Inscription year 2007 Country China



The South China Karst World Heritage property protects a diversity of spectacular and iconic forested humid tropical to subtropical karst landscapes, such as tower karst (fenglin) and cone karst (fengcong), as well as other highly significant karst phenomena such as Tiankeng karst (giant dolines), table mountains and gorges. The property also includes many large cave systems with rich speleothem deposits. The karst features and geomorphological diversity of the South China Karst are widely recognized as among the best in the world.




South China Karst


2007: Phase I inscribed on the World Heritage List under Natural Criteria vii and viii.

2014: Phase II inscribed on the World Heritage List under Natural Criteria vii and viii.


The UNESCO World Heritage Committee adopted the following statement at the time of inscription.

Brief Synthesis

The huge karst area of South China is about 550,000 km2 in extent. The karst terrain displays a geomorphic transition as the terrain gradually descends about 2000 meters over 700 kilometres from the western Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau (averaging 2100 meters elevation) to the eastern Guangxi Basin (averaging 110 meters elevation). The region is recognized as the world’s type area for karst landform development in the humid tropics and subtropics. The World Heritage Property of South China Karst is a serial property that includes seven karst clusters in four Provinces: Shilin Karst, Libo Karst, Wulong Karst, Guilin Karst, Shibing Karst, Jinfoshan Karst, and Huanjiang Karst. The total area is 97,125 hectares, with a buffer zone of 176,228 hectares. The property was inscribed in two phases. 

Phase I inscribed in 2007, include three clusters totalling 47,588 hectares, with buffer zones totalling 98,428 hectares. The Shilin Karst component is in Yunnan province and contains stone forests with sculpted pinnacle columns and is considered the world reference site for pinnacle karst. Shilin Karst consists of two core areas surrounded by a common buffer zone. The area is 12,070 hectares with a buffer zone of 22,930 hectares. The buffer zone is designated as a UNESCO Geopark. The Libo Karst component is in Guizhou province and includes high conical karst peaks, intervening deep enclosed depressions (cockpits), sinking streams and long underground caves. The area is considered a world reference site for cone karst. The property consists of two core areas surrounded by a common buffer. The area is 29,518 hectares with a buffer zone of 43,498 hectares. One of the components is a national nature reserve. The Wulong Karst component is in Chongqing province and consists of high inland karst plateaux that have experienced considerable uplift. Its giant dolines and bridges are representative of South China’s tiankeng (giant collapse depression) landscapes, and provide the evidence for the history of one of the world’s great river systems, the Yangtze and its tributaries. The Wulong Karst component is a cluster of three core zones, each with a separate buffer zone. The areas total 6,000 hectares with buffer zones of 32,000 hectares. 

Phase II inscribed in 2014 includes four clusters totalling 49,537 hectares, and buffer zones totalling 77,800 hectares. The Guilin Karst component in Guangxi province is located within Lijiang National Park and contains fenglin (tower) and fengcong (cone) karst formations. Guilin Karst is divided into two sections: the Putao Section with an area of 2,840 hectares and a buffer zone of 21,610 hectares and the Lijiang Section with an area of 22,544 hectares and a buffer zone of 23,070 hectares. The Shibing Karst component in Guizhou province includes dolomitic karst formations and is located within Wuyanghe National Park. Shibing Karst has an area of 10,280 hectares and a buffer zone of 18,015 hectares. The Jinfoshan Karst component is a unique karst table mountain surrounded by towering cliffs. Jinfoshan Karst is located in Chongqing province within the boundaries of the Jinfoshan National Nature Reserve and Jinfoshan National Park. The Jinfoshan component has an area of 6,744 hectares and a buffer zone of 10,675 hectares. The Huanjiang Karst component is a cone karst area located in Guangxi Province within the boundaries of the Mulun National Nature Reserve. The Huanjiang Component has an area of 7,129 hectares and a buffer zone of 4,430 hectares. 

The South China Karst World Heritage property protects a diversity of spectacular and iconic continental karst landscapes, including tower karst (fenglin), pinnacle karst (shilin) and cone karst (fengcong), as well as other karst phenomena such as Tiankeng karst (giant dolines), table mountains and gorges. The property also includes many large cave systems with rich speleothem deposits. The karst features and geomorphological diversity of the South China Karst are widely recognized as among the best in the world. The region can be considered the global type-site for three karst landform styles: fenglin (tower karst), fengcong (cone karst), and shilin (stone forest or pinnacle karst).The landscape also retains most of its natural vegetation, which results in seasonal variations and adds to the outstanding aesthetic value of the area. 

The property contains the most spectacular, scientifically significant and representative series of karst landforms and landscapes of South China from interior high plateau to lowland plains and constitutes the world’s premier example of humid tropical to subtropical karst: one of our planet’s great landscapes. It complements sites that are also present in neighbouring countries, including Viet Nam, where several World Heritage properties also exhibit karst formations. 

Criterion (vii): The South China Karst World Heritage property includes spectacular karst features and landscapes, which are both exceptional phenomena, and of outstanding aesthetic quality. It includes the stone forests of Shilin, superlative natural phenomena which include the Naigu stone forest occurring on dolomitic limestone and the Suyishan stone forest arising from a lake, the remarkable fengcong and fenglin karsts of Libo, and the Wulong Karst, which includes giant collapse depressions, called Tiankeng, and exceptionally high natural bridges between them, with long stretches of deep unroofed caves. 

It also includes Guilin, which displays spectacular tower karst and internationally acclaimed fenglin riverine landscapes, Shibing Karst, which has the best known example of subtropical fengcong karst in dolomite, deep gorges and spine-like hills often draped with cloud and mist, and Jinfoshan Karst, which is an isolated island long detached from the Yunnan-Guizhou plateau, surrounded by precipitous cliffs and punctured by ancient caves. Huanjiang Karst provides a natural extension to Libo Karst, contains outstanding fengcong features and is covered in almost pristine monsoon forest. 

The property’s forest cover and natural vegetation is mainly intact, providing seasonal variation to the landscape and further enhancing the property’s very high aesthetic value. Intact forest cover also provides important habitat for rare and endangered species, and several components have very high biodiversity conservation value. 

