Location and Values: The South China Karst world heritage site is a serial site with seven widely separated clusters (a total of 12 component parts) spread over the provinces of Guizhou, Guangxi, Yunnan and Chongking. It contains the most significant types of karst landforms, including tower karst, pinnacle karst and cone karst formations, along with other spectacular characteristics such as natural bridges, gorges and large cave systems. It is representative of the huge karst area (some 500,000 km2) that covers much of southern China, Vietnam and the rest of Indochina.
Conservation Status and Prospects. According to IUCN’s recent Conservation Outlook Assessment the conservation status of the South China Karst is ‘good with some concerns’. The IUCN report notes that ‘the outstanding scenic and geological values are well protected under the current management regime. These values are largely resilient to human modification and loss and their overall condition and trend is good and stable. Significant threats are few in number and generally under control through careful management intervention. There is still some priority needed in redressing boundary delimitation issues for the property itself and the buffer zones. Improved administrative co-ordination among the various separate components of the serial property is also a priority for further consideration. There are two significant current threats that could become more problematic in the near future – pollution of upstream catchments affecting both surface and underground water courses in the property, and increased tourism infrastructure development, which could introduce undesirable elements of mass tourism at popular scenic spots. However, it needs to be noted that it is often difficult to generalise because the issues of concern vary in seriousness from component to component in this serial property.’
Official UNESCO Site Details
IUCN Conservation Outlook
UNEP-WCMC Site Description