1.         Pirin National Park (Bulgaria) (N 225bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (vii)(viii)(ix)

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/225/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2004-2004)
Total amount approved: USD 15,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/225/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Tourism Pressure; Ski development 

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/225/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

The joint UNESCO-IUCN mission was carried out from 3 to 6 February 2004 in close cooperation with the State Party, the site manager and the Ministry for Environment and Waters. It noted that a number of ascertained and potential threats exist, including the existing ski development and other potential development proposals, which could threaten the values and the integrity of the World Heritage property. During the mission draft reports were provided to the mission team. The mission however noted that the response from the Government to the requests of the Committee was not adequate, and that no map of the World Heritage property was provided officially by the States Party despite repeated requests.

The mission concluded with a number of specific recommendations on the following issues:


(a)  World Heritage area, zoning and buffer zones: The State Party should approve the management plan as soon as possible, but no later than by the end of 2004; provide the exact map of the World Heritage property as declared in 1983;  take the decision with respect to the exclusion of the Bansko ski-zone from the World Heritage property; prepare and submit a proposal for the extension of the World Heritage property to include other areas, if appropriate; in accordance with the Operational Guidelines and with the management plan to establish and the zoning system with a buffer zone and sub-zones and manage the whole area to ensure the integrity of the property.


(b)  State of conservation of the site: The State Party should ensure effective management by securing staff and resources for the National Park Directorate; effectively control those who work under licence agreements or have other legal rights for use of resources or other activities in the World Heritage property; take effective measures to stop the violations against the laws within and around the World Heritage property.


(c)  Management: The Pirin National Park Directorate should set priorities under the management plan according to the analysis made and in particular: defining the regimes and norms and its control, optimum protection and management of habitats of high conservation value, providing opportunities for conservation education and interpretation and stimulation of scientific studies, development of sustainable tourism and income generation for the communities; improve the management policy and the institutional development as defined by the management plan.


(d)  Improved communication: The State Party and particularly the Park Directorate should support long-term monitoring for the purposes of conservation and maintenance of the values of the World Heritage property and regularly report on the state of the property.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN


Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15B.21

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Recalling its decision to defer the inscription of Pirin National Park on the List of World Heritage in Danger until its 27th session (26 COM 21 (b) 2), with decision on this to be based on an assessment of the State Party's response to the UNESCO/IUCN mission report (Decision 27 COM 7B.15) and noting the results of the joint UNESCO/IUCN mission of February 2004,

2. Regrets that the State Party did not adopt the final management plan by the end of 2003 as requested (Decision 27 COM 7B.15) and urges the State Party to adopt this plan at least by the end of 2004;

3. Welcomes the co-operation of the State Party in addressing some of the issues, including the submission of an international assistance request for a potential extension of the World Heritage property;

4. Requests that the State Party implement the specific recommendations of the 2004 UNESCO / IUCN mission concerning the state of conservation of the property, its management, its zoning and the establishment of buffer zones and improved communication;

5. Further requests the State Party to provide a detailed report on actions taken to respond to the recommendations of the 2004 mission report, as well as a clear map showing the boundaries of the property by 1 February 2005, for examination by the Committee at its 29th session in 2005.