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Decision : 33 COM 7B.24
Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Białowieża Forest (Belarus / Poland) (N 33-627)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7B.20, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Notes the report of the 2008 joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission, and notes with concern that an area of 82,371 ha within the property in Belarus has not been managed in a way compatible with its Outstanding Universal Value;

4. Also notes that there are a number of threats to the property including fragmentation resulting from fencing of the border and vehicular trails, impacts of invasive red oak, and overgrazing of flora by deer and bison ;

5. Welcomes the expressed intent on behalf of both States Parties to jointly prepare a re-nomination for the transboundary property in accordance with Paragraph 166 of the Operational Guidelines;

6. Requests the States Parties to implement the recommendations of the reactive monitoring mission, and to:

a) Develop a joint management framework for the property to define a common overall conservation vision and objectives, joint management activities (such as monitoring, research, communications and strategies to address the issues raised by the World Heritage Committee), and a work plan,

b) Develop and implement an integrated management strategy for the whole forest complex within which the property is located, ensuring connectivity with neighbouring, related ecosystem components,

c) Ensure the participation of National Park management authorities in landscape level management processes to ensure the maintenance of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property,

d) Reduce, though a clear time-bound plan, the total length of the network of forest roads and trails and encourage cooperation between the Polish and Belarusian components of the property to achieve this,

e) Restore natural processes in drained marshes and bogs such as encouraging the role of resident beavers as well as human-based support by direct management activities,

f) Facilitate trans-boundary movement of wildlife, particularly large ungulates, across the fence separating both sides of the property to support the establishment of property-wide populations of various ungulate species,

7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the progress made in addressing the above mentioned issues.

 Decisions Report
Context of Decision
Themes: Conservation
States Parties: Belarus Poland
Properties: Białowieża Forest
Year: 2009
Decision Code: 33 COM 7B.24