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Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point

United States of America
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Threats identified at the time of inscription of the property:
  • Need to define an area surrounding the property and including its immediate setting, important views and other areas or attributes that are functionally important
  • Highway 577 crossing the property from north to south
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 24 November 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1435/documents/ and addresses the progress made in the implementation of World Heritage Committee Decision 38 COM 8B.39, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014), when Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point was inscribed on the World Heritage List on the basis of criterion (iii). The Committee recommended the State Party to pay attention to the following matters:

  • Continuing its policy of land acquisition in parallel with scientific investigations with a view to establishing favorable conditions to enlarge the limits of the property in case research results would suggest doing so;
  • Continuing to implement and assess best management practices that have been successful in minimizing the impact of Highway 577 on the visitor experience at the site;
  • Continuing to build capacity and expertise within the management system to profit from the existing Geographical Information Systems (GIS) approach.

The State Party reported on all three items. Following initial research covering about 12% of the Poverty Point Compatible Use Zone (PPCUZ) which was established in 2014 in a 5km radius around the property, acquisition of the privately owned land is not envisaged as research has not identified any significant attributes that enhance the Outstanding Universal Value. Some research is ongoing and some land acquisitions are envisaged for future visitor facilities. Furthermore, measures have been taken in terms of road signage, speed limits and traffic monitoring to minimize the impacts of the Highway 577 on the site visitors’ overall experience. Finally, the State Party expanded the use of the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) as a tool for site management.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are of the view that the Committee’s recommendations are being addressed continuously by the State Party and no further reporting is required in the short term. The State Party is encouraged to continue with the implementation of the measures requested by the Committee, in order to ensure an appropriate state of conservation and to prevent threats from affecting its Outstanding Universal Value, in particular from activities outside the boundaries of the World Heritage property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7B.105
Omnibus Decision

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Takes note with satisfaction of the measures taken by the States Parties concerned to address its previous requests to mitigate the threats on the Outstanding Universal Value of the following World Heritage properties:
    • Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower (Azerbaijan),
    • Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex (Russian Federation),
    • New Lanark (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland),
    • Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point (United States of America);
  3. Encourages the States Parties concerned to pursue their efforts to ensure the conservation of World Heritage properties;
  4. Recalling the benefits to States Parties of systematically utilizing Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) in the review of development projects, also encourages States Parties to integrate the EIA/HIA processes into legislation, planning mechanisms and management plans, and reiterates its recommendation to States Parties to use these tools in assessing projects, including assessment of cumulative impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value of properties, as early as possible and before any final decision is taken;
  5. Reminds the States Parties concerned to inform the World Heritage Centre in due course about any major development project that may negatively impact the Outstanding Universal Value of a property, before any irreversible decisions are made, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7B.105

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Takes note with satisfaction of the measures taken by the States Parties concerned to address its previous requests to mitigate the threats on the Outstanding Universal Value of the following World Heritage properties:
    1. Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower (Azerbaijan),
    2. Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex (Russian Federation),
    3. New Lanark (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland),
    4. Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point (United States of America);
  3. Encourages the States Parties concerned to pursue their efforts to ensure the conservation of World Heritage properties;
  4. Recalling the benefits to States Parties of systematically utilizing Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) in the review of development projects, encourages States Parties to integrate the EIA/HIA processes into legislation, planning mechanisms and management plans, and reiterates its recommendation to States Parties to use these tools in assessing projects, including assessment of cumulative impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value of properties, as early as possible and before any final decision is taken;
  5. Reminds the States Parties concerned to inform the World Heritage Centre in due course about any major development project that may negatively impact the Outstanding Universal Value of a property, before any irreversible decisions are made, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.
Report year: 2016
United States of America
Date of Inscription: 2014
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 40COM (2016)
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.