Criterion (viii): The South China Karst World Heritage property reveals the complex evolutionary history of one of the world’s most outstanding landscapes. Shilin and Libo are global reference areas for the karst features and landscapes that they exhibit. The stone forests of Shilin developed over 270 million years during four major geological time periods from the Permian to present, illustrating the episodic nature of the evolution of these karst features. Libo contains carbonate outcrops of different ages shaped over millions of years by erosive processes into impressive fengcong and fenglin karsts. Libo also contains a combination of numerous tall karst peaks, deep dolines, sinking streams and long river caves. Wulong represents high inland karst plateaus that have experienced considerable uplift, with giant dolines and bridges. Wulong's landscapes contain evidence for the history of one of the world's great river systems, the Yangtze and its tributaries. Huanjiang Karst is an extension of the Libo Karst component. Together the two sites provide an outstanding example of fengcong karst and also preserve and display a rich diversity of surface and underground karst features. 

Guilin Karst is considered the best known example of continental fenglin and provides a perfect geomorphic expression of the end stage of karst evolution in South China. Guilin is a basin at a relatively low altitude and receives abundant allogenic (rainfed) water from surrounding hills, leading to a fluvial component that aids fenglin development, resulting in fenglin and fengcong karst side-by-side over a large area. Scientific study of karst development in the region has resulted in the generation of the ‘Guilin model’ of fengcong and fenglin karst evolution. Shibing Karst provides a spectacular fengcong landscape, which is also exceptional because it developed in relatively insoluble dolomite rocks. Shibing also contains a range of minor karst features including karren, tufa deposits and caves. Jinfoshan Karst is a unique karst table mountain surrounded by massive towering cliffs. It represents a piece of dissected plateau karst isolated from the Yunnan-Guizhou-Chonqing plateau by deep fluvial incision. An ancient planation surface remains on the summit, with an ancient weathering crust. Beneath the plateau surface are dismembered horizontal cave systems that appear at high altitude on cliff faces. Jinfoshan records the process of dissection of the high elevation karst plateau and contains evidence of the region’s intermittent uplift and karstification since the Cenozoic. It is a superlative type-site of a karst table mountain.

Integrity (2014)

The components of the serial property have within their boundaries all the necessary elements to demonstrate the natural beauty of karst landscapes. They also contain the scientific evidence required to reconstruct the geomorphic evolution of the diverse landforms and landscapes involved. The components are of adequate size and they have buffer zones which will help ensure the integrity of the earth science values, including tectonic, geomorphic and hydrological features. Some issues that face the property require policies and actions to be taken beyond the buffer zone boundaries. Challenges to the integrity of the property include human pressure both from people living in and/or around the property, and the pressures from visitors. However many measures have been and are being undertaken to address these issues. The natural environment and natural landscapes within the property are all well-maintained, in order to protect the features of Outstanding Universal Value, and the natural landscapes and processes that support them.

Protection and Management Requirements (2014)

The property is well managed, with management plans in place for each component, and which will be established and maintained for the serial property as a whole, and with effective involvement of stakeholders. Part of Libo Karst is within a national nature reserve. The buffer zone for Shilin is a UNESCO-recognised Global Geopark. Traditional management by minority peoples is an important element in management of a number of components, and the relationship between karst and the cultural identity and traditions of minority groups, including for example the Yi (Shilin), the Shui, Yao and Buyi (Libo) and Jinfoshan bamboo harvesters require continued recognition and respect in site management. There are strong international networks in place to support continued research and management. Continued efforts are required to protect upstream catchments and their downstream and underground continuation to maintain water quality at a level that ensures the long term conservation of the property and its subterranean processes and ecosystems. Potential for further extension of the property requires development of a management framework for effective coordination between the different clusters. Guilin, Shibing and Jinfoshan are national parks; Jinfoshan is a national nature reserve and Huanjiang is a national nature reserve and a Man and Biosphere Reserve. These components therefore benefit from a history of protection under relevant national and provincial laws and regulations and each of the Phase II component parts has a management plan. An integrated Management Plan of the South China Karst to support the sites added in 2014 has been developed. 

Long term protection and management requirements for the component parts of the South China Karst include the need to ensure coordination throughout the serial site as a whole, through the establishment of a Protection and Management Coordination Committee for the South China Karst World Heritage; further enhanced involvement of local communities and the maintenance of the traditional practices of the indigenous peoples concerned; strengthening of whole catchment management to assure water quality is protected, and to avoid pollution; and prevention of negative impacts from tourism, agriculture and urban development activities from impacting the values of the property.


1996: Maolan National Nature Reserve designated a Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme (21,330 ha).

2004: Shilin designated a UNESCO Global Geopark


Shilin National Park: Unassigned
Zhangjiang National Scenic and Historic Area: Unassigned
Furongjiang National Scenic and Historic Area: Unassigned
Lijiang National Park II National Park
Wuyanghe National Park II National Park
Jinfoshan National Park II National Park
Maolan National Nature Reserve: V Protected Landscape
Mulun National Nature Reserve V Protected Landscape/ Seascape
Jinfoshan National Nature Reserve V Protected Landscape/ Seascape


Shilin: Chinese Subtropical Forest (2.1.2);

Guilin: Chinese Subtropical Forest (2.1.2);

Huanjiang: Chinese Subtropical Forest (2.1.2);

Libo: Oriental Deciduous Forest (2.15.6);

Shibing: Oriental Deciduous Forest (2.15.6);

Jinfoshan: Oriental Deciduous Forest (2.15.6);

Wulong: Sichuan Highlands (2.39.12).


The three similar karstic regions of Phase I are all located in southwest China. Shilin Karst is 78 km northeast of the city of Kunming in Yunnan Province, centred on N 24o47’30” by E 103o16’30”; Libo Karst is some 150 km southeast of Guiyang city in Guizhou province, centred on N 25o13’15” by E 107o58’30”; and Wulong Karst is some 110 km east of Chongqing city, Sichuan province, centred on N 29o13’48” by E 107o54’12”. Libo is equidistant 435 km from both Shilin and Wulong which are some 600 km apart.

The component sites that constituted Phase II are also al located in southwest China. Guilin Karst is split into two sections, the first, Putao, is centred on N 24°55'24" E 110°21'16", and the second, Lijiang is centred on N 25°00'08" E 110°27'32". Huanjiang Karst, like Guilin Karst, is found in Guangxi province and is centred on N 25°10′01″ E107°59′40″. Shibing Karst, located east of Guiyang in Guizhou province is centred on N 27°10′16″ E108°05′40″, whereas Jinfoshan Karst is located in Chongqing and is centred on N 29°00′30" E107°11′59".


1931: Shilin Stone Forest designated a Yunnan Provincial Park; 1942: first development plan, later revised 3 times;

1975-85: The Libo area karst forest was discovered and surveyed;

1982: Shilin designated a National Scenic & Historic Area and National Park;

1982: Lijiang National Park created in Guilin Karst.

