reference to the need to control urban development in the village of Aguas Calientes.

The Bureau took note of the report submitted by the Government of Peru in response to the recommendations formulated by the UNESCO-IUCN-ICOMOS mission of October 1999 and endorsed by the World Heritage Committee at its session in December 1999. It commended the Peruvian authorities for the actions taken, particularly with regard to the operations of the Management Unit and the regulation for the use of the Inca Trail (Camino Inca). It requested the authorities to keep the Secretariat informed on any new development in the management and preservation of the area and to transmit relevant studies and plans as soon as they become available. The Bureau encouraged the authorities to continue the implementation of the recommendations of the UNESCO-IUCN-ICOMOS mission and to submit a progress report to this effect by 15 September 2000 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its twenty-fourth session.

The Observer of Peru noted that the Government of Peru is committed to the preservation of the site and the undertaking of the actions recommended by the Committee. He thanked the Government of Finland for its support.

The Delegate of Morocco noted that eco-tourism seemed to be a common issue for several of the sites discussed at this session of the Bureau and that experiences could be of use for non-World Heritage sites and Biosphere Reserves. IUCN responded that it had established a Task Force on Tourism and Protected Areas. Guidelines on this topic were being prepared jointly with UNEP and the World Tourism Organization and would be available in 2001.

24 COM VIII.iii
State of conservation reports of mixed properties noted by the Committee

Mount Emei and Leshan Giant Buddha (China)

Historic Sanctary of Machu Picchu (Peru)

The Bureau may wish to adopt the following decision and transmit it to the Committee for noting:

“The Bureau commends the State Party for the actions taken to protect the property, especially the advances made in consolidating the institutional structure for the management of the site. The Bureau, however, expresses very serious concern over the accident that damaged one of the most important monuments at Machu Picchu, the Intihuatana or stone sundial. The Bureau requests the Peruvian authorities to submit a report on the accident and the restoration efforts taken, as well as on further progress in the consolidation of the institutional structure and the development of the cable car project. The report shall be submitted by 15 April 2001 for examination by the World Heritage Bureau at its twenty-fifth session.”

Report year: 2000
Date of Inscription: 1983
Category: Mixed
Criteria: (i)(iii)(vii)(ix)

* : 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.