1.         Białowieża Forest (Belarus,Poland) (N 33ter)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (ix)(x)

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/33/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/33/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/33/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1997

The Bureau noted that reports received from local conservation organisations of logging on the Polish side of this transborder World Heritage area presented an incomplete picture and that sustainable forestry practises occurred only in forests outside of the World Heritage site. The Bureau however, took note of the fact that the Polish authorities have expanded the area of the Bialowieza National Park, from 4,700 ha to 10,500 ha and that the area cited as World Heritage varied between 5,069 ha and 5,346 ha in different documents. The Bureau recalled that the Committee at the time when it inscribed this transborder property in the World Heritage List in 1992 (Santa Fe, USA), called upon the Belarus authorities to prepare a management plan for the Belarus part of the site, in co-ordination with the plan available for the Polish part, and recommended that the two States Parties consider removing the fence between the two parts of the site if the management plan indicated that the fence's removal would lead to enhanced ecosystem viability.

The Bureau requested the Polish authorities to verify the area designated as World Heritage within their territory and inform the Centre as to whether or not they intend to extend the World Heritage area to conform with the new boundaries of the 10,500 ha Bialowieza National Park as established in 1996. The Bureau also called upon the Belarus and Polish authorities to co-operate in the elaboration of a management plan for the Belarus part of this transborder site and consider removing the fence separating the two parts.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1997

In early 1997, the Centre transmitted to the Permanent Delegations of Belarus and Poland, respectively, information received from IUCN concerning logging in this World Heritage site. The Polish Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry of the Department of International Co-operation has provided a report highlighting the fact that logging operations occur only in forests outside of the Bialowieza National Park, an area of about 4,700 ha. However, the original nomination submitted by Poland was for a total area of 5,069 ha; according to the WCMC data sheet on the site however, the World Heritage site includes 4,747 ha of the National Park, together with other protective and buffer zones, as indicated in the map attached to the original nomination and comprises a total of 5,346 ha. Furthermore, the Polish authorities have expanded the area of the National Park to 10,500 ha in July 1996. Forest management in the primeval forests outside of the National Park is carried out in accordance with "Principles of Protective and Sylvicultural Measures", issued by the Minister of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry in 1995 and is considered sustainable.

The Bureau may wish to recall that the Committee at the time when it inscribed this trans-border property in the World Heritage List in 1992 (Santa Fe, USA), called upon the Belarus authorities to prepare a management plan for the Belarus part of the site, in co-ordination with the plan available for the Polish part, and recommended that the two States Parties consider removing the fence between the two parts of the site if the management plan indicated that the fence's removal would lead to enhanced viability.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 21 COM VII.C.41

VII.41 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-first extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-97/CONF.208/4B Section III.A.c), on the following natural properties: