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Committee Decisions

34 COM 7B.22

Lake Baikal (Russian Federation) (N 754)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.28, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Notes with serious concern the recent re-opening of the Baikalsk Paper and Pulp Mill (BPPM) without a close-loop water system as well as the continued pollution from the Selenga river, and considers that the discharge of wastewater from the mill with a quantity of pollutants exceeding maximum permissible concentrations as determined by the State Party and from the Selenga river could impact the Outstanding Universal Value of Lake Baikal;

4. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party:

a) On the development of the Federal Target Programme "Protection of Baikal Lake and Socio-economic development of the Baikal Nature Territory" that in particular includes activities on utilization and recycling of waste having been accumulated during more than 50 years as well as on land restoration,

b) On the intention of the State Party to transfer the production of a high quality bleached pulp to another mill outside the Baikal region,

c) On the intention of the State Party to determine 30-month period for the Baikalsk Paper and Pulp Mill to address the issue of waste treatment and making a principal solution on the Mill's operation;

5. Urges the State Party to immediately consider various mitigation scenarios for the mill, including rapidly developing and implementing a close-loop water system;

6. Encourages the State Party to develop and implement a long-term alternative livelihoods strategy for the town of Baikalsk, and notes that Lake Baikal has significant potential to develop sustainable tourism and other activities based on its natural and cultural values;

7. Reiterates its request to ensure long-term monitoring of the seal population and to halt illegal constructions on the shores of the Lake;

8. Requests the State Party to clarify the extent of the planned marina within the territory of the Republic of Buriatia and submit its Environmental Impact Assessment to the World Heritage Centre prior to granting permission for the development, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;

9. Calls upon the Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre to convene a meeting with the Russian authorities and relevant stakeholders, in cooperation with IUCN, to identify how the impacts of the recently re-opened Baikalsk Paper and Pulp Mill on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property can be addressed;

10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a report, by 1 February 2011, on the state of conservation of the property, and in particular progress made in preventing the discharge of untreated wastewater into Lake Baikal, addressing continuing high levels of pollution in the Selenga River, developing a comprehensive tourism strategy for the property, and monitoring the Baikal seal population and the impacts of climate change on the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011.

Themes: Conservation
States Parties: Russian Federation
Properties: Lake Baikal
Session: 34COM