Memorabilia of “South China Karst” Applying for World Natural Heritage Status

The inclusion of the first batch of “South China Karst” World Natural Heritage:
Shilin County of Yunnan Province, Libo County of Guizhou Province, and Wulong County of Chongqing Municipality.

Memorabilia from 1991 to 1998
(1)-In August 1991, Shilin County (the Stone Forest) of Yunnan Province applied for world natural heritage status in the name of “South China Karst”.

(2)-On March 6th, 1992, Shilin County established the Commanding Centre of World Natural Heritage Application for the Stone Forest Resort, which is made up of a Propaganda & Education Unit, an Infrastructure Unit, an Environment-rectifying Unit, and a Commanding Office.

(3)-On May 31st, 1992, as invited by China National Commission of the UNESCO and the Ministry of Construction, Dr. Jim Thorsell and Dr. Lucas, two world heritage experts of the UNESCO, carried out informal evaluation and inspection to the Stone Forest.

According to the result of their evaluation and inspection, the Stone Forest then was considered to lack international comparative research, and not able to prove the “China Karst” representativeness or the common significance; so they had suggested Shilin put off the application by withdrawing the application documents.

(4)-On December 20th, 1998, the Furongjiang River Scenic Resort of Wulong County, Chongqing Municipality, submitted the application for world natural heritage status, and compiled bilingual reports in Chinese and English.  


Memorabilia in 2001
(1)-During May 26th-30th, 2001, the WHC (World Heritage Centre) and the IUCN (International Union on Conserving Nature and Natural Resources) jointly held a forum in the Mulu National Park (Malaysia) on the Asia-Pacific Karst Ecosystem and World Heritages.

On the forum, it was clearly stated that any application of single Karst site shall not be accepted for world natural heritage status. And experts of the WHC and IUCN had declared that they would help and support the “China Karst”, as a whole, to apply for world natural heritage status and to carry out related protection and management.

(2)-On July 18th, 2001, the People’s Government of Guizhou Province officially approved to establish the Guizhou Provincial World Heritage Application Office (referred to as the Guizhou Office hereunder), which is based in the Construction Department of Guizhou Province, Guiyang City.

(3)-In November 2001, the People’s Government of Libo County submitted to the Construction Department of Guizhou Province the request for applying for world natural heritage status.


Memorabilia in 2002
(1)-In April 2002, after their inspection to the natural heritage resources of the Stone Forest, Dr. Hanns and Mr. Wang Tiemu, from the IUCN Asia Office, exchanged views with the National Construction Ministry of China on how to apply for world heritage status, and how to improve the protection and management of the applicant sites. 

(2)-During November 1st-5th, 2002 when the Stone Forest International Seminar was held, Dr. Hanns, Mr, Wang Tiemu and other world Karst experts, such as Pr. Williams (Auckland University, New Zealand), Mr. Clark (Director of the Mulu Natural Park, a world natural heritage site in Malaysia), made constructive proposals on the organisational form the “China Karst”, as a whole, might take when applying for world natural heritage status.

(3)-During November 6th-12th, 2002, the Guizhou Office invited Mr. Song Linhua, who is a research fellow with the Geological Science Institute of the Chinese Science Academy, and a consultant on scenic spots with the National Construction Ministry of China, Mr. Yu Jinlin, a professor of Nanjing University and China’s famous Karst geologist, and others to carry out inspections to the Karst landforms in places such as Xingyi, An’long and Puding etc.


Memorabilia in 2003
(1)-On January 6thm 2003, an expert team, which was headed by Mr. Song Linhua-invited again by the Guizhou Office, and made up of experts such as Dr. Xiang Changguo, Dr. Liang Fuyuan, Dr. Zhang Pingjiu, Dr. Wang Fuyuan, Prof. Yang Ming and Prof. Li Daohong (Guizhou Provincial Normal University), and Prof. Li Jingyang (Guizhou Provincial Industrial University), carried out inspections to places such as: Zhangjiang Scenic Resort, Maolan Nature Reserve, subterranean rivers of Huanghou Town of Dushan County; Dajinggang and Xiaojinggang scenic areas, and Triassic Tectonic Zone of Ban’geng Town, Luodian County; Wanfenghu Lake, Dongfengling Kart Peaks, Xifenglin Karst Peaks, Malinghe River Valley, and Shuangrufeng Kart Peaks etc of Xingyi City.

A zone was then outlined for the preselective natural heritages as a result of these inspections; and it had been agreed that the outstanding Karst heritage sites shall be located in and confined to: Zhangjiang Scenic Resort (Libo County), Maolan Nature Reserve (Libo County), Malinghe River Valley (Xingyi City), Wanfenghu Lake (Xingyi City), and Nihan Stone Forest (Nihan Town of Xingyi City). 

