1.         Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia) (N 98bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (vii)(viii)(ix)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1992-present

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/98/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1992-1992)
Total amount approved: USD 30,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/98/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

February 1992: IUCN expert mission; September 1992: UNESCO/IUCN mission; September 1993: WHC/IUCN mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/98/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1993

The Committee, at its last session, recalled that this site has been inaccessible since the onset of armed conflict in the region in 1991 and examined the findings of a mission of three experts representing IUCN, the Federation of Nature and National Parks of Europe and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, undertaken at the invitation of the Croatian Government, from 18-27 September 1992. While the Committee was satisfied to note that the values for which this site was granted World Heritage status have not been affected by civil unrest, it deplored the damage to several Croatian villages outside the northern boundary of Park. Recognizing that the potential for a resurgence of hostilities continued to threaten the integrity of this site, the Committee, as requested by the Government of Croatia, included the Plitvice Lakes National Park in the List of World Heritage in Danger. Furthermore, the Committee also recommended that (a) the Government of Croatia, UNPROFOR and the authorities in the Krajina Region co-operate to implement the Vance Plan and its successor resolutions to stabilize the political situation in the region; (b) UNPROFOR undertake regular surveillence patrols in the Park area, particularly the old growth forest in Corkova Uvala and take necessary measures to make all parts of the Park accessible; (c) the Government of Croatia, UNPROFOR and the authorities in the Krajina Region include the conservation of Plitvice Lakes National Park as a subject to be addressed by such bodies as the Joint Commission, and bring together scientists from the two conflicting parties to undertake studies on water quality, the brown bear population and forestry and tourism practices, and (d) the Centre organize another mission in early 1993 to assess the state of conservation of the site and examine the feasibility of organizing an international workshop to plan the future management of Plitvice.

The Centre has been in contact with UNPROFOR authorities in Zagreb in order to initiate negotiations between the authorities of the Government of Croatia and the Krajina Region. These efforts have been retarded by the resurgence of conflict in the southern parts of Krajina. From telephone communications with the UNPROFOR authorities in Zagreb, the Centre has been informed that the recent conflict was restricted to areas south of the capital of the Krajina Region, i.e. Knin, and did not affect Plitvice which is located in the northern parts of that region. UNPROFOR units continue to be stationed in Plitvice and undertake patrolling of the area to the extent possible. The Centre will continue its communications with UNPROFOR in order to expedite the implementation of the Committee's recommendations and will report any additional information that may become available at the time of the meeting of the Bureau.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1993

At its sixteenth session, the Committee was informed of a mission carried out in September 1992. This mission found the natural values of Plitvice National Park largely undisturbed. The mission noted however, considerable damage to buildings and structures, particularly in the area surrounding the park.

Recognizing that the potential for a resurgence of hostilities continued to threaten the integrity of this site, the Committee, at its last session included the Plitvice Lakes National Park in the List of World Heritage in Danger and called upon the Government of Croatia, UNPROFOR and the authorities in the Krajina Region to co-operate to implement the Vance Plan and its successor resolutions to stabilize the political situation in the region.

The Bureau requested the Centre to continue its dialogue with UNPROFOR to explore the possibilities for organizing an international mission and report on the outcome to the seventeenth session of the Committee.

As requested by the Bureau, a mission to the area was carried out by the World Heritage Centre with the cooperation of IUCN from 21 to 24 September 1993. The mission found, the Croatian border closed to civilian traffic, thus, the site is inaccessible without UNPROFOR permission. Meetings were held with officials in Zagreb, KNIN and at Plitvice National Park. Cooperation with the United Nations protection forces (UNPROFOR) was excellent. The state of conservation in the Park remains good. However, the Corko-Uvala virgin forest remains inaccessible. In addition, social tension in the region is high and while one hotel in the Park is now open (Jereza), another outside the Park has been shelled and damaged. The UNPROFOR forces plan to remove the mines on the access road to the Corko-Uvala forest and when this has been done, a further mission (if necessary) should review the conservation situation in this sector of the Park.

 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 17 BUR VIII.2

The Bureau recalled that the integrity of this site, which has been inaccessible since the onset of armed conflict in the region in 1991, still remained intact. However, recognizing that the potential for a resurgence of hostilities continued to threaten the integrity of this site, the Committee, at its last session included the Plitvice Lakes National Park in the List of World Heritage in Danger and called upon the Government of Croatia, UNPROFOR and the authorities in the Krajina Region to co-operate to implement the Vance Plan and its successor resolutions to stabilize the political situation in the region. The Bureau learnt that as recommended by the Committee, at its sixteenth session, UNPROFOR undertakes regular surveillance patrols in the Park area, and is trying to bring together authorities from the Croatian Government and the Krajina Region to discuss the organization of a second international mission to the site. The Bureau requested the Centre to continue its dialogue with UNPROFOR to explore the possibilities for organizing such an international mission and report on the outcome to the seventeenth session of the Committee.

Decision Adopted: 17 COM X

Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia)

The Centre informed the Committee that a mission was carried out in September 1993 in cooperation with IUCN to Plitvice Lakes National Park. The report noted the continuing cooperation of the authorities in the region as well as that of the United Nations Protection Forces (UNPROFOR). The report underlined the current situation whereby the natural values of the Park are intact and essentially recovering. There was no evidence of new damage to the Park as a result of the ongoing war in the region. However, social tension had increased and the economic crisis deepened. The mission team was unable to visit the Korkaova Uvala virgin forest because of military mines on the access roads. The Committee took note of the report.