1987: Twenty-year (1982-2002) masterplan approved; updated in 2004;

1988: Wuyanghe National Park created in Shibing Karst.

1988: Jinfoshan National Park created in Jinfoshan Karst

2001: Shilin stone forests designated a National Geological Park;

2004: Shilin designated a UNESCO Global Geopark.

1988: Maolan National Nature Reserve designated (part of Libo east site);

1994: Zhangjiang River designated a National Scenic & Historic Area (part of Libo west site);

1996: Maolan Reserve designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve;

1992: Furong Dong (cave) discovered; 1995: protective measures adopted for Furong Jiang (river);

1998-2002: Three Natural Bridges (Sanqiao) and Houping karst investigated for karst and tourist resources;

2000: Jinfoshan National Nature Reserve created in Jinfoshan Karst.

2002: Furongjiang area declared a National Scenic and Historic Area;

2003: Wulong Karst declared a National Geological Park;

2005: Wulong Karst management plan adopted.


Shilin Karst: State,rural collective and private
Libo Karst: State and private
Wulong Karst: State and private
Guilin Karst: State
Shibing Karst: State
Jinfoshan Karst: State
Huanjiang Karst: State


Total property: 97,125 ha

Total buffer zone: 176,288 ha

Site Core area (ha) Buffer zone (ha)


Naigu Stone Forest

Suogeyi Village













Qingkou Tiankeng









Putao Section

Lijiang Section







Shibing: 10,280 18,015
Jinfoshan: 6,744 10,675
Huanjiang: 7,129 4,430
Total: 97,125 176,228


Shilin: 1,560m - 2,203m a.s.l. (Mt.Wenbi).

Libo: ~\~~385m - 1,109m a.s.l.

Wulong: ~\~~200m - 1,510m a.s.l.

Guilin: ~\~~130m - 2100m a.s.l.

Shibing: ~\~~600m - ~\~~1250m a.s.l.

Jinfoshan: up to 2,238m a.s.l. (Fengcuiling)

Huanjiang: 390m - 1,025m a.s.l.


The serial property is spread across nearly 500,000 square kilometres of subtropical karst landscapes in southern and southwestern China (7.15% of the country’s area). This karst landscape is the product of a very thick sequence of hard compacted limestones and dolomite laid down during early Permian to Triassic periods 270 million years ago. The limestone platforms are situated at the junction of the Indian, the South China and the Pacific plates and are subject to tectonic movement. The continuous cycle of uplift, denudation, deposition and erosion over millions of years has resulted in an enormous range of karstic landscapes: knife-edge pinnacles, deep sharp fins (karren), towers, pillars, cones, gorges and caves, which are all still subject to erosion. The process also left an eloquent record in fossils from late Palaeozoic times on.

In Shilin the two sites, the Lunan and Naigu stone forests, lie along a 20km stretch of undulating plateau, divided by a populous valley (approximately 4.5km wide). These sites contain excellent examples of plateau karst pinnacles and knife-edged karren, representative of the many stone forests of the South China Karst, formed mainly in the late Permian period through the complex fracturing and lattice jointing of the uplifted plateau. Stone forests and teeth formed through this complex process were covered by basalt lava which was then uplifted and eroded. 50 million years ago, a lake with red clay sediments buried the pinnacles again; they were then gradually re-exposed, emerging from the eroded bedrock as landscapes of packed sword-edge pinnacles, rock teeth and forests of close-set pillars and towers. There are depressons and dolines, more than 80 lakes, more than 50 small ponds and springs and nine underground rivers. The soils are red earth and calcareous.

In Libo, hundreds of cone-shaped hills lie in rolling country covered in virgin forest harboring great biological diversity. Over millions of years, the region has experienced a series of periods of uplift and karstic erosion, marine invasion and sedimentation, as well as several phases of tectonic activity, faulting and planation. The origin of the present landscapes was in the late Precambrian and Palaeozoic eras when limestones, dolomites and dolomitic limestones some 8,600m thick, were deposited. The present landform results from an ancient tectonic fault-fold zone with many unconformities between the middle Devonian and its underlying strata and between the upper Cretaceous strata and the underlying Permian and Triassic strata. Tectonic activity resulted in a trough fold system of parallel and gigantic box-like anticlines 30-50km wide with steep flanks, and tight synclines. Since the Quaternary, the final phase of this long and intense karst development is the present majestic plateau-gorge landscapes of Libo which continue to form today as the Pacific and China Plates converge, uplifting the land from west to east by 760 to 600m, causing the rivers to cut deeper still. The result is one of the most diverse karst landscapes in the world. The Huanjiang karst is a direct extension of the Libo karst.

Shilin and Libo, 15km apart, are typical of humid tropical-subtropical cone karst, rejuvenating through successive cycles of uplift, solution, deposition and erosion. They are exceptional examples of fengkong landscapes (of conjoined cone-shaped peaks) and fenglin landscapes (separated peaks on a plain). They are located between the plateau and the lowland, with clusters of tall narrow peaks, deep dolines and flat valleys, depressions (poljes), plains, gorges, rivers and long caverns. Fengcong karst, where positive landforms outnumber negative landforms, is a combination of connected conical hills 100-300m high, and enclosed depressions, valleys and gorges, well watered and forested. Fengcong valleys are narrow, flat and dry, mostly bare, but in gorges incised by uplift there are steep fast-flowing rivers in narrow beds; fengcong depression karst is characterized by enclosed depressions. Fenglin karst locally consists of isolated cones to 150m high on broad and flat karst peneplains covered by thin regolith where the negative landforms outnumber positive forms. Fenglin depressions are large and shallow with irregular sinkholes, in some of which dolines have developed. Fenglin valleys are wide and flat, with alluvial deposits around their margins, many rivers, lakes, swamps, caves and wall springs. Karstification continues as the landscape is rejuvenated from open fenglin valleys to sunken fengcong depressions and to narrow fengcong valleys and gorges. Caves are widespread in both kinds of karst, often truncated by erosion. They are horizontal, long and much branched, with extensive speleothem deposits. The Triassic marine sediments are rich in fossils, an outstanding example being the marine reptile Keichousaurus hui.