Taking the advice and suggestions given by experts during the preparatory stages, the Construction Department of Guizhou Province and the Guizhou Office had attached great attention, and set up work groups to fully carry out resources investigating and data collecting. To that date, the application efforts in Guizhou Province had totally kicked off.

(2)-During January 11th-20th, 2003, the Guizhou Office organised two expert teams to conduct on-site inspection and data collecting, one is for Xingyi City, the other one is for Libo County. Engaged in painstaking tasks on mounts and in waters, these experts spent ten days rounding off the wild inspection and data collection.

(3)-During February to March 2003, the work of application documents and materials was directed by Professor Yang Mingde, who is also the head of the expert teams. All the documents were compiled in the Exchange Centre of Guizhou Provincial Normal University, and videos were produced by the Culture, Movie and TV Centre of Guizhou Province. By the end of March, and with back-and-forth discussions, the drafts and videos (including digital video disk) were completed.

(4)-On March 4th, the Institution Organising Commission of Guizhou Province approved to establish the World Heritage Application Management Centre of the province (referred to as the Guizhou Centre hereunder), and made it a county-level public institution affiliated to the Provincial Construction Department.   

(5)-On March 25th, 2003, the Construction Department of Guizhou Province convened a meeting to preliminarily verify the preselective application documents for the Karst Cones applying for world natural heritage status. The meeting was honourably participated by relevant departments, leaders, experts and scholars as well. 

(6)-On May 26th, 2003, the Communist Party Committee of Guizhou Provincial Construction Departments nominated Mr. Fu Yuliang, who is the director of the Landscape Section of the Department, as the director and legal person of the Guizhou Office.

(7)-During October 28th-29th, 2003, the National Construction Ministry of China sponsored to hold a conference named “Conversazione on the Work of ‘China Karst’ Applying for World Natural Heritage Status” in Xingyi City, Guizhou Province. At the meeting, Mr. Song Linhua discoursed upon the Karst features and distribution in the world. Mr. Song also expounded the possibility and necessity of the “China Karst” to apply for world status.

In the end, the meeting had settled related issues concerning the “China Karst”, which would apply, as a whole, for world natural heritage status, such as: confirming the applicant list by the end of 2005; finishing the compilation of the application documents; and striving to submit the application to World Heritage Centre of the UNESCO not later than 2006.

Around 60 attended the meeting, some of whom are: Wang Fengwu (Deputy Chief of Urban Construction Division, National Construction Ministry of China), Zuo Xiaoping (Deputy Director of Landscape Section of Urban Construction Division, National Construction Ministry of China), Li Guangrong (Director of Guizhou Provincial Construction Department), Fu Yuliang (Director of World Heritage Application Centre of Guizhou Province), Chen Xiaohu (Deputy Director of Three Parallel Rivers Scenic Resort Management Bureau, Yunnan Province), Zhang Gao (Deputy Director of Garden Planning Section of Construction Department of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), Lang Hongyuan (Director of Landscape Section of Chongqing Municipal Bureau of Parks); and other participants are from governments and scenic areas, such as: the People’s Government of Xingyi City, Guizhou Province; the Construction Bureau of Qianxinan Prefecture; Malinghe River Valley Resort of Xingyi City; the People’s Government of Libo County, Guizhou Province; Zhangjiang Scenic Resort of Libo County; Wuyanghe River Scenic Resort, Guizhou Province; Longgong Scenic Resort, Guizhou Province; Zhijindong Cave Scenic Resort, Guizhou Province; Huangguoshu Scenic Resort, Guizhou Province; and Hongfenghu Lake Scenic Resort, Guizhou Province, etc.

(8)-On December 19th, 2003, as approved by the Institution Organising Commission of Guizhou Province, the Guizhou Centre was renamed the “World Heritage Application Management Office of Guizhou Province” (the Guizhou Office). 


Memorabilia in 2004
(1)-During June 28th-Juy 7th, 2004, the 28th General Conference of the World Heritages was held in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province.

Li Guangrong (Director of Guizhou Provincial Construction Department), Ji Baoshan (Deputy Director of Guizhou Provincial Construction Department), Fu Yuliang (Director of the Guizhou Office) and so on, attended the 10-day meeting.

And the exhibition of selected pictures of Guizhou Province had seen quite good propagandistic effects.

