Assessment of the World Heritage Committee
The Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas refer to Jinsha River, Lancang River and Nujiang River, which originate from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and run over 170 kilometers in Yunnan Province from north to south. They flow through the Dandanglika Mountain, the Gaoligong Mountain, the Nushan Mountain and the Yunling Mountain, forming a rare and peculiar geography landscape in the world—three parallel rivers without meeting. The shortest straight line distance between the Lancang River and Jinsha River is 66 kilometers and that between the Lancang River and Nujiang River is less than 19 kilometers.
Chinese Name: San Jiang Bing Liu
English Name: Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas
According to cultural and natural heritage selection criteria V, the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas were included in the World Heritage List in July 2003.
Three Parallel Rivers
The Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, which has a total area of more than 3,500 square kilometers, is located in Yunnan Province, China, running through nine nature reserves and 10 scenic spots in Lijiang City of Yunnan, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture. The Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas are composed of the Nujiang River, Lancang River, Jinsha River and other mountain ranges, covering an area of 1.7 million hectares. The main landscapes include the three parallel rivers, high snowy mountain peaks, gorges and dangerous shoals, immense forests, and glacial erosion lakes. It is the scenic spot with largest area, the most abundant and spectacular sceneries, as well as the most colorful ethnic customs in Yunnan, but is also a scenic spot that has not yet been developed. It lies at the convergence of East Asia, South Asia and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and is the representative area of rare mountain landscapes and their evolution in the world, as well as one of the regions with most biological species.
The key feature of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas is that the Jinsha River, Lancang River and Nujiang River originate from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and run over 170 kilometers in Yunnan Province from north to south. They flow through the Dandanglika Mountain, the Gaoligong Mountain, the Nushan Mountain and the Yunling Mountain, forming the world's rare and peculiar geography landscape of three parallel rivers without meeting. Among the three parallel rivers, the Jinsha River is the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and eventually flows into the East China Sea.
The Lancang River is the upper reaches of the Mekong River and flows into the South China Sea, and the Nujiang River is the upper reaches of the Salween River and flows into the Andaman Sea. The Lancang River and Nujiang River are two international rivers, with the Lancang River flowing through six countries (China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam) and is also known as the "Oriental Danube." The shortest straight line distance between the Lancang River and Jinsha River is 66 kilometers and that between the Lancang River and Nujiang River is less than 19 kilometers.
Controlled by the geological structure conditions, the three rivers run through the whole region from north to south and are limited in a narrow zone of 60 to 100 kilometers, forming the only wonder of three parallel rivers in the world and generating the Nujiang Grand Canyon, the Meili Snow Mountain and the Grand Canyon of the Lancang River and the Tiger Leaping Gorge of the Jinsha River. In the three parallel rivers region, the rivers and mountains stand at intervals, which are the Gaoligong Mountain, Nujiang River, Nushan Mountain (Biluo Snow Mountain), Lancang River, Yunling Mountain, Jinsha River and Shaluli Mountain from east to west. Looking from the air, the three rivers run through the whole region from north to south, flowing through 170 kilometers and creating the unique geological wonders of "four abreast mountains and three parallel rivers" in the world.
In addition to the unique wonders of three parallel rivers, the region also gathers natural landscapes including snowy mountains, valleys, lakes on mountains, glaciers, meadows and the Danxia landforms, and is the museum with the richest geological landforms in the world. The landforms of the mountains have a vertical distribution according to different altitudes, including mountain valleys, snowy mountain peaks, wetlands on plateaus, forests and meadows and freshwater lakes from the 760-meter-high dry-hot valley of Nujiang River to the 6,740-meter-high Kawagebo Peak. There are 118 snowy mountains of over 5,000 meters above sea level in the region. Kawagebo Peak, the main peak of Meili Snow Mountain which extends from the summit until the forest zone of Mingyong Village, is covered with glaciers from 10,000 years ago, which are currently the world's most spectacular and rare modern glaciers with a low-latitude, low altitude maritime monsoon climate.