State of Conservation (SOC)
Lake Baikal (1999)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:15,000USD
|1990||Technical experts meeting for discussing conservation management ...||15,000 USD|
July 1997: World Heritage Centre mission
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Pollution of the Lake
- Questions about the legal status of some parts along the border of the site (issue resolved)
- Lack of resources
Current conservation issues
Twenty-second session of the Committee – Chapter VII.24;
Twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau – Chapter IV.38.
New information: In April 1999, the State Duma of the Russian Federation adopted the law on the Lake Baikal. However, this is a framework law and it requires several other legal acts to be adopted. The efforts of the Russian authorities in developing this law are to be commended but it is important that the law be implemented as quickly as possible and also that adequate resources are made available to ensure its effective implementation. IUCN notes the on-going concerns associated with pollution of Lake Baikal from pulp mills operating in close proximity to the site. Recent reports from Greenpeace are also noted, in relation to the lawsuit by the State Bodies for Environmental Protection in relation to the “suspension of ecologically harmful activities of the Baikalsky Pulp and Paper Plant (BP&PP)”. The Irkutsk Court noted the impact of the BP&PP but ruled that the “lawsuit is void”. One of the reasons for the verdict was that without new jobs created in the region the pulp production in Baikalsk could not be shut down because it would result in social crisis in the region. It is understood that a new draft governmental decree on suspension of pulp production has not been supported by the regional authorities and that a “concept of social and economic development of the City of Baikalsk and conversion of the BP&PP” is now being elaborated. IUCN notes there has been a large number of World Heritage monitoring and training missions to Lake Baikal (1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999) and before recommending another mission there is a need to carefully assess findings and recommendations from these past missions.
The economic difficulties in this region are noted and it is considered that there is a need to identify and examine innovative options and solutions to this issue, specifically in relation to the legal, financial and other requirements associated with re-profiling of the Baikalsk Pulp and Paper Mill. Discussion of such options and solutions should address environmental, social and economic concerns and should involve donors and should ideally be addressed under the umbrella of the Baikal Commission. IUCN also notes that the Workshop on Lake Baikal, supported by the World Heritage Committee, was successfully implemented and that this has enhanced capacity building for managers at the Baikal World Heritage site.
No further information was received by the State Party at the time of the preparation of this document.
Link to the decision
X.28 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-99/CONF.209/6) included as Annex VIII to this report. Additional observations made during the Committee session are reflected below.
Shark Bay, Western Australia (Australia)
Wet Tropics of Queensland (Australia)
Heard and McDonald Islands (Australia)
The Delegate of Australia thanked IUCN for the consultative process started, which could be a model for other State Parties. He also informed the Committee that the area of marine protection around Macquerie Island had been extended and now comprises 16 million ha, the world's largest highly protected marine zone.
Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/Poland)
Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon)
Los Katios National Park (Colombia)
The Delegate of Colombia informed the Committee that a visit by a delegation from the Ministry for Environment to Los Katios was recently carried out. The visit included areas that were previously not accessible. He emphasized that the proposal to grant collective land ownership over 100,000ha would be outside the Park in the buffer zone. He commented that his Government would be pleased to receive the visit of the monitoring mission to this site in 2000. The Colombian authorities have enhanced transboundary co-operation with Darien National Park (Panama) and strengthened the protected area system.
Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Dominica)
Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
The Observer of the United States underlined his Government's role in safeguarding Galapagos Islands and congratulated the Government of Ecuador on progress made. He noted the landmark decision of the Galapagos Law and questioned whether it had been implemented, in particular concerning the forty-mile zone. The Secretariat informed the Committee that some threats related to illegal fishing have been reported. IUCN noted the implementation of this pioneering legislation is vital and specific regulations need to be developed and implemented as soon as possible. The Delegate of Ecuador provided information from the Ministry of Environment noting progress concerning control of introduced species and general improvements in relation to biodiversity conservation at the site. Concerning the control of the 40-mile zone, she stated that the law has not yet been implemented, but that the basis for the conservation and environmental control is there. She thanked the Committee for all its efforts to safeguard the Galapagos.
Kaziranga National Park (India)
Komodo National Park (Indonesia)
Mount Kenya National Park (Kenya)
Sagarmatha National Park (Nepal)
The Observer of Nepal expressed his gratitude for the international support for the important project on tourism carried out at Sagarmatha National Park. The Observer of the United Kingdom noted that it is a ground-breaking project.
Te Wahipounamu - South West New Zealand (New Zealand)
Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman)
The Delegate of Thailand noted the raised serious concerns raised by the Bureau regarding the management of this site, given the decline in numbers of the Arabian Oryx and the fact that the boundary marking and management planning is long overdue for completion. He recalled that the Committee inscribed the site without legislation and management plan in December 1994. He highlighted the Operational Guidelines in relation to the deletion of properties. The Delegate of Benin noted that rigour was not always applied in the past years and that a number of sites would not have been accepted if they were presented today. Concerning the question of deletion, a site would be put first on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Delegate of Thailand made it clear that he had not proposed the deletion of the site from the World Heritage List and that he was totally aware of the modalities in that respect. The Observer of the United Kingdom noted that similar problems concerned a number of sites and that these issues would certainly be dealt with by the periodic reporting process. IUCN pointed out that it had consistently raised concerns about this site. IUCN noted that legislation does not have effect if there is not sufficient resources for its implementation. The Chairperson reminded the Committee members about the rarity of Arab natural sites on the List. In concluding, the Chairperson thanked the Committee for the debate and noted that awareness needs to be raised in countries about the World Heritage Convention, its obligations and World Heritage values to be preserved for future generations, in particular among decision-makers. He thanked the Delegate of Thailand for his statement and encouraged the Committee to further reflect on how to enhance the protection of World Heritage sites.
Huascaran National Park (Peru)
Lake Baikal (Russian Federation)
The Observer of Russia requested that the information provided during the adoption of the report of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau on this site be included in the Bureau report.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)
Gough Island (United Kingdom)
Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park (United Republic of Tanzania)
Canaima National Park (Venezuela)
Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)
Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe)
The Bureau may wish to adopt the following text and transmit it to the Committee for noting:
“The Bureau again commends the State Party for the adoption of the Baikal Law but urges that the State Party ensures its effective implementation as well as addressing pollution issues associated with the Baikalsk Pulp and Paper Mill. The Bureau requests the State Party to present a state of conservation report by 15 April 2000.”
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The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).