(2)-On August 13th, 2004, Mr. Song Linhua and Yang Deming (professor of Guizhou Provincial Normal University) died at post in bus crash-which also had left dead Tian Yongsheng (a postgraduate of the Chinese Academy Sciences), Wu Chengyun and all others on the same ride except Peng Jingling (the Guizhou Office) who was badly wounded.

(3)-During September 20th-22nd, 2004, the UNESCO and the National Construction Ministry of China jointly sponsored the Symposium on the Preservation of Biodiversity of World Heritages, in Kunming of Yunnan Province.

At the meeting, experts from both China abroad suggested that “China Karst” be renamed “South China Karst” because of the distribution in China.

Relevant experts attending the symposium include: Karst experts of IUCN, Prof. Williams (New Zealand), Prof. Smith (Australia), Yuan Daoxian (Academician of the CAS), and Zhu Xuewen (the Karst Research Institute of China) etc.


Memorabilia in 2005
(1)-In March 2005
Since the Kunming Symposium (please refer to “Memorabilia in 2004”), the Communist Party Committee of the Construction Department of Guizhou Province had put a great deal of importance on the application of “South China Karst”. On one hand, it set up an expert panel; and on the other hand, it submitted reports to the people’s Government of Guizhou Province-which then approved to establish a leading group for the “South China Karst”.

The Leading Group’s 11 members include: (1)-chief: Vice Provincial Governor Bao Kexin; (2)-deputy chiefs: Li Feiyue (Deputy Secretaries-general of Guizhou Provincial Government), Li Guangrong (Director of Guizhou Provincial Construction Department), Ji Baoshan (Deputy Director of Guizhou Provincial Construction Department), Lu Shouxiang (Mayor of Xingyi City), Mu Degui (Mayor of An’shun City), Liu Xiaokai (Qiannan Prefectural Governor), Ban Chengnong (Qianxinan Prefectural Governor), and Huang Jiapei (Commissioner for Bijie Area); (3)-others include officials from departments such as the Provincial Development and Reform Commission and the Provincial Department of Finance etc.

The office of the Leading Group was based in the Provincial Construction Department, with Li Guangrong as the director and Ji Baoshan as the deputy director.

And as the highest-level coordinative organ of Guizhou province’s programmes for the “South China Karst” world natural heritage status, the establishment of the Leading Group had laid firm foundation for the Karst Cones of Guizhou Province.

(2)-On March 29th, 2005, the Urban Construction Division (of the National Construction Ministry of the P.R.C.) sponsored to convene a meeting named “the Meeting of the Expert Team on the ‘South China Karst’ Applying for World Natural Heritage Status”.

The meeting worked out the list of the expert team, which included: (1)-Honourary Advisors: Li Wenhua (academician of the Institute of Geography of the CAS), and Yuan Daoxian (research fellow of the Karst Research Institute of the Chinese Geological Sciences); (2)-Chief: Luo Kunli (academician of the Institute of Geography of the CAS); (3)-Deputy chiefs: Zhu Xuewen (research fellow of the Karst Research Institute of the Chinese Geological Sciences), Zhu Dehao (research fellow of the Karst Research Institute of the Chinese Geological Sciences); and Liang Yongping (professor of Kunming Science and Technology University); (4)-other members are relevant experts from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Yunnan Province, Guizhou Province, and Chongqing Municipality etc.

The meeting also outlined the General Application Documents, and made related work plan for the next stage. And the “South China Karst”, as a whole, started applying for world natural heritage status.

(3)-On March 30th, 2005, referring to the UNESCO-enacted text format, the Guizhou Office organised an expert panel to re-compile application documents for Guizhou Province’s “Karst Cones”. And the Office also entrusted the Institute of Architecture Design of Guizhou Province to compile Preservation Plan for nominated sites.  

(4)-On April 20th, as approved by the People’s Government of Guizhou Province, the Expert Panel was officially set up.

Headed by Professor Xiong Kangning of Guizhou Provincial Normal University, the Panel was staffed with around 10 members such as Mr. Zhu Wenxiao (research fellow from the Research Institute of Mountainous Resources of Guizhou Province), and Mr. Wang Guojiang (research fellow from the Institute of Geochemistry Research, CAS).

(5)-On May 27th, 2005, the Urban Construction Division of the National Construction Ministry sponsored to hold, in Beijing, the conversazione named the “Work Meeting on ‘South China Karst’ Applying for World Natural Heritage Status”, confirming that the application programmes of the “South China Karst” were to be made by 2006 as planned.

Meanwhile, the meeting required all the related provinces and municipalities shall compile documents in line with the latest UNESCO standards, and submit application documents, picture albums, management plan, and videos to the National Construction Ministry-which would then compile the general documents and submit them to the UNESCO to be used as reference by the World Heritage General Conference 2006 for the nominated sites.