The Wulong Karst is an uplifted mountain landscape with deep gorges and dolines, natural bridges and caves containing speleothems which displays a long history of geological evolution and an unusual range of karst formations. Its three components are the Furong Cave system, the Three Natural Bridges and the Houping collapsed doline (tiankeng) with 15km separating each. Its 2,000m thick carbonate rocks were deposited from the Cambrian to the Silurian and again from the Permian to the Triassic periods. In the middle Triassic the area was uplifted and in the late Jurassic folded and faulted establishing the basic pattern of joints and faults. The karst is composed of a series of anticlines and synclines with the Cambrian and Ordovician carbonates outcropping on the anticlines while the Triassic and Jurassic carbonates outcrop on the synclines. The Cenozoic Himalayan orogeny led to the formation of denudation plains, deeply incised gorges and several kinds of karst. The Furong cave and exceptionally large tiankeng dolines developed in the Cambrian and Ordovician carbonates. The Three Natural Bridges developed in the Triassic carbonates.

The Guilin Karst has a rich variety of landforms, but two geomorphologic types are predominant: karst landforms in pure carbonate rocks, and less perfectly formed karst features in impure carbonate series that contain insoluble shales and siliceous materials. Well-developed karst landforms include the dominant fenglin (‘peak forest plain’ or ‘tower karst’) and fengcong (‘peak cluster’ or ‘cone karst’) types. In addition, there are a few typical fluvial geomorphic forms including rounded hills, alluvial fans and terraces, which are mainly distributed along the banks of the Lijiang River. Along each side of the Lijiang, as it passes through its broad gorge between Guilin and Yangshuo, are numerous cone-shaped fengcong hills. These vary in height, usually from 160-450m although some reach 800m. However, the average local relief from conical hill top to doline floor is about 180m.

The Shibing Karst consists of a layered and orderly karst system. It includes early, middle and late planation surfaces, corresponding to high, middle and low stone peaks, plus valleys, gorges and cave systems. The most striking landscapes in Shibing Karst are cone fengcong-gorge, fengcong-valley and residual isolated tower-like peaks. These are combinations of cones and valleys or gorges with connected bases. The dolomite in Shibing is very fissured and, despite the high vertical cliff aces, it appears difficult to form deep, long and large holes. Caves can typically be divided into three tiers. The upper and middle caves are found towards the tops and middle of the peaks or the valley slopes as resurgence cave, and are associated with karst planation surfaces at 1,000m and 900m respectively. They form the embryonic stage of the dolomite karst drainage system.

The Jinfoshan karst is on a table-mountain summit with gentle slopes above 2,000m altitude. Distributed across this surface are rounded hills and gradually decreasing broad depressions. Smoothly rounded limestone outcrops and stone forest are found from Yangkou cave to Jinfo cave, with large-scale subterranean caverns having been formed underground. Five caves have been discovered and almost 18 km of passages along with them. The high altitude fossil cave system is one of the outstanding karst features of the property. These caves are mostly distributed around 2,000m elevation and formed in Lower Permian limestone.


The climate is humid tropical to sub-humid subtropical. It is also subject to both the temperate humid southeast and hot dry southwest monsoons, with most rain falling between May and October, and to cold air drainage from the Tibetan plateau. Winters are warm, summers are cool. Mean January and July temperatures for Shilin are 8.2oC and 20.8oC; for Libo: 5oC and 23oC; for Wulong: 11.2oC and 18.5oC. The annual average temperature for Guilin is 18-19°C; for Shibing: 16oC; for Huanjiang: 17oC and for Jinfoshan it ranges from 8.3oC near the summit to 10oC near the mountain’s base. Average rainfall in Shilin is 800-850mm, in Libo: 1,752mm, in Wulong: 1,105mm, in Guilin: 1,566-2,390mm, in Shibing: 1,200mm, in Jinfoshan: 1,396mm and in Juanjiang it is 1,675mm.


The serial property contains the world’s most intact subtropical karst forest, dominated by evergreen broadleaved Castanopsis and Cyclobalanopsis forest and evergreen mixed broadleaf-conifer forest of Platycarya longipes and Pinus kwangtungensis. The property is located between three biogeographical provinces, Sino-Himalayan, Sino-Japanese and East Asian, and as a consequence, the transitional vegetation has great variety including xerophytes, lithophytes and calciphiles typical of droughty highly calcareous lithosols.

Shilin: The Shilin Karst sites contain 889 species of vascular plants, in 533 genera and 147 families with 43 species of Pteridophyte and 13 gymnosperm species. Around 32% of the karst is covered by forest divided into four main types: i) partially drought-resistant evergreen broad-leaved Cyclobanopsis glaucoides, and Castanopsis delavayi, endemic to the south western karst; ii) sclerophyllous evergreen broad-leaved forest of Quercus cocciferoides and Quercus franchetti; iii) deciduous broad-leaved forest; and iv) subtropical needle-leaved forest with Pinus yunnanensis, found throughout west China. Other vegetation types are shrublands, grasslands with occasional trees and meadows and an Ottelia acuminata lake community. The flora consists of the elements of three forest sub-regions: Sino-Himalayan, Sino-Japanese and East Asian. There are eight species of nationally protected plants and almost 100 rare and locally endemic species.

Libo: The Libo Karst sites contain 1,532 vascular species in 687 genera and 225 families, 144 species of bryophyte and 212 species of pteridophyte. This includes 17 gymnosperm species. The 284 tropical angiosperm genera constitute 40.1% of all plant species, 20.5% are subtropical and 35.4% are temperate. The property has amongst the greatest number of nationally protected plants of any karst area in China: 112 species, representing about 43% of all nationally protected flora recorded in the Guizhou Province and 10% of China’s nationally protected plants. The 18 species listed in the IUCN Red List as globally threatened include one Critically Endangered and 9 Vulnerable species. The national Red List includes 7 Critically Endangered, 26 Endangered and 50 Vulnerable species,,as well as many endemic species.

To date, 41 species are recorded as endemic to Libo Karst, They include 14 tree, 12 shrub, 7 liana and 8 herb species. The nationally threatened endemics include Paphiopedium emersonii (CR). Ancient and relict plants, like the ancient Cymnospermae are represented by 17 species. These are widespread and dominant on each cone summit; one, Tetrathyrium subcordatum, is extremely rare in East Asia and Libo is considered the center of its distribution.

The widely distributed climax communities of Libo are mainly evergreen/deciduous broad-leaved mixed forests. This forest type is extremely rare at this altitude and is of exceptionally high scientific interest. There is also a local bamboo forest of Dendrocalamus tsiangii. The four dominant forest types are: i) warm coniferous forest of Pinus kwangtungensis; ii) warm mixed needle and broad-leaved forests of Pseudotsuga sinensis with Platycarya longipes and Pseudotsuga sinensis-Pinus kwangtungensis with Quercus phillyraeoides; iii) evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest of Cyclobalanopsis glauca with Platycarya longipes; and iv) mixed forests.

