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Committee Decisions

34 COM 7B.24

Western Caucasus (Russian Federation) (N 900)

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.29, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Commends the State Party for its decision to relocate the Biathlon Complex, sliding venue and the Olympic mountain village away from the ecologically sensitive Grushevy ridge and upper Mzimta valley, in order to limit their impacts on the World Heritage property;

4. Welcomes the progress made in implementing some of the other recommendations of the 2008 monitoring mission, in particular the development of an overall management plan for the property, the restoration of the legal protection of the northern buffer zone which is part of the property, the development of a southern buffer zone and the delimitation of the property;

5. Expresses its concern about the continued threats to the integrity of the nature monuments, nature park and northern buffer zone as well as on the Lagonaki plateau, which are all part of the property, as a result of planned or existing development activities such as logging, tourism infrastructure developments and road developments;

6. Requests the State Party to implement all the recommendations of the 2010 mission, which update the recommendations of the 2008 mission, in particular:

a) Establish a comprehensive programme to monitor the impacts of all Olympic facilities and tourism facilities on wildlife population trends and movements around the property and ensure continued cooperation and consultation between the Sochi 2014 organising committee and the reserve authorities,

b) Halt all infrastructure developments which are affecting the integrity of the property (in particular tourism and road infrastructure), in particular in the nature monuments, nature park and northern buffer zone situated in the Adygea Republic and abandon any plans for recreational use and development of the Lagonaki plateau,

c) Stop logging activities, including so-called sanitary cutting, in particular in the nature monuments, nature park and northern buffer zone situated in the Adygea Republic, rehabilitate the logged areas and monitor their recovery,

d) Upgrade the protection regime of the natural monuments and nature park, either by including them in the Strict Nature Reserve, or by ensuring that all development activities in contradiction to their World Heritage status are prohibited,

e) Finalize urgently the exact definition of the geographic coordinates and legal documentation of the boundary of the property and the establishment of a buffer zone on its southern boundary and submit an updated map of the property to the World Heritage Centre,

f) Establish a coordination body for the entire property, to ensure the implementation of the overall management plan, and develop and implement operational plans for its implementation,

g) Develop an overall sustainable tourism strategy and comprehensive plan for the property and adjacent protected areas, privileging low impact tourism activities which can be developed without affecting the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

7. Invites the State Party to consider addressing the issue of overall management plans, management frameworks and management standards for all natural World Heritage properties in the Russian Federation composed of federal and regional protected areas through a national law for the management of natural World Heritage properties that meets the State Party's obligations to the Convention;

8. Welcomes the decision by the State Party to create a strictly protected corridor which will link the property to the Teberdinsky Strict Nature Reserve and invites the State Party to complete its designation as soon as possible, and to consider submitting a proposal for the extension of the property to include both these areas;

9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2010 mission, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011.

Themes: Conservation
States Parties: Russian Federation
Properties: Western Caucasus
Session: 34COM