(6)-On May 31st, 2005, Mr. Fu Yuliang, the director of the Guizhou Office, presided over an expert conversazione which set the deadline for relevant preparation, and revised the application documents and management planning.


(7)-On June 11th, 2005, the Urban Construction Division of the National Construction Ministry and Guizhou Provincial Construction Department jointly sponsored a seminar to discuss the application documents for Guizhou Province’s Karst Cones.

Presided over by Mr. Ji Baoshan, the deputy director of Guizhou Provincial Construction Department, the seminar was attended by over 80 officials and experts from relevant departments of Guizhou Province.

On the seminar, the application documents were fully recognised, and constructive suggestions and advice were put forward by conventioneers. And the great efforts and achievements of Guizhou Provincial Construction Department and the Guizhou Office were highly appraised.

(8)-On July 20th, 2005, the Guizhou Office officially issued documents to the People’s Government of Qianxinan Prefecture, requiring to kickstart comprehensive management and a management programme for Libo and Malinghe River, both of which were to apply for world natural heritage status. 

(9)-On September 9th, 2005, the National Construction Ministry issued official documents to confirm the first batch of nominated “South China Karst” sites, including Shilin County of Yunnan Province, Libo County of Guizhou Province, and Wulong County of Chongqing Municipality, to apply for world natural heritage status. And the Construction Department of Guizhou Province was appointed to take the lead for relevant efforts such as documents compiling.

(10)-On September 12th, 2005, Mr. Fu Yuliang, the director of the Guizhou Office, presided over an urgent meeting on the relevant work of the “South China Karst”. The meeting mainly: (1)-notified relevant arrangements stated by the National Construction Ministry; (2)-discussed and deployed relevant arrangements in Guizhou, Yunnan and Chongqing; and (3)-Specified deadlines and appointed related persons-in-charge.

At the same time, for the decisions of the meeting, the Guizhou Office conducted exchanges with Yunnan Provincial Construction Department and Chongqing Municipal Bureau of Parks, resulting in active responses and supports.

(11)-On September 25th, 2005, the Guizhou Office organised experts of Guizhou Province to collect and collate relevant documents and materials, and verify the initial drafts-whose compiling, to that date, had been completed.

(12)-On September 29th, 2005, Mr. Fu Yuliang, the director of the Guizhou Office, submitted work reports to Mr. Wang Fengwu, the Deputy Director of the Construction Ministry, on relevant efforts dedicated to the “South China Karst”. And great support and concerns were attached by the related leaders of the ministry.

(13)-On September 30th, 2005, Guizhou Office Director Mr. Fu Yuliang decided to deliver the compiled application documents to experts’ homes for review.

He arranged his colleague Xiao Gaolin to do the delivery during the National Day Holiday in October. Such deeds were widely supported by many academicians, researchers and experts in China, all of whom offered high-level advice and comments within the shortest time period.

The CAS Academician Yuan Daoxian submitted his written comments on October 6th, Research Fellow Liu Zaihua on October 8th, and Research Fellow Zhu Dehao on October 12th.

(14)- On October 29th, 2005, when the world Karst experts were conducting inspection to Guilin of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the Guizhou Office, as deployed by the National Construction Ministry, organised related applicant sites of Yunnan Province, Guizhou Province and Chongqing Municipality to hold, in Guilin, an international advisory meeting on the “South China Karst” that was applying for world natural heritage status.

At the meeting, which was presided over by Mr. Ji Baoshan, more than 20 experts from all over the world greatly appraised the preliminary work for the “South China Karst” (applying for world natural heritage status). Meanwhile, they put forward constructive suggestions concerning documents compiling, and other relevant aspects such as the preservation and management of world heritages.  

(15)-On November 9th, 2005, the Guizhou Office organised Chongqing Municipal Bureau of Parks, and Yunnan Provincial Construction Department to convene a work meeting, which was attended by: Fu Yuliang (Director of the Guizhou Office), Xiong Kangning (professor of Guizhou Provincial Normal University), Wang Chun (Deputy Director of Guizhou Provincial Institute of Architecture Design), Fu Xiaoming (from the Management of Zhangjiang Scenic Resort), Liu Wen (Deputy Chief of the Landscape Section of Yunnan Provincial Construction Department), Zhu Guirong (from the Management of the Stone Forest Scenic Resort of Shilin County), Li Yuhui (professor of Yunnan Provincial Normal University), Chen Weilun (Chief of the Scenic Attraction Management Section of Chongqing Municipal Bureau of Parks), Ye Chengli (Director of Furongjiang River Scenic Resort Management, Wulong County, Chongqing Municipality), and Zhao Chunyong (professor of Chongqing Municipal Normal University) etc.