Wulong: The steep, little disturbed Furong river gorge retains a rare and diverse vegetation where the seasonal vegetation colour changes are dramatic. There are 558 vascular plant species belonging to 139 families and 375 genera, including 56 pteridophytes. The dominant forest is of subtropical evergreen broad-leaved trees with deciduous broad-leaved forest of Quercus fabric, Quercus acutissima and Kalopanax ricinifolius and Liquidambar formosana. There are subtropical needle-leaved forest of Pinus massoniana and Cupressus funebri and temperate coniferous forest as well as bamboo forest and bamboo scrub, including Phyllostachys heteroclada and Sinoca lamusaffinis, and tussock grassland. The similar vegetation of the Three Natural Bridges buffer zone is mostly secondary, and composed of forest trees, coppice forest, shrubland and grassland. Typical protected species are Ginkgo biloba, Cinnamomum camphora, Actinidia chinensis, Taxus chinensis, Handliodendron bodinieri, Liriodendron chinense, Juglans regia, and Phellodendron chinense.

Guilin: There are four dominant habitat types in the Guilin area, the first, evergreen sclerophyllous forest, is dominated by Quercus phillyreoides, which is considered to be a remnant of Tertiary vegetation which has later adapted to the local karst drought environment. Secondly, warm coniferous forest, an artificial forest ecosystem of Pinus massoniana and Cupressus funebris, is generally found around the foothills where afforestation is most suitable. Thirdly, evergreen broad-leaved bush is dominated by Alchornea trewioides and Bauhinia championii which are common in areas where native vegetation has been destroyed. This habitat is often located on middle to high hillsides where there has been less human influence. Grassland ecosystems, which reflect strong disturbance by human activities, often appear on the ecotone between farmland and the karst hills.

Shibing: The forest ecosystem within the Shibing Karst is predominantly P. massoniana , with areas of broad-leaved woodland dominated by Fagaceae and Lauraceae amongst other families. The Shibing Karst has very steep terrain and therefore there is a marked vertical gradient of vegetation. The highly heterogeneous environments within Shibing have become a refuge for many relic plant species and endemics. There are 1094 recorded species of vascular plants belonging to 544 genera. With regard to threatened species, the area hosts 38 species which are listed on the IUCN Red List and approximately 40 species listed in the CITES appendices.

Jinfoshan: There is a clear vegetative succession, from the pioneering moss and lichen community to the herbaceous community and later to the shrub and tree community. Amongst the last stages of the succession species such as Cyclobalanopsis glauca and Castanopsis spp. are dominant. There are 1992 recorded species of plant, spanning 741 genera, and 157 species of fern. Additionally, there are 48 species that are listed on the IUCN Red List, of which three are Critically Endangered (CR), and five are Endangered (EN). There are also 123 species listed under CITES. There are 53 endemic species of plant, including Rhododenron changii and Berberis fallaciosa.

Huanjiang: The area is predominantly evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest dominated by Itoa orientalis and Handeliodendron bodinieri, though there is also substantial bamboo forest. There have been 1193 species of plant recorded, covering 578 genera, including 117 fern species. There are 28 species of plant listed on the IUCN Red List including: Paphiopedilum barbigerum (EN) and Dysosma versipellis (VU). Furthermore, there are 28 plant species listed in the CITES appendices. Of the 1193 recorded plant species, 12 are considered endemic to Huanjiang, these include: Pinus calcarea, Berberis candidula (VU) and Clematis revaluta. The area played an important role as a biological refuge during glaciations, which has resulted in relic species, from genera like Podocarpus and Cephalotaxus, being present throughout the area.


There are 185 vertebrate species in Shilin National Park: 42 mammal, 87 bird, 32 reptile, 12 amphibian and 12 fish species. Of these, 7 small rodents and 8 bird species are on the Chinese Red List, including the Lady Amherst pheasant Chrysolophus amherstiae. Cave animals include bats and 11 species of cave fish. One, Triplophysa shilinensis, was discovered in the river in Weiboyi Cave in 1991 and only five other specimens have ever been found.

Libo: These karst sites have an extremely diverse fauna, including many endemic and threatened species, belonging largely to the Oriental and Palearctic realms in the approximate ratio of 80 to 20. There are 314 species of vertebrate fauna, including 59 species of mammals, 137 species of birds (23 of which breed locally), 43 species of reptiles, 32 species of amphibians and 43 species of fish, including some from the Pearl River system to the south. Also recorded are 1,282 species of insects, 140 species of land snails, 146 species of arachnids and 10 species of myriapods. Furthermore, 45 globally threatened species have been recorded in the reserve. These include the white-sideburned leaf monkey Trachypithecus francoisi (EN) the clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa (VU) and the Burmese python Python molurus (VU) (IUCN Red List, 2015). In addition, 38 species are endemic to the region and to China, including three endemic species of bat: great evening bat, Ia io, Szechwan myotis Myotis altarium and Daubenton’s bat M. daubentoni.

There are also 174 species of cave fauna, including 13 species of bats, 37 species of fish, 42 species of spiders and 58 species of land snails. There are also 10 species of myriapods, 14 other species of invertebrates, three endemic genera and 17 endemic species. Additionally, 20 new species of cave-adapted fauna were discovered in the Dongge cave, and many new species are likely to be found, especially amongst the cave fauna. This richness of endemics makes the Libo sites especially important to the study of local and karstic cave species.

Wulong: In these karst sites and their buffer zones, especially the steep-sided forested Furongjiang valley and Three Natural Bridges areas, human activities are limited and the area has become a refuge for biodiversity. The faunal diversity is extremely rich, totaling 332 species: 46 mammals, 174 birds, 20 amphibians, 28 reptiles and 64 species of fish. Its rare animals include four species with level 1 national protection: clouded leopard (VU), white-sideburned leaf monkey (VU), Chinese pangolin Manis pentadactyla (CR) and golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos. Nineteen species also under national protection include Asian wild dog Cuon alpinus (EN), stumptailed macaque Macaca arctoides (VU), rhesus macaque Macaca mulatta, leopard Panthera pardus, the viverrids spotted linsang, Prionodon pardicolor, and large and small Indian civets Viverra zibetha and Viverricula indica, Asiatic golden cat Pardofelis temminckii, yellow-throated marten Martes flavigula, Eurasian otter Lutra lutra, the forest musk deer Moschus berezovskii (EN) and golden and Reeves’s pheasants Chrysolophus pictus and Syrmaticus reevesii (VU). The 64 species of fish found in Furongjiang include 33 endemic species. Two endemic mammals are tufted deer Elaphodus cephalophus and Pére David’s rock squirrel Sciurotamias davidianus. In the Qishiercha and Xienren Caves, bats, spiders and butterflies are found, and in the waters of Xianren and Longquan Caves, tadpoles and blind fish.

