Documents Decisions of the World Heritage Committee Decisions adopted at the 38th session (Doha, 15-25 of June 2014)

Western Caucasus (Russian Federation) (N 900)

Decision:   38.COM 7B.77

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,  
2.  Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.23, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),  
3.  Expresses its utmost concern about the adoption of amendments to Federal Law
N°406-FZ, dated 28 December 2013, which make it possible to develop large scale
tourism infrastructure in strict nature reserves,  and could also impact other natural
World Heritage properties in the Russian Federation, and reiterates its request to the
State Party to ensure that no large scale ski or tourism infrastructure is built within the
4.  Takes note of the intention of  the State Party to submit a proposal for a boundary
modification by excluding parts of the Lagonaki plateau from the property which are
reported to be degraded and by including other parts, and recalls that such a proposal
has to be clearly justified in terms of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) for which
the property was inscribed, should be based on reliable scientific data and should be
submitted as a major boundary modification, in accordance with Paragraph 165 of the
Operational Guidelines;
5.  Reiterates its position that the installation of capital construction on the Lagonaki
Plateau, including Mount Fisht and Oshten, would 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;  
6. Notes with concern that development pressures on the property appear to increase
continuously, as noted by reports that new construction works have been conducted
inside the property without prior assessment of their potential impact on its OUV,
including upgrade of Babuk Aul forest road, cable car construction at “Biosphere
scientific centre” and other facilities nearby, and urges  the State Party to ensure that
the potential impacts of any proposed infrastructure upgrading inside the property on its
OUV are carefully assessed and that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is
sent to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before a decision
is taken in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
7.  Also reiterates its request to the State Party to implement all the recommendations of
the 2012 joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN reactive monitoring mission;
8.  Requests the State Party to report on the status of the proposed Persian leopard
reintroduction project and provide the World Heritage Centre with detailed information
and data on this project, in line with the 2013 IUCN Guidelines for Reintroductions and
Other Conservation Translocations;
9.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February
2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of
conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by
the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.