At the meeting, the minutes of Guilin Meeting, mentioned in (14), were conveyed and studied; and other issues were settled such as the work progress and relevant funds needed.

(16)-During November 18th-21st, 2005, the Guizhou Centre organised an expert panel to amend and supplement the application documents, in compliance with the up-to-date World Heritage Operational Guidance. And summarised by Professor Xiong Kangning, the initial drafts (in Chinese) had been completed by that time.

(17)-During November 22nd-29th, 2005, as sincerely invited by Fu Yuliang (Director of the Guizhou Office) and Xiong Kangning (professor of Guizhou Provincial Normal University), Julian James (professor of Sydney University, and former President of the International Caves Association) and Gregory J. Middleton (management expert on Karst landscapes and caves, and conserved areas) carried out revision on the English version of documents The South China Karst (Yunnan, Guizhou, and Chongqing).

They revised the texts (in Chapter Three) on the previous pages of the section in which “why can the ‘South China Karst’ be inscribed into the World Natural Heritage List?” is included; and they also revised the Letter to the World Heritage Committee of the UNESCO.

(18)-On December 6th, 2005, the National Construction Ministry convened the evaluation meeting in Beijing on the sites that strived to apply for world heritage status in 2006. Four items were evaluated on the meeting, which were: (1)-“South China Karst” for world natural heritage status; (2)-Cangshan Mt. of Dali, Yunnan Province, for world mixed (dual) heritage status; (3)-Sanqingshan Mt. of Jiangxi Province, for world natural heritage status; and (4)-Wutaishan Mt. of Shanxi Province, for world mixed (dual) heritage status. For the “South China Karst”, Mr. Ji Baoshan and others attended the meeting.

Experts present highly appraised the “South China Karst”, and agreed that it would apply world heritage status in 2006. And the National Construction Ministry conducted comprehensive evaluation for the four items, requiring that all relevant parties shall function well, and that all the items shall be reported the Ministry to finalise the preselective items.

(19)-During December 6th-16th, 2005, Mr. Elery Hamilton Smith (President of the Special Committee of the IUCN Caves and Karst Landforms), and Yuan Daoxian (academician of the Chinese Science Academy) carried out re-revision to the English version of The South China Karst (Yunnan, Guizhou, and Chongqing).

During their stay in Guizhou, Mr. Smith and Mr. Yuan conducted inspection to the nominated Karst sites in Xingyi City and Libo County, and what they had thought highly of are the rich Karst landscape resources and colourful ethnic cultures thereof.

(20)-On December 24th, 2005, when Mr. Smith and Mr. Yuan were still in Guizhou, the Guizhou Office organised Yunnan, Guizhou and Chongqing to hold a conversazione on “the Joint Efforts for World Natural Heritage Status of Yunnan Province, Guizhou Province and Chongqing Municipality”. The documents, both in Chinese and English, picture albums and related maps were submitted to experts present.

(21)-During December 12th-13th, 2005, the Guizhou Office invited Mr. Smith of the IUCN to conduct on-site inspection to Libo Karst sites.

It was agreed that it was quite possible for the “South China Karst” to succeed in applying for world natural heritage status. And as for the first batch of the preselective sites, experts at the meeting gave scientific evaluations, which led to expert opinions in the end.

(22)-On December 30th, 2005, the Seminar on Applicant Items in 2006 was held in Beijing, with the participation of Mr. Ji Baoshan (form the Guizhou Office, same hereunder), Mr. Fu Yuliang and Mr. Xiao Gaolin.

The seminar comprehensively evaluated the four applicant items, including: (1)-South China Karst; (2)-Cangshan Mt. of Dali, Yunnan Province; (3)-Wutaishan Mt., Shanxi Province; and (4)-Sanqingshan Mt., Jiangxi Province. After discussion with China National Committee of the UNESCO, these four were officially reported to the State Council of the P.R.C.

Soon after the seminar drew to a close, good news had come that the “South China Karst” had been confirmed as an item of China’s natural heritage in 2006 to be reported to the World Heritage Centre of the UNESCO.

(23)-On December 31st, 2005, China National Committee of the USECO submitted application to the State Council of the People’s Republic of China for nominating the Blockhouses and Villages of Kaiping City (Guangdong Province), and the “South China Karst” for world heritage status. 