Guilin: There are 1607 recorded species of animals in the Guilin Karst, the majority of which are insects. The river ecosystem contains 34 large benthic animals and 122 species of fish in the Lijiang River. Additionally, caves are also diverse ecosystems, particularly for organisms such as spiders, centipedes, bats and earthworms. There are 425 rare and threatened species in Guilin, and additionally there are 72 endemic species, such as the ray-finned fish Sinocyclocheilus jii.

Shibing: There are a total of 56 mammal species, 50 fish species, 19 amphibian species, 35 reptile species and 168 species of birds. There are 270 species either rare or listed as globally threatened on the IUCN Red List and also 37 species listed on CITES. Some examples of these species are: the clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosi (VU), rhesus macaque Macaca mulatta and forest musk deer Moschus berezovskii.

Jinfoshan: Similar to the other karst components, Jinfoshan supports a broad array of species including: 61 mammal species, 19 species of fish, 28 species of amphibian, 31 species of reptile, and 168 species of bird. The property is also rich in rare and threatened species, with 269 species listed in the IUCN Red List, such as M. berezovskii (EN).

Huanjiang: A total of 417 vertebrate species have been recorded in Huanjiang, comprising: 58 species of mammal, 75 fish species, 36 amphibian species, 59 reptile species and 190 bird species. The cave phyla span five phyla and include 68 species of invertebrate. The area hosts several high profile species including the leopard Panthera pardus and Asian black bear Ursus thibetanus (VU), both of which are Threatened and in the IUCN Red List. There are also 40 endemic animal species.


The South China Karst World Heritage property protects a diversity of iconic continental karst landscapes, including tower karst (fenglin), pinnacle karst (shilin) and cone karst (fengcong). Additionally, other karst phenomena such as tiankeng karst (giant dolines), table mountains and gorges as well as extensive cave systems, can be found. The karst features and geomorphological diversity more generally are widely recognised as being some of the best in the world. The three Phase I sites (Shilin, Lubo and Wulong) display spectacular intact and representative landscapes of continental subtropical forested karst weathering into an unusually great variety of both karstic forms providing evidence of their complex evolution. With the addition of Phase II sites, the South China Karst World Heritage Site is now an even more holistic representation of karst landscapes, and a great showcase of the natural beauty of karst scenery. The sites lie partly within a WWF Global 200 Eco-region, and form a BirdLife-designated Endemic Bird Area.


Humans have lived in Shilin since Paleolithic times and the Sani Yi can be traced back to 300 BC. The area has long been exploited for its soil, forest, stone and mineral resources. The stone forests are intimately connected with the life of the Yi in their religion, celebrations and dance, and their extraordinary forms are a celebrated part of the artistic and garden-making heritage of China. In the Libo area, the Shui people of the Maolan Nature Reserve have managed the area sustainably for over 1,000 years, for non-timber forest products such as foods, medicines, decorative plants and craft materials, the cultivation of marshes and wetlands were prohibited by village law. The Shui have a unique asset in Shui Shu, an ancient written language with pictographic characters similar to Shang Dynasty characters carved between the 16th and 11th centuries BC on tortoise shells and animal bones.

Guilin entered into the Neolithic Age approximately 10 millennia ago, when the local people lived by gathering, fishing and hunting. In 219 BC, during the Qin dynasty, the first county was established in Guilin, and Guilin has been a well known ancient city in southern China since the Tang dynasty. Groups of poets and writers, such as Liu Zongyuan and Li Shangyin came to Guilin for their art. To this day, Guilin remains a source of inspiration to music, art and literature in China. People local to the Shibing Karst created a culture closely linked to the karst environment, for example the beliefs of the Miao people. For example, the Miao people worship the spirits in the sun, moon, mountains, rivers, trees and stones. Traditionally, they protected the forests and water resources, and this tradition continues today, as they do not allow cutting trees in water source areas and around villages. Comparatively, due to difficult access, Jinfoshan was not as populated as other regions, nonetheless, Buddhist activities flourished during the Tang and Song dynasties. The collection of bamboo shoots has a long history in this area; it is also one of the best places in China for herbal medicines. The rich nitrate and sulphate deposits in the cave systems led to the creation of saltpetre-mining workshops, many of which are still in good condition today. The Huanjiang Karst is located in the Huanjiang Maonan Autonomous county, where the Maonon people descended from the Liuzhou people dating back to prehistoric times. Relics and sites provide evidence of early tool creation and cooking with pottery, whilst bone fragments and fossils indicate occupation in the Neolithic and Palaeolithic


In Shilin, the Yi people include the Sani, Axi and Azhe, and are the dominant minority population, with a growth rate of approximately 7% a year. Three of their farm villages lie within the property where they rely on traditional means to conserve their environment, with little use of costly and polluting pesticides and herbicides. There are 150 ha of farmland for subsistence crops of corn, beans and potatoes and cash crops of tobacco and fruit trees, but no grazing livestock except for penned cattle in the buffer zone. In 2004, 961 people lived in the property and 4,632 in the buffer zone. In Libo the populations of the two sites and buffer zone are 5,751 and 24,747 respectively, increasing slowly. There are 13 agricultural villages and patches of some 190 ha of subsistence farmland within the property. Aboriginal minorities, such as the Yao, Buyi, Zhuang, Miao and Shui form 84.2% of the population, and preserve their traditional customs and methods of conservation. They depend on sustainable farming of rice, corn, beans and rapeseed with cash crops of sour plums and bamboo. They also rely on hunting and collecting medicinal herbs, although eco- and folklore tourism are becoming alternatives. The Shui have great pride in their environment, especially for their techniques for preventing wildfires. In Wulong the steep gorge sides are little inhabited. However, in 2004 the property had 3,940 inhabitants and the agricultural buffer zones 23,993. These inhabitants were to be relocated by 2020 and the land returned to forest and grass. The total population living in the three Phase I sites combined in 2004 was 10,652. Comparatively, the populations of the Phase II sites are extremely low, with the average population density in Guilin being 117 people per km2, in Shibing it is even lower at 4 people per km2, and there are currently no people living in Huanjiang and Jinfoshan. Within the Phase II buffer zones, Guilin is again the most populous with 204 people per km2. The next most populous buffer zones are Shibing, Jinfoshan and Huanjiang with, respectively, 92, 16 and 7 people per km2.


