Documents Decisions of the World Heritage Committee Decisions adopted at the 37th session (Phnom Penh, 16-27 of June, 2013)

Golden Mountains of Altai (Russian Federation) (N 768rev)

Decision: 37 COM 7B.25

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.25, adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3. Expresses its utmost concern about a new decree 212 N 202 dated 2 August 2012 of the Republic of Altai which allows the “construction and exploitation of linear objects as well as structures that are an integral part of the process”, which weakens the legal provisions protecting the property and recalls that in accordance with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines the modification of legal protection status of an area included in a property is considered as a potential danger to its Outstanding Universal Value and a reason for inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

4. Notes with concern reports that preparatory survey works on the pipeline route have been conducted within the World Heritage property since its 36 session;

5. Takes note of the information recently provided by the State Party as of April 30, the design works on the Altai pipeline project have been suspended and that no further funding for design works will be provided in the period 2014-2015;

6. Reiterates its position that any decision to go forward with the gas pipeline through the property would represent and ascertained danger to its Outstanding Universal Value in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines, and represent a clear case for inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

7. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to make an unequivocal decision to abandon the construction of the Altai gas pipeline through the property and urges the State Party to ensure that no further preparatory works be undertaken within the property, and that the Government of the Altai Republic restores the legal protection status of the Ukok Quiet Zone in line with the protection requirements of the Convention;

8. Requests the State Party to ensure that Environmental Impact Assessments be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for any infrastructure development in or around the property, including the gas pipeline and hydropower projects, which could affect its Outstanding Universal Value, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;

9. Also requests the State Party to continue its efforts to implement the recommendations of the 2012 reactive monitoring mission;

10. Also reiterates its position that all legal issues concerning natural properties in the Russian Federation, which are composed of federal and regional protected areas, be addressed through a comprehensive national legal framework for the protection and management of natural World Heritage properties in order to ensure the fulfilment of the State Party's obligations under the Convention, and further reiterates its request that the State Party convene a workshop to assist in developing such a framework, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN;

11. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, 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 39th session in 2015.