Memorabilia in 2006
(1)-During January 1st-4th, 2006, the Guizhou Office, knowing that the “South China Karst” had been confirmed as China’s natural heritage for world status, organised relevant experts from Yunnan Province, Guizhou Province and Chongqing Municipality to conduct the final revision of the application documents in Guizhou Provincial Normal University. And they completed all the relevant attachments including charts, picture albums, slides, and videos etc.
 
(2)-On January 5th, 2006, the Guizhou Office convened a meeting called the “Work Meeting of the Leading Group of Guizhou’s ‘South China Karst’ World Heritage Application”.

At the meeting, which was presided over by Mr. Bao Kexin (Vice Governor of Guizhou Province), and attended by other leaders from relevant departments, many constructive suggestions and advice were put forward on the videos; and all the participating departments declared to greatly support the “South China Karst” programme. Also at the meeting, Guizhou Provincial leaders sang high appraisal of the Group’s efforts.

(3)-On January 8th, 2006, China’s Premier Mr. Wen Jiabao signed approval for “the Referendum on the ‘South China Karst’ and Kaiping City’s Blockhouses and Villages to Be Inscribed into the World Heritage List”. 

(4)-On January 9th, 2006, the Mr. Li Guangrong, Mr. Ji Baoshan, and Mr. Fu Yuliang, all of whom are deputy chiefs of the Guizhou Leading Group (please refer to details mentioned above), headed to Beijing to submit the application documents for the “South China Karst”. And the devoted efforts of the “South China Karst” were greatly appreciated by leaders of both the National Construction Ministry (such as Minister Mr. Wang Guangtao) and Guizhou Province.

(5)-On January 13th, the application documents, which had been ratified by the State Council of the P.R.C., were officially submitted to the World Heritage Centre of the UNESCO.

(6)-On January 15th, 2006, Mr. Wang Fengwu, Deputy Chief of the Urban Construction Division of the National Construction Ministry, made special phone call to inquire about the application work of Guizhou, and he gave up his Spring Festival Holiday (January 30th-Febuary 4th), giving directions personally in Guizhou Province.

Mr. Wang highly appraised the Karst Cones and biodiversity of Guizhou Province, and greatly recognised the efforts ever made.

(7)-On February 13th, 2006, the Communist Party Committee and People’s Government of Shilin County (Yunnan Province) convened the Meeting on Environment Improvement in the Stone Forest Resort that was applying for world natural heritage status.

(8)-On February 15th, 2006, Shilin County established the Environment Improvement Leading Group, which further set up seven panels and offices.

(9)-On February 16th, 2006, the Work Meeting on “South China Karst” Applying for World Heritage Status was jointly held by Yunnan, Guizhou and Chongqing, in Guiyang City.

At the meeting, which was presided over by Ji Baoshan, the meeting also had the presence of Wang Fengwu and relevant experts, relevant arrangements for the “South China Karst” were discussed; and it was determined that Shilin County of Yunnan, Wulong County of Chongqing, and Libo County of Guizhou shall appoint a person to form a Joint Office.

(10)-On March 1st, 2006, Mr, Francisco, Director of the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO, wrote to Mr. Tian Xiaogang, Secretary-General of China National Committee of the UNESCO, informing that the application documents for the “South China Karst” had been verified by the World Heritage Centre and would be further verified by the IUCN.

(11)-On March 6th, 2006, the Joint Office was set up at the Guizhou Office based in Guizhou Provincial Construction Department, Guiyang City.

Major leaders and members of the Joint Office include Ji Baoshan (Deputy Director of Guizhou Provincial Construction Department), Fu Yuliang (Director of the Guizhou Office), Zhu Shurong (from the Stone Forest Scenic Resort, Shilin County). Luo Linhai (from Libo County), Long Zhoutao (from Wulong County; then was replaced by Liu Qiang as of September 2006), and others such as Xiao Gaolin (from Guizhou Provincial Construction Department) and Nie Mingjia (from Guizhou Provincial Construction Department).

To that date, the Operation Centre of Yunnan, Guizhou and Chongqing had been officially established for the “South China Karst” to apply for world natural heritage status.

(12)-On March 8th, 2006, Shilin County (the Stone Forest) convened the Mobilisation Meeting on Environment Improvement, with the participation of relevant governmental departments, and societies of the county.

(13)-On March 9th, 2006, the Guizhou Office sent out official invitations to China National Committee of the UNESCO, and the National Construction Ministry to carry out joint inspection.

(14)-During March 13th-14th, 2006, the Joint Office organised leaders and experts, most of whom were from Yunnan Province, Guizhou Province, and Chongqing Municipality, such as Ji Baoshan, Shen Rong (section chief of China National Committee of the UNESCO), and Zuo Xiaoping (section chief of the Natural Construction Ministry), to set up a Joint Inspecting Team.