The stone forests of Shilin have been visited for centuries. By 1988, they had one million annual visitors, by 2005, over 2 million and numbers may soon have to be restricted. To minimise impacts, guided tours are staggered at present and only certain areas are open to tourists. The minority peoples are supported by government partly for their contribution to tourism: the Yi people entertain visitors with their music, dance, athletic games and costumes, providing one of the distinguishing attractions. There are 16 km of signed trails, the Stone Forest Museum, a visitors’ centre with a restaurant, 30 shops, 300 guides, 3 search & rescue teams and accommodation outside the property. An educational museum is planned and tourist facilities and waste disposal are to be improved and moved outside the property. There is also train access to Shilin from Kunming.

In Libo, annual tourist numbers increased from 100,000 in 2000 to 280,000 in 2004. By 2020, there may be over one million visitors, and thus their movements and vehicles must be carefully controlled. High class tourism resources are available: 34 km of signed trails, 35 guides, cave exploration and climbing activities, a visitors’ centre, 4 restaurants, shops and two help & rescue centres. There is nearby accommodation and a visitors’ centre and museum are planned. As in Shilin, the Yao people welcome and entertain the tourists.

Visitors to the Furong and Three Bridges areas in Wulong totaled 100,000 in 2000 and 380,000 in 2005. However the road to Three Bridges is narrow and the space in Furong cave is limited. Half the cave passages are out of bounds to the public and only 2.5 km of the gorge is open. There are 45km of signed trails, 28 guides, a museum at Three Bridges, 3 visitors’ centers, 3 restaurants, 12 shops and 3 search and rescue teams, mostly outside of the property. There is accommodation for over 500 visitors outside the area.

Since the 1980s more than 100 million tourists have visited the Guilin karst landscapes and currently 1,500,000 visitors come annually to the Lijiang segment of Guilin. The majority of tourists take sightseeing cruises through the Lijiang Gorge. The annual number of visitors is increasing, and is set to increase in the future. The extent to which the sites have created tourism infrastructure varies between sites. Guilin, as one of the earliest Chinese National Parks, is considered a classic tourist destination, whereas Huanjiang, as a strictly protected national nature reserve, has low levels of tourism. Guilin has six visitor centres, 73 options for overnight accommodation and 200 publications relating to the Guilin Karst itself in the form of guidebooks and reports. Shibing Karst has one visitor centre, 30 options for overnight accommodation and three publications. Both Jinfoshan Karst and Huanjiang have only one visitor centre and one option for overnight accommodation. The difference between Guilin and Huanjiang can be demonstrated in the fact that Guilin has 310 tourist guides and over 200 shops whereas Huanjiang has four guides and one shop.


The sites are an ideal base for studying cone karst forest ecosystems and caves. Over 20 foreign and domestic research institutions have worked on the sites since they became known in the 1980’s, and cavers from ten countries have explored over 120km of cave passages. The Lunan Stone Forest of Shilin has long been investigated and widely written about: for instance one stalagmite, in Dongge cave in Shilin, has been analyzed to give a continuous record of variations in the Asian monsoon over the past 9,000 years. The richness of endemic species also makes the sites important for the study of the regional flora and fauna, and the evolutionary processes in action in karst ecosystems. The history, people and economics of the region have also been studied. Despite being discovered quite recently (1975 – 1985), 300 articles have already been published on the Libo karst and it has become a center for karst research. Both the Libo and Wulong karsts may yield many new species to science, especially of cave fauna. A number of research facilities exist within the property: the Stone Forest Research Centre was established in Shilin in 1999, the Maolan Reserve has an experimental zone for research and education and Wulong County has funded a scientific foundation and a subsidiary institute for karst research.

In 1976, the former Ministry of Geology and Mineral Resources of the People’s Republic of China established the Institute of Karst Geology in Guilin. It has subsequently become a national level research institution. Another research centre is the Jinfoshan karst research centre, which was established so as to maximise local expertise on karst landscapes. The centre undertakes research, academic exchanges and invites experts and scholars to undertake their own research and provide technical guidance on protection and management.


The sites are protected under the state constitution and laws on Environmental Protection (1989), Protection of Wildlife, Forestry and Water (1988), Regulations for the Management of Scenic & Historic Areas (1985) and Nature Reserves (1994). Each site is also protected under specific provincial regulations. They are managed under the aegis of the State Ministry of Construction and the State Forestry Bureau, but each province, city or prefecture also has its own management agency, as do the Reserves themselves. For instance, Shilin has the Management Bureau of Shilin National Park. Libo is managed by the Management Bureau for Libo Karst National Scenic Area and Nature Reserve, by the administrations of Libo Autonomous County, Maolan National Nature Reserve, Zhangjiang Scenic and Historic Area, and the local communities; and Wulong is managed by the Furongjiang Scenic and Historic Area Administration.

A 20-year (1982-2002) master plan for Shilin was approved in 1987, and updated for the period of 2003-2020 in 2004. This details specific Heritage sites and four conservation zones with lessening degrees of prohibition of human activities: i) Special Protected Zone which is closed to all uses; ii) First Class Protected Zone, open to licensed scientists and landscape restoration, which comprise the World Heritage property; iii) Buffer or Second Class Protected zone; and iv) Proving/Tourist-Service or Third Class Zone. It is augmented by detailed guidelines for resource protection, for implementing the World Heritage Convention, and for the protection of caves and karsts. Most sites are in excellent condition despite heavy visitation. The Libo karst forest was discovered and surveyed between 1975 and 1985. A master plan is to be drawn up to protect all features of the karst, karst forest ecosystems, threatened species and their habitats, and scenery. Strategies are also projected for rural development and land use, economic development and fruit tree planting, research and monitoring, community participation and staff training, awareness-raising and publicity. The Maolan National Nature Reserve and the Daqikong and Xiaoqikong sectors of the Zhangjiang river National Scenic and Historic Area with their master plans were incorporated in 1989. The managing agency and management proposal for Libo were ratified in 2005. The reserve is in good condition at present but the administrative capacity is low. Wulong is in good condition. Its buffer zone is to be extended to protect 60,000ha of the upper catchment area of the river.

