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World Heritage Convention

Decision 40 COM 7B.34
Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an – Tian-shan Corridor (China / Kazakhstan / Kyrgyzstan) (C 1442)

The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 8B.24, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the detailed reports submitted by the three State Parties of China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan addressing the requests made by the Committee at the time of inscription of the property;
  4. Notes the on-going and essential work on interpretation to allow a better understanding of how the 22 component sites in China relate to the overall Changa’an-Tianshan corridor and to the wider Silk roads network, and urges the relevant States Parties to complete their ongoing interpretation projects;
  5. Commends the initiative of the State Party of China to use interpretive material to enhance heritage outreach efforts and encourage local communities to participate in site management and conservation work, and suggests that ways should be found to promote this work in other components of the property;
  6. Also notes that research on important smaller sites in Kyrgyzstan along the corridor is ongoing, and that minor boundary modifications might be brought forward, in due course, by the State Party of Kyrgyzstan for one or more caravanserais and from the State Party of China for selected beacon watch towers;
  7. Further notes the detailed work undertaken on the remains of elaborate water management systems, and that a minor boundary modification might be brought forward by the State Party of Kazakhstan for the irrigation system that supported Karamergen;
  8. Also commends the initiative of the State Party of China to explore new technologies for daily monitoring work in 22 component sites in China to improve data collection, as well as its collaboration with the ICOMOS International Conservation Centre in Xian (IICC-Xi’an) on an ongoing programme to explore new methods;
  9. Supports the proposed collaboration between the States Parties of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and the International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST, China) in relation to monitoring of remote sites;
  10. Regrets that no substantial progress has been made yet to create management plans for the eight component sites in Kazakhstan, and also urges the State Party to make progress with this work and submit the completed plans to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies by 1 December 2017, and requests the State Party of Kyrgyzstan to update its management plans and confirm that this has been achieved, by 1 December 2017;
  11. Expresses its extreme concern that proposals for a major road directly across the Talgar component site in Kazakhstan were planned and started being implemented without any details being provided either to the Silk Roads Coordinating Committee or to the World Heritage Centre, and in contravention with the national legislation;
  12. Taking into account a moratorium imposed by the State Party of Kazakhstan on the road and bridge construction, further urges the State Party of Kazakhstan to explore other routes outside the boundaries of the Talgar site and its buffer zone, and to dismantle the parts of the bridge that have already been constructed;
  13. Also expresses its concern that reconstruction work is ongoing at the Talgar site without any details having been submitted for review and seemingly without adequate evidence to justify the work, and that residential development has been built in the buffer zone, which has a highly adverse impact on the setting of the Talgar Citadel;
  14. Urges furthermore the State Party of Kazakhstan to halt the residential development in the buffer zone and to provide full details of the project to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  15. Recommends the State Party of Kazakhstan to address the governance issue at the local level in order to ensure adequate planning, efficient management and decision-making;
  16. Urges moreover the State Party of Kazakhstan to address the recommendations of the ICOMOS Advisory mission, initiated by the State Party and carried out in March 2016, with regard to protection, management and awareness-raising and to take all necessary actions to ensure the safeguarding of the authenticity and integrity of the Talgar component site of the serial property;
  17. Also requests the State Party of Kazakhstan to invite, as soon as possible, a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the Talgar component site and other sites of the serial property in Kazakhstan, to consider the implementation of the recommendations of the Advisory mission and the progress accomplished with the development of management plans for all components sites in Kazakhstan;
  18. Further requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, a joint updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision