1.         Curonian Spit (Lithuania,Russian Federation) (C 994)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2000

Criteria  (v)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/994/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1998-2002)
Total amount approved: USD 85,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/994/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN mission 2001; World Heritage Centre mission 2-6 November 2003.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/994/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006

At the 29th session, both States Parties were requested to provide the World Heritage Centre with state of conservation reports for the property, including information on progress of cooperation specified in the action plan attached to their letter of 28 January 2005.

The States Parties of Lithuania and the Russian Federation, on 30th January 2006, submitted a joint report dated 19 January 2006 on preserving the Curonian Spit. The report details a series of joint meetings and investigations between February 2005 and January 2006 specific to the D-6 oil field project, including two meetings on the implementation of the Action Plan, two meetings of the Working group on emergency plans and the third and fourth meeting of the joint Environmental Protection Commission. The report notes the development of a draft cooperation plan in case of pollution accidents in the Baltic Sea as well as proposals to implement the Action Plan with respect to post-project environmental impact assessment (EIA). Both States Parties are committed to: completing the post-project EIA; continuing bilateral environmental monitoring of the Curonian Spit and Baltic Sea; signing the bilateral agreement concerning cooperation in pollution accidents, pollution prevention/mitigation and compensation measures; and signing the cooperation plan in case of pollution accidents in the Baltic Sea. No timetable for signing the bilateral agreement or cooperation plan was indicated in the report.

The increasing levels of bilateral cooperation between Lithuania and the Russian Federation in response to threats from the D-6 oil field project is to be noted. This has strengthened collaboration and secured agreement and joint commitment to completing the post-project EIA for the D-6 project. In addition, agreement has been reported on measures to monitor impacts and to respond and protect the Curonian Spit in the event of pollution incidents arising from the oil operation.

The commitment of both States Parties is clear. However, the actual status of implementation of the joint post-project EIA, funding available for implementation and activities agreed to under the Action Plan remains unclear.

Notwithstanding the positive progress made on collaboration around the D-6 oil field project, the States Parties have not fully responded to the request of the 29th session of the Committee regarding the broader state of conservation of the property. The Russian Federation submitted on 1 February 2006 a letter as a state of conservation report for their part of the property. It is disappointing to note that the report submitted in 2006 appears to repeat verbatim the report submitted on 27 January 2005.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

N/A

Decision Adopted: 30 COM 7B.87

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 7B.67, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Commends the States Parties for their continued collaboration to complete the joint Lithuanian-Russian post-project Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the D-6 oil platform and to continue bilateral environmental monitoring;

4. Notes that both States Parties have recognized the necessity of a bilateral agreement concerning co-operation in case of pollution accidents, pollution prevention/mitigation and compensation measures, and a cooperation plan in case of pollution accidents in the Baltic Sea and urges both States Parties to sign the agreement and plan as soon as possible;

5. Further notes that the States Parties have not yet reported on the general state of conservation of the Curonian Spit, in particular the actual status of implementation of the joint post-project EIA and activities agreed to under the Action Plan;

6. Requests both States Parties to provide the World Heritage Centre with a detailed and updated report, by 1 February 2007, on the general state of conservation of the property with reference to the cultural landscape values for which the property was inscribed and including the status of implementation of the joint post-project EIA and activities agreed to under the Action Plan, especially regarding the signature of a bilateral agreement concerning co-operation in case of pollution accidents, pollution prevention/mitigation and compensation measures, and a cooperation plan in case of pollution accidents in the Baltic Sea, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session in 2007.