The Great Wall of China Rated as A Demonstration Case of World Heritage Protection and Management
By Reporters Tai Xiao’an and Zhao Xuetong, Fuzhou, July 23 (Xinhua News Agency) The extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee of the UNESCO reviewed and approved the Report on the State of Conservation of the Great Wall on July 23, 2021. The Great Wall was rated as a demonstration case of World Heritage protection and management by the World Heritage Committee. This came after the Grand Canal won such an honor in World Heritage protection and management in 2018.
The World Heritage Committee highly appraised the active and effective measures taken by the Chinese government in the protection of the Great Wall in its resolution, which has made it possible for the outstanding universal value of the heritage to be properly protected. The resolution also appreciates the efforts and achievements of the Chinese government in the promotion of the Great Wall National Cultural Park, the promulgation and implementation of the Master Plan for the Conservation of the Great Wall, and in public outreach activities, heritage site capacity building, special protection legislation, modern technology applications, international exchanges and cooperation, and relief from tourism pressure.
The session reviewed a total of 255 World Heritage State of Conservation reports, and only 3 were rated as the demonstration cases of heritage protection and management. The Great Wall was the only cultural heritage project, and the other two were the Natural Heritage Taï National Park and Comoé National Park in Côte d’Ivoire. The resolution stated that the Great Wall protection and management practices have contributed fruitful "Chinese experience" and "Chinese wisdom" to the protection of huge linear cultural heritage and series of heritage in various countries.
According to Song Xinchao, deputy director-general of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, the Administration has joined hands with local governments along the route in recent years to establish a legal system based on the Regulations for the Conservation of the Great Wall and supported by local special regulations and has issued the Report on the Conservation of the Great Wall to re-examine the values of the Great Wall, explore and refine the spirit of the Great Wall and enhance the awareness of the Great Wall protection among the whole society. Also, the "Great Wall Protection Master Planning System" was established to strengthen the top-level design, proposing the overall strategy of intact protection and the work policy of maintenance, partial emergency rescue, and strict control and restoration.
In recent years, the National Cultural Heritage Administration has organized and implemented nearly 600 conservation, remediation, and archaeology projects, built research-type conservation demonstration projects at Beijing Jiankou and Hebei Xifengkou Great Wall, continuously increased personnel training, promoted public participation in the practice of Great Wall conservation and improved the capacity building of heritage protection and management. At the same time, it has promoted the “Wall-to-Wall Dialogue” held between China and Britain, built a bridge of civilization exchanges and mutual learning, and provided valuable experience for transnational cooperation in the protection of world cultural heritage.