Documents Decisions of the World Heritage Committee Decisions adopted at the 36th Session (St.-Petersburg, 2012)

Western Caucasus (Russian Federation) (N 900)

Draft Decision: 36 COM 7B.23

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 32 COM 7B.25, 34 COM 7B.24, and 35 COM 7B.24, adopted at its 32nd (Quebec City, 2008), 34th (Brasilia, 2010) and 35th (UNESCO, 2011) sessions respectively,
  3. Expresses its utmost concern about Federal Law No. 365-FZ dated 30 November 2011, which is weakening the protection status of Strict State Nature Reserves and therefore could affect the Outstanding Universal Value of several World Heritage properties in the Russian Federation and reiterates its request to the State Party to take appropriate legal measures to maintain a high level of protection of the property or other Natural World Heritage properties on its territory, in accordance with Paragraph 15(f) of the Operational Guidelines when establishing the list of allowed infrastructure in the Strict Nature Reserves that are part of a World Heritage property;
  4. Also expresses its serious concern about the plans to construct tourist and mountain ski facilities at Lagonaki and considers that a decision to proceed with plans to develop these facilities would affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and constitute a case for inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;
  5. Reiterates its request to urgently implement all recommendations of the 2010 monitoring mission in order to protect the property’s Outstanding Universal Value, and in particular urges the State Party to immediately abandon any plans for recreational use of the Lagonaki plateau, Mt Fisht and Mt Oshten areas and to halt all road developments in the property;
  6. Encourages financial institutions not to invest in any developments on the Lagonaki Plateau or other parts of the property, which might impact its Outstanding Universal Value;
  7. Regrets that the State Party has not submitted the updated map of the boundaries of the property and detailed information on the activities allowed in the Natural Monuments which are part of the property, and urges the State Party to submit the updated map, showing the exact location of all proposed or planned infrastructure and the special economic zone, as well as documentation of all EIAs conducted for projects inside or adjacent to the property that might affect its Outstanding Universal Value for review by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN;
  8. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission to the property to review the state of conservation of the property, progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2010 monitoring mission and to determine the status of the proposed tourism and ski development on the Lagonaki and to evaluate the possible impacts of the proposed development on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013, with a view to considering the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.