World Heritage


    The scenic Mount Wuyi, in Fujian Province is praised as the most unusual and graceful landscape in southeast China. This is the area where southeastern plants are best preserved and is home to many animals near extinction. With a long history of human activity, it is a place where people live in harmony with the nature, in the tradition of Chinese Confucianism. In 1988, Mount Wuyi was protected under World Preservation Zone of Biosphere Protection Act. In 1999, it was added to the World Heritage List by UNESCO.

Brief Description
    Mount Wuyi is the most outstanding area for biodiversity conservation in south-east China and a refuge for a large number of ancient, relict species, many of them endemic to China. The serene beauty of the dramatic gorges of the Nine Bend River, with its numerous temples and monasteries, many now in ruins, provided the setting for the development and spread of neo-Confucianism, which has been influential in the cultures of East Asia since the 11th century. In the 1st century B.C. a large administrative capital was built at nearby Chengcun by the Han dynasty rulers. Its massive walls enclose an archaeological site of great significance.

Justification for Inscription

    Natural criteria (vii) and (x) : Mount Wuyi is one of the most outstanding subtropical forests in the world. It is the largest, most representative example of a largely intact forest encompassing the diversity of the Chinese Subtropical Forest and the South Chinese Rainforest. It acts as a refuge for a large number of ancient, relict plant species, many of them endemic to China and contains large numbers of reptile, amphibian and insect species. The riverine landscape of Nine-Bend Stream (lower gorge) is also of exceptional scenic quality in its juxtaposition of smooth rock cliffs with clear, deep water.

    Cultural criteria (iii) and (vi) : Criterion (iii): Mount Wuyi is a landscape of great beauty that has been protected for more than twelve centuries. It contains a series of exceptional archaeological sites, including the Han City established in the 1st century BC and a number of temples and study centres associated with the birth of Neo-Confucianism in the 11th century AD. Criterion (vi): Mount Wuyi was the cradle of Neo-Confucianism, a doctrine that played a dominant role in the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Asia for many centuries and influenced philosophy and government over much of the world.