After on-site inspection to Environment Improvement of Shilin, Wulong and Libo, the Team offered a series of constructive suggestions.

(15)-On March 28th, 2006, Wulong County of Chongqing Municipality convened the Mobilisation Meeting on Applying for World Natural Heritage Status.

(16)-On April 3rd, 2006, Libo County of Guizhou Province convened the Oath-taking Meeting on Applying for World Natural Heritage Status, and organised parade and signature campaign, all of which were joined by tens of thousands.

(17)-On April 24th, 2006, Wulong County of Chongqing Municipality convened the Oath-taking Meeting on Applying for World Natural Heritage Status, which was joined by tens of thousands.

(18)-On April 28th, 2006, headed by Bao Kexin (Guizhou Provincial Governor) and Ji Baoshan (Deputy Director of Guizhou Provincial Construction Department), related leaders and experts from Yunnan, Guizhou and Chongqing went to Beijing to report the fresh progress of the “South China Karst” application work to: (1)-China National Committee of the UNESCO; and (2)-the National Construction Ministry.

Zhang Xinsheng (President of the Executive Board of the UNESCO, and Director of China National Committee of the UNESCO), Tian Xiaogang (Secretary-General of China National Committee of the UNESCO), Wang Fengwu (Deputy Chief of the Urban Construction Division of the National Construction Ministry), and other leaders attended to hear the report, and they gave instructions and specified requirements on the application of the “South China Karst”.

(19)-On May 9th, Mr. David Sheppard, Director of the World Heritage Conservation Programme of the IUCN, wrote to Mr. Zhang Xuezhong, China’s Permanent Representative of the UNESCO, informing that the IUCN would carry out on-site inspection to the nominated “South China Karst” sites at an appropriate time before the end of October.

And in the letter of Mr. Sheppard, attached was the introduction to the IUCN-stipulated procedures for inspecting and evaluating world natural heritages and mixed (dual) heritages.

(20)-On May 21st, 2006, in favour of applying for world natural heritage status, Libo County of Guizhou Province established the Environment Improvement Leading Group which further set up 10 panels.
 
(22)-During May 31st-June 11th, 2006, the Mr. Fu Yuliang, accompanied by the Joint Office’s members, such as Xiao Gaolin, Zhu Shurong and Zhou Tao, supervised and examined the Environment Improvement and the IUCN inspectional routes in Shilin County (the Stone Forest), Wulong, and Libo, putting forward constructive suggestions and advice on the Improvement work.

(23)-During June 7th-11th, Mr. Ji Baoshan, and Mr. and Mrs. Williams (both are world famous Karst experts, and professors of Auckland University), worked out written evaluation and advice soon after they conducted on-site inspection to Libo and Wulong.

Yuan Daoxian, an academician of the CAS and famous Karst geologist, took part in the inspection and expounded to Mr. Williams the outstanding value of the “South China Karst” world natural heritage. Other inspecting leaders and experts included Liang Yongning, Xiong Kangning, and Li Yuhui etc.

(24)-On June 22nd, 2006, Mr. Bai Enpei, the then Secretary of Yunnan Province Communist Party, Mr. Qin Guangrong, the then Yunnan Provincial Governor, and other leaders went to the Stone Forest to join in the tree planting activities which were part of the environment improvement; and they were also given the introduction on the world heritage status application of the Stone Forest.

(25)-On July 24th, 2006, the Communist Party Committee and People’s Government of Shilin County convened the Mobilisation Meeting on Welcoming the IUCN Inspecting Team.

The meeting, which was attended by relevant governmental departments, societies, public institutions and enterprise of the county, settled relevant issues such as the accommodation of the inspecting team. 

(26)-On July 31st, 2006, the environmental improvement had been finished for the first batch of applicant sites of the “South China Karst”, including Shilin County (the Stone Forest) of Yunnan Province, Libo County of Guizhou Province, and Wulong County of Chongqing Municipality.  
 
(27)-During 2nd-10th, Yunnan, Guizhou and Chongqing jointly carried out trial inspection to the “South China Karst” sites, including Shilin County (the Stone Forest) of Yunnan Province, Wulong County of Chongqing Municipality, and Libo County of Guizhou Province.

(28)-On August 18th, 2006, David Sheppard, Director of the World Heritage Conservation Programmes of the IUCN, wrote to Mr. Zuo Xiaoping, Director of the National Construction Ministry, advising him of that, the IUCN had arranged Dr. Jimmy Sancerre to carry out on-site inspection and evaluation to the nominated “South China Karst” sites during September 3rd-11th, 2006. What else was informed included the IUCN’s agreement on the inspection programmes for Mr. Sancerre jointly made by Guizhou, Yunnan and Chongqing.

