1.         Volcanoes of Kamchatka (Russian Federation) (N 765bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1996

Criteria  (vii)(viii)(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/765/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/765/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

1997: UICN mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/765/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2001

Previous deliberations:
Twenty-first session of the Committee - paragraph VII.39
Twenty-second ordinary session of the Bureau - paragraph V. 28
Twenty-second session of the Committee - page 99 (Annex IV)
Twenty-fourth session of the Committee – paragraph VIII.27 / Annex X page 115.

Main issues: gold mining project, road construction, collaboration with local people.

New information: IUCN has received a recent report, which again highlights the threats to the site, including lack of management, hunting and gold mining. Bystrinsky Nature Park, one of the five components of this site, continues to be the area most significantly threatened.  The park has no staff. Forest fires are reported to consume significant parts of the park each year. The park has been divided into 24 hunting leases, authorised by local authorities but not by the park’s administration or by local indigenous peoples, half of which are owned by large businesses from outside the region. Major changes to the boundaries of the site to allow gold mining are also under discussion.

This recent report also highlighted a new and significant threat to the natural values of the site. A year ago work began on a road to connect Esso, a village inside the Bystrinsky Nature Park, with Palana in the northern half of the Kamchatka region. This road will bisect the Park and will open up large areas to poaching and hunting. It is doubtful that the Parks Service and Forest Service have the capacity to control activities along this road.

IUCN notes that Bystrinsky Nature Park is one of the four parks in the UNDP/GEF project entitled “Demonstrating sustainable conservation of biological diversity in four protected areas in Russia’a Kamchatka Oblast”. UNDP