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World Heritage Convention

Decision 38 COM 7B.17
Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape (Lao People’s Democratic Republic) (C 481)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling decisions 35COM 7B.72 and 36 COM 7B.64, adopted at its 35th (UNESCO, 2011) and 36th (Saint Petersburg, 2012) sessions respectively;
  3. Takes note of the actions undertaken by the State Party towards addressing some of the requests made at previous sessions; in particular work to progress the redesign of the road, to formulate a Master Plan, and to define local land use zones;
  4. Notes that inadequately detailed plans have been provided for the proposed road alignment and urges the State Party to develop plans of the amended road alignment at a larger scale in order to clarify precisely the proposed details; and requests it to undertake archaeological surveys to assess the significance of buried archaeology along the proposed route, and Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA), to assess the impact of the new road alignment and the development of appropriate mitigation measures, and to submit to the World Heritage Centre for assessment by the Advisory Bodies copies of the road plans and HIAs;
  5. Also urges the State Party to suspend any work that may be ongoing on the new road until work on the expanded Master Plan, which includes a landscape approach to formulate a clear guidance for development requested below, is elaborated;
  6. Also notes the submission of a Master Plan and local land use plans by the State Party, but expresses concern that the Master Plan does not have sufficient detail and scope to act as the strategic planning framework to protect the attributes of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, or to address the large number of major planned projects and potential development threats;
  7. Further urges the State Party to develop an expanded Master Plan based on a landscape approach, taking into account the nature of the property as a cultural landscape, and its attributes of OUV, and to ensure that local land use zoning plans conform to the Master Plan; this Master Plan should provide an overall strategic landscape protection and development framework within which the Management Plan, the individual zoning plans, and any other strategic plans operate, and should ensure co-ordination with emerging wider territorial plans; and to submit copies to the World Heritage Centre for assessment by the Advisory Bodies before final approval;
  8. Regrets that a number of construction projects are being proposed or undertaken without notifying the Committee and urges furthermore the State Party to provide detailed information on these projects to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines ;
  9. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission to the property to consider the implementation of the above and in order to develop ways of mitigating potential threats to the OUV of the property;
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015.
Report of the Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session (Doha, 2014)
Context of Decision