In his letter, Mr. Sheppard also put forward issues in five aspects, which needed to be clarified during the IUCN-organised inspections. 

(29)-On August 21st, 2006, the Communist Party Committee and the People’s Government of Libo County, Guizhou Province, issued documents to welcome and accommodate the IUCN experts who would carry out on-site inspections and evaluation.

(30)-During September 3rd-10th, accompanied by Yuan Daoxian, Lu Yaoru (academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering), Wang Xianpu (academician of the Plant Research Institute of the CAS), Liang Yongning, Wang Fengwu, Zuo Xiaoping, Song Changhong (from the Foreign Ministry of the P.R.C.), Ji Baoshan, and Zhang Dai (from China National Committee of the UNESCO), Mr. Jimmy Sancerre of IUCN conducted on-site inspection and evaluation in the three counties of Shilin, Wulong and Libo.

(31)-In the afternoon of September 10th, 2006, the General Conversazione on Inspecting “South China Karst” Sites was held in Huaxi Hotel, Guiyang City, with the presence of Zhang Xinsheng, Tian Xiaogang, Wang Fuyu (Deputy Communist Party Committee of Guizhou Province), and Sun Guoqiang (Vice Guizhou Provincial Governor).

At the conversazione, Dr. Jimmy Sancerre highly appraised the values of the “South China Karst” resources and the management of the first batch of (three) nominated sites. He also gave advice and suggestions on the supplementary materials for the future need. 

(32)-During September 8th-10th, 2006, as invited by the Guizhou Office and accompanied by the “South China Karst” expert panel, world famous Karst geologists, such as Mr. Smith, Mr. Williams, Mr. Yuan Daoxian and Mr. Lu Yaoru carried out on-site inspection in Guangxi’s Guilin, Mulun, and Qibainong which would soon follow up as the second batch of the “South China Karst” world natural heritage sites.

The inspection had resulted in very good effects. Simultaneously, related governments sworn that they would take the active role in the bid to apply for world natural heritage status.

(33)-On October 15th, 2006, the expert panel accomplished answering the “South China Karst”-related questions raised by the IUCN, and offered what was demanded by Dr. Sancerre [please refer to Item (31) in 2006].

And all the related documents and materials would be officially submitted, by China’s Central Government, to the IUCN’s Headquarter and the World Heritage Centre of the UNESCO. 

(34)-On December 13th, 2006, as required by the IUCN, the expert panel of Yunnan, Guizhou and Chongqing completed coordinates supplementary materials according to which the core areas and buffering zones had been delimited. And these materials were further submitted, by the Chinese Central Government, to the IUCN Headquarter and the WHC (World Heritage Centre) of the UNESCO.


Memorabilia in 2007
(1)-During January 29th-February 14th, 2007, an inspection team, made up of Mr. Ji Baoshan and relevant experts/officials of Yunnan, Guizhou and Chongqing, went to the USA and Canada to visit Mr. Ford, and Mr. Sancerre, both of whom are experts of the IUCN. Most importantly, the team inspected and learned from the world heritage management experiences of the two countries. 

(2)-During May 29th-June 5th, 2007, headed by Mr. Ji Baoshan, an inspection team was organised to go to France to visit officials and experts of the World Heritage Centre (WHC).

The inspection team, staffed with members such as Mr. Zhao Jianrong (from the National Construction Ministry), Mr. Fu Yuliang, Mr. Xiao Gaolin, Mr. Xiong Kangning, and Mr. Ge Huaijun (from Chongqing Municipal Bureau of Parks), had done a lot of coordination for Wulong County-whose application had been then put off by the draft resolution of the WHC.
(3)-During June 23rd-July 3rd, 2007, the 31st World Heritage General Conference was convened in Christchurch, New Zealand, on which the “South China Karst” programme had been subject to votes by 21 member countries.

Mr. Wang Fuyu and Mr. Ji Baoshan attended the conference as two national delegates of China; and a 16-member work team, headed by Li Guangrong (Director of Guizhou Provincial Construction Department), went to New Zealand to assist the National Delegation of the People’s Republic of China.

The programme of “South China Karst” World Natural Heritage was reviewed at 13:00 local time, June 27th (09:30, Beijing time, June 27th).  At 18: 17, local time, June 27th (14:17, Beijing time, June 27th), the delegates of 21 member countries ratified the “South China Karst” to be inscribed into the World Heritage List.

And to that date, Guizhou Province had realised the breakthrough of “no world heritage”.