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Committee Decisions

35 COM 7B.23

Lake Baikal (Russian Federation) (N 754)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.22, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Regrets that it was not possible to organize the meeting with the Russian authorities and other stakeholders to identify how impacts of the re-opening of the Baikalsk Paper and Pulp Mill (BPPM) on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property can be addressed, and requests that this be organized as soon as possible;

4. Reiterates its serious concern regarding the re-opening of the BPPM without a close-loop water system, as well as the continued pollution from the Selenga river, and its potentially critical impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of Lake Baikal, and therefore also requests the State Party to review its decision to reopen BPPM;

5. Considers that further weakening of the norms for the discharge of chemicals into the lake or the continued operation of BPPM without a closed water cycle beyond the 30-month period, which was announced by the State Party at the 34th session (expiring in December 2012), would further threaten the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and provide a clear basis for inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

6. Urges the State Party to ensure a careful monitoring and enforcement of the norms established by the State Party in Order No.63 of 5 March 2010 throughout this short-term period of operation;

7. Encourages the State Party to extend its efforts to develop and implement a long-term alternative livelihoods strategy for the town of Baikalsk, and to consider the investment of limited finances in such efforts as an alternative investment strategy to maintaining the potentially uneconomic operation of BPPM;

8. Further requests the State Party to confirm that no mining or mineral exploration will be permitted within the property as inscribed on the World Heritage List, in line with the World Heritage Committee's clear position that mining is incompatible with World Heritage status, and the international policy statement of the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) of not undertaking these activities in World Heritage properties;

9. Reiterates its request to the State Party to clarify the extent of the reportedly 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, and requests furthermore the State Party to verify information regarding the location of this development with the World Heritage Centre;

10. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a further report, by 1 February 2012, 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 and livelihood strategy for the property, and the confirmation that there are no planned mining activities within the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.

Themes: Conservation
States Parties: Russian Federation
Properties: Lake Baikal
Session: 35COM