VII.15 Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia)
The Committee took note of the results of a international rapid assessment mission organized by the Centre and the Croatian authorities from 5 to 9 May 1996. The mission made an interdisciplinary review of the state of conservation of the site and determined that the World Heritage values had not been adversely impacted by the armed conflict. To the contrary, the mission concluded the natural systems of the area were recovering from pre-war overdevelopment and over-use. The mission surveyed the war damage to Park commercial and administrative facilities and the neglected Park infrastructure and favourably reviewed the newly strengthened legislative framework adopted by the State Party. Par k management and administrative capability was evaluated and the socio-economic situation of the site was assessed with regard to post-war tourism potential. Summary recommendations were proposed and remedial actions are now being taken by the State Party. The Committee also took note of the specific recommendations made concerning the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Furthermore, the Centre informed the Committee that a report dated 26 November 1996 was received from Plitvice National Park on the situation of the Park. It indicated the use of the US$ 30,000 emergency assistance for communication equipment, which was installed in September 1996. The report mentioned the number of 239,500 visitors from 1 January to 20 November 1996 and the reconstruction of a sightseeing system. Boats, vehicles and the sanitary facilities have been operating. Promotional leaflets have been produced and journalists have been received. The reconstruction of the Plitvice Hotel will be completed by the end of the year. There are a number of problems to be solved, including public roads, reconstruction of homes of displaced persons, sewage system and new drinking water supply. The report indicated that a new Managing Director of the Park was appointed and the need for international assistance to support a system of fire precaution measures.
The Committee (a) commended the Croatian authorities for their initial rehabilitation activities; (b) took note of the full mission report contained in Information Document WHC-96/CONF.201/INF.14; (c) decided to maintain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger because, although there was no longer threat or damage to World Heritage values by armed conflict, there are now post-war potential threats such as visitor impacts, damaged infrastructure and other conditions identified in the mission report; (d) favourably considered possible management planning assistance and training requests to strengthen the management and staff capabilities, and (e) requested the State Party to provide a state of conservation report on the area by 15 September 1997.