1.         Srebarna Nature Reserve (Bulgaria) (N 219bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger   1992-2003

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/219/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1994-1994)
Total amount approved: USD 33,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/219/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

1992: 2 IUCN missions

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/219/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1994

Report prepared by IUCN
  1. PROPERTY: SREBARNA BIOSPHERE RESERVE {Bulgaria)
  2. DATE INSCRIBED AND CRITERIA: 1983. iv; 1992 - World Heritage in Danger
  3. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FROM WORLD HERITAGE FUND: None
  4. CONDITION OF PROPERTY:

IUCN reports on the status of conservation in this site have been made to the Bureau and Committee since December 1991. The June 1993 Bureau has recommended that the Committee defer a decision on whether or not to delete the property from the list until 1995. In the meantime, there have been assessments of the conditions in the site by various experts from the Ramsar Bureau, the USNPS and Bulgarian authorities. All of the subsequent reports have confirmed that serious degradation has occurred - even worse than was indicated in the 1991 IUCN monitoring report. Restoration was thought, however, to be possible and some efforts to attempt this are underway.

A current status report has been prepared by the Bulgarian authorities but a copy has not yet been made available to IUCN.

5.   EVALUATION:

The report of the wetland experts from the USNPS has clearly outlined the events which have led to the "collapse of this once thriving lake" as well as the enormous effort that will be required to restore it. In light of the loss of the integrity of Srebarna and the periodic review clause called for in paragraph 29 of the Convention's Strategic Plan, it is unlikely that IUCN would recommend the inscription of the site today.

6.   SUGGESTED ACTION BY THE WORLD HERITAGE BUREAU:

Without having seen and studied the current status report on Srebarna by the Bulgarian authorities, IUCN cannot suggest what actions should be taken by the Bureau.

7.   REFERENCES:

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1994

The Bureau at its eighteenth session recalled that the site was inscribed in 1983 and placed on the World Heritage in Danger List in 1992.

The Centre is continuously in contact with the Bulgarian authorities, which presented a report on their restoration efforts at the last session of the Bureau. Two small scale international assistance projects from the World Heritage Fund are presently under way at the site, as well as international assistance from other sources.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The Committee is requested to confirm the decision of the Bureau that a detailed report should be presented to the nineteenth session of the Bureau in 1995. It is recommended that the site be retained on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 18 COM IX

Srebarna Nature Reserve (Bulgaria)

The Committee was informed that the Secretariat is continuously in contact with the Bulgarian authorities, which presented a report on their restoration efforts at the last session of the Bureau and have recently updated this report.

The Committee confirmed the decision of the Bureau at its eighteenth session that a detailed report on conservation measures should be presented to the nineteenth session of the Bureau in 1995. The Committee decided to retain this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

 

Decision Adopted: 18 EXT.BUR V.A.1.1

The Bureau considered the rapid growth in the demand for technical cooperation funds and recommended that, in the future, at least one third of the annual budget for technical cooperation should be targetted towards natural World Heritage sites.

The Bureau considered 4 requests for technical cooperation for strengthening management of natural World Heritage sites and took the following decisions:

 

Requests approved by the Bureau

Srebarna Nature Reserve (Bulgaria) - US19,000: Purchase and installation of equipment for the measurement and monitoring of water-levels and water quality in the Srebarna Wetlands.

 

Requests not approved by the Bureau

Kilimanjaro National Park (Tanzania): The Bureau requested the Tanzanian authorities to reformulate their request for US$30,000 for developing a system of trails in the Park, and take into considreation more urgent conservation priorities for the management of the Park which have been set by the new Management Plan for the site.

Decision Adopted: 18 BUR VI.B

The Bureau recalled that the site was inscribed in 1983 and placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1992. Furthermore, it noted that considerable discussion had taken place both at the Committee and it's Bureau sessions regarding the possible delisting of the site, and that IUCN reports on the status of the site indicating the degradation of its natural values have been reviewed continuously since December 1991. Furthermore, a report by wetland experts from the United States National Park Service indicate that major effort is required to restore the site. The Secretariat informed the Bureau that the Bulgarian Ministry for the Environment presented a report on restoration efforts by the Bulgarian authorities from 1992 to 1994, including an extension from 600 to 902 ha, the elaboration of an hydraulic system for Srebarna Lake and to review the re­establishment of the links between the Lake and the Danube.

The Bureau took note of the report and commended the authorities for their efforts. It decided, however, that the site should be continuously monitored and that a detailed report on the site should be given to the nineteenth session of the Bureau in 1995.

It was recommended that on behalf of the Bureau, the World Heritage Centre should write to the appropriate authorities stressing the need for maintaining a research/monitoring station at Srebarna.