Decision : 27 COM 8C.9
Uvs Nuur Basin (Mongolia)
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Inscribes Uvs Nuur Basin, Mongolia/ Russian Federation, on the World Heritage List on the basis of natural criteria (ii) and (iv):
Criterion (ii): The closed salt lake system of Uvs Nuur is of international scientific importance because of its climatic and hydrological regimes. Because of the unchanging nature of the nomadic pastoral use of the grasslands within the basin over thousands of years, current research programmes should be able to unravel the rate at which Uvs Nuur (and other smaller lakes within the basin) have become saline (and eutrophic). These processes are on-going and because of its unique geophysical and biological characteristics, the basin has been chosen as an Interntational Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGPB) site for monitoring global warming.
Criterion (iv): The Uvs Nuur property has a large range of ecosystems, representing the major biomes of eastern Eurasia, with a number of endemic plants. Although the basin is inhabited and has been used for nomadic pastoralism for thousands of years, the mountains, forests, steppes and deserts are extremely important habitats for a wide range of wild animals, many of them threatened or endangered. The steppe ecosystem supports a rich diversity of birds and the deserts a number of rare gerbil, jerboas and the marbled polecat. The mountains at the western end of the basin are important refuges for the globally threatened snow leopard, mountain sheep (argali) and the Asiatic ibex. Uvs Nuur itself is an important habitat for waterfowl as well as for birds migrating south from Siberia.
The inscription is for twelve protected areas:
2. Encourages the State Party of Mongolia to give priority to upgrading the Tes River Specially Protected Area, currently protected at a provincial level, to a Specially Protected Area under State legislation;
3. Further encourages both States Parties to ensure that adequate resources are made available quickly and maintained for the effective implementation of the management plans;
4. Commends Mongolia for steps taken to expand the nominated area, and both States Parties for their efforts to date in developing transboundary co-operation for the conservation of the property. The consolidation of such collaboration should be encouraged and maintained.