Capacity Building
Credibility of the World Heritage ...
Inscriptions on the World Heritage ...
International Assistance
List of World Heritage in Danger
Operational Guidelines
Outstanding Universal Value
Periodic Reporting
Reinforced Monitoring
Tentative Lists
Working methods and tools
World Heritage Convention

Decision 42 COM 7B.16
Golden temple of Dambulla (Sri Lanka) (C 561)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.46, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s advice regarding the improved arrangements for the conservation and management of the property between the Temple Authorities, the Department of Archaeology and the Central Cultural Fund, as well as the preparation of a ‘Statement of Conservation Strategy’ and other initiatives that have been instigated or are planned in order to conserve wall paintings, sculptures and other significant attributes of the property;
  4. Encourages the State Party to implement the proposed Site Management Committee and related management structures, with clear lines of responsibilities, as a matter of urgency;
  5. Requests the State Party to implement fully the recommendations of the March 2015 ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, as appropriate;
  6. Reiterates its previous request to the State Party to revise and update the Management Plan for the property, based on clearly-defined governance and communication structures, while incorporating traditional management systems, and defining the interface between the State and Temple authorities, the setting of short-, mid- and long-term strategies for both conservation and pilgrim/visitor management, and budget planning, as well as incorporating the recently-prepared ‘Statement of Conservation Strategy’, and to provide the draft to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Also requests the State Party to facilitate the preparation of a comprehensive Tourism Management Strategy, which has strong regard to a balanced approach considering the role of the property as a pilgrim site, the vital needs for the conservation of Outstanding Universal Value and the needs of visitors, and submit the draft to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Reminds the State Party of its obligation to submit details of proposed works to the property which may affect its Outstanding Universal Value, including projects for wall painting and sculpture remedial treatment and laser cleaning, floor tile replacement, and hydro-geological projects, to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, in line with the requirements of Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before any irreversible decisions or physical interventions occur;
  9. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, an 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 43rd session in 2019, with a view to considering, if adequate progress in the implementation of the above recommendations has not been made, and in case of the confirmation of the ascertained or potential danger to Outstanding Universal Value, the possible inscription of the property on the List of the World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
42 COM 7B.16
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2018 Rangiri Dambulla Cave Temple
Decisions adopted during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee (Manama, 2018)
Context of Decision