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Decision 41 COM 7B.88
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/17/41.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.34 adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Takes note of the conclusions and recommendations of the November 2016 Reactive Monitoring mission to the eight component sites of the serial property in Kazakhstan;
  4. Expresses its deep concern that the component site of Talgar has been impacted so adversely in a comparatively short amount of time since the time of inscription that its state of conservation is now a potential threat to the integrity of the overall serial transnational property;
  5. Notes that significant infrastructural road construction at the Talgar component site was halted in October 2016, after serious damage to the historic structures and archaeological layers of the site and its overall morphology; also notes that five options for the revised line of the Birlik-Almalyk-Kazstroy-Ryskulov-Ak-Bulak road were put forward by the State Party of Kazakhstan in January 2017, cross the Buffer Zone; and therefore requests the State Party of Kazakhstan to develop new options for an alternative route outside of the territory of the component site and its Buffer Zone, in line with the request of the Committee, and to dismantle the half-built road bridge;
  6. Also requests the State Party of Kazakhstan to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 December 2017 a detailed report on reconstruction work at the Talgar component site, both planned and undertaken, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Notes that the Talgar site has been affected by rural residential development in the Buffer Zone, and further requests that this be halted and strict control over this process be ensured;
  8. Also expresses its concern that local paved roads are planned or under construction at Akyrtas; and deeply regrets that the World Heritage Centre was not informed about this project beforehand, which goes against Paragraph 172 of Operational Guidelines;
  9. Further expresses its deep concern about the adverse impacts of urban development on the perception of the sites in relation to the Silk Roads and their settings, and requests furthermore the State Party of Kazakhstan to strengthen the legal mechanisms to control environmental impacts of urban growth over the component sites as a matter of priority;
  10. Requests moreover the State Party of to clarify the boundaries of the component sites, and to ensure that all sites benefit from the highest national protection in their boundaries and Buffer Zones as it was submitted at the time of inscription;
  11. Reiterates its request that Management Plans for all eight component sites of the serial property in Kazakhstan and their landscape settings be revised taking into consideration the results of Reactive Monitoring mission assessment as a matter of priority and be submitted to the World Heritage Centre by 1 December 2018 at the latest, along with an update on progress by 1 December 2017;
  12. Requests in addition the States Parties of China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to develop effective coordination for the management of the overall serial property through the existing Coordinating Committee on the World Heritage Serial Nomination of the Silk Road and its Secretariat based at ICOMOS International Conservation Centre-Xi’an;
  13. Finally requests the State Party of Kazakhstan, in close consultation with the States Parties of China and Kyrgyzstan, to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, 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.
Decisions adopted during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee (Krakow, 2017)
Context of Decision