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The presentation of the projects of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in the field of collaboration with the United Nations through education, science, and culture was held at UNESCO Headquarters

The Sakha Republic (Yakutia) presented eleven projects in the field of collaboration with the UNESCO, which are currently being implemented in the Sakha Republic, on March 20-21, 2012. The main focus was the project of preparation of the nomination "Lena Pillars Nature Park". The roundtable meeting with the participation of the UNESCO's Deputy Director-General for Culture, Mr. Bandarin; Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to UNESCO, Mrs. Mitrofanova; Chairperson of the Government of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Ms. Danchikova; diplomats, and the representatives of international scientific and public organizations was devoted to this project.

The evidence for the conformity of the nominated territory to criteria vii and viii for the outstanding universal value was presented by Russian and foreign experts in the field of Cambrian sedimentary rocks and frozen karst within the framework of the roundtable meeting. In conclusion the Russian delegation announced that the arguments given in the materials of the nomination and the supplementary materials, submitted by the IUCN experts' request, quite clearly prove the nominated object's outstanding universal value.

Mr. Badman, Director of the IUCN World Heritage Program, spoke in reply. In his speech he noted that the information and materials received during the preparation of the new nomination have substantially changed the position of the IUCN Panel that has recognized the potential outstanding universal value of the Lena Pillars Nature Park. However, in the IUCN Panel's opinion, additional work is required to improve the nomination's dossier. In particular, Mr. Badman noted that the arguments presented by the roundtable participants more conclusively prove the area's outstanding universal value than the nomination itself. The issues of the area's boundaries, integrity and safety remain open.

IUCN shapes its stand based on the materials and documents received before February 28. The IUCN's final recommendations to the Committee will be officially posted on the World Heritage Center website on May 11, i.e. six weeks before the beginning of the World Heritage Committee 36th Session. So, the nomination's future is now in the Committee's hands.