The government recognises the rights of minority cultures to their land and traditional languages and the fact that they have managed their land sustainably in the past. Generally the aim is to prohibit nearly all uses in the core areas, to restore and augment the native vegetation, to develop and maintain facilities in conformity with the character of the area, and to regulate all activities in the buffer and peripheral zones in cooperation with the local communities. In the core zones, quarrying and mining, tree-cutting and deforestation, hunting, setting fires, grazing, land reclamation and building are prohibited. In buffer zones, vehicles, human activities and multiple uses are to be controlled; existing industries will be gradually removed, and slopes over 25o reforested. Measures are also taken to control floods and wastes and conserve soils upstream. The flora and fauna and natural ecological communities are to be restored, farmlands in all three core zones being restored to grassland or forest, and the effects of tourist numbers controlled. In view of the importance of tourist safety and the quality of their visits, monitoring the condition of the sites is taken seriously notably of geological conditions, especially the caves, but also of fires, floods, water quality, species and biodiversity, invasion by alien species and land uses and the numbers of visitors. Remote sensing and video surveillance of the main trails are used as well.

The State Party has established a multi-level management system (involving 18 major government agencies, which also co-ordinate a wide range of technical and research institutes, and local communities) across all five South China Karst Phase II components. Management plans are in place for each component site, which will be established and maintained for the serial property as a whole. Additionally, the expertise of several major karst research institutions (such as the Jinfoshan Karst Research Centre and the Institute of Karst Geology in Guilin) and universities have contributed to the increasing pool of knowledge for management to undertake protective measures.


The component parts of the property have been well preserved both by their inaccessibility and by their tribal peoples. However, the expanding agricultural population around the three Phase I sites is impacting the buffer zone and in places beginning to encroach on the property. There are also some threats from earthquakes, forest insect pests, invading blue mist-flower Eupatorium coelestinum, deliberate fires (to improve grazing), as well as drought and occasional floods. Wulong is also threatened by mudflows and rock falls. Intensive cave tourism may also threaten their biodiversity.

A substantial population live upstream of the Lijiang Gorge and their impact on the volume of water and its quality are a potential threat. This would most likely be due to high levels of water abstraction for purposes such as irrigation and municipal water as well as the discharge of sewage waste and the leaching of agricultural pollutants. The two overarching constraints to management are therefore: a) agricultural pollution of allogenic waters and b) a potential increase in tourism pressures. Natural factors could also function as constraints to effective management in the area, notably landslides, but these only occur infrequently and are not deemed a high-level threat.


The current fulltime staff for the three component parts of Phase I is as follows: in Shilin, 109 professional and 89 management personnel plus 10 part-time security staff; in Libo, 30 professionals, 72 other fulltime staff plus 500 part-time staff; and in Wulong, a total of 101 staff. In Shilin, the Yi people provide park staff and management for the park.

There are currently 309 full-time staff between the four component parts of Phase II. Guilin Karst has a total of 48 staff: 15 administrative staff, 19 technical personnel and 14 ‘other staff’. Shibing Karst has 70 staff overall, including 42 administrative and technical staff. Jinfoshan Karst has by far the highest staff numbers with 161 personnel. Huanjiang Karst has a total of 30 staff, most of which are administrative.


In 2004, the total budget for all Phase I sites was RMB 245,000,000 (US\$ 29,500,000): 64% of this came from entry fees, 14% directly from central government, 8% from specific projects and 13% from other sources such as county and municipal governments and donations. For Shilin, in 2005, entry fees totalled RMB 160,000,000 (US\$ 19,254,000); RMB 1,630,000,000 (US\$ 196,149,000) had been earmarked for landscape rehabilitation and visitor facility projects over the period 2002-2010. For Libo, a total of RMB 267,538,200 (US\$ 32,233,000) was expected to cover operation of the Park between 2005 and 2010, 40% for protection, 17% for research and exhibition and 12% for ecological restoration. For Wulong, the annual budget was RMB 20,000,000 (US\$ 2,409,600), 13 million from Chongqing People’s Government, 6 million from Wulong People’s Government and1 million from entry fees.

For Phase II sites, each site receives funds from various sources. The most common, and often highest funding sources include: State funds, local government funds and special funds. The total level of finance to Guilin Karst have fallen since 2006’s high of CNY 95.67 million (US\$15,311,467) to the steady CNY 55.00 million (US\$8,864,533) which has roughly been the same since 2009. Levels of finance have risen in Shibing Karst since 2006, albeit with dramatic falls to CNY 0.8 million (US\$128,938) between 2010 and 2011. As of 2012, the budget was CNY 5.00 million (US\$805,866). Jinfoshan Karst has seen the largest rise in budgetary support, rising from CNY 460 million (US\$74,139,736) in 2006 to CNY 2168 million (US\$349,423,801) in 2012. This figure seems rather incongruous and should be approached with some caution. The Huanjiang Karst budget has risen steadily since 2006 to the CNY 4.97 million (US\$801,031) in 2012.


Ministry of Construction of People’s Republic of China, No.9, Sanlihe Road, Beijing 100835, China.

Construction Department of Yunnan Province; World Heritage Management Committee of Yunnan Province, No.129, Xichang Road, Kunming 650032, Yunnan, China.

Construction Department of Guizhou, Guiyang City 550002, Guizhou, China.

Office of World Heritage Application and Management of Guizhou Province, Guiyang 550001, Guizhou Province, China.

Garden Bureau of Chongqing City; World Heritage Management Committee of Chongqing City, No.179, Eling Street, Yuzhong Region, Chongqing 400014, China.

Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People’s Republic of China Address: No. 9 Sanlihe Road, Beijing, China Postal Code: 100835

Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Address: No. 58, Jinhu Road, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China Postal code: 530028

Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of Guizhou Province Address: No. 2, West Yan’an Road, Guiyang, Guizhou Province, China Postal code: 550003

Gardens Bureau of Chongqing City Address: No. 179, E’lingzheng Street, Yuzhong District, Chongqing, China Postal code: 400014


The principal source for the above information were the original Phase I and Phase II nominations for World Heritage status.

Chen, X. et al. (1998). South China Karst, Volume I. ZRC SAZU.

Hamilton-Smith, E. (n.d.). World Heritage Sites Inscribed for Cave and Karst Features. IUCN, Gland.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 11 February 2015

Ministry of Construction (2005). South China Karst. Shilin Karst (Yunnan), Libo Karst (Guizhou), Wulong Karst (Chongking). China. [Contains a bibliography of 222 references]

Ran, J. & Lin, Y. (2005). Speleology and Biospeleology Research in Libo. Guiyang, Guizhou Ethnic Press.

Xie, Y. & Li, Y. (2001). A guide to karst geology, geomorphology and ecosystems of Shilin, Yunnan. In Guidebook for Ecosystems of Semiarid Karst in North China and Subtropical Karst in Southwest China. Pp. 59-75.


July, 2007, May, 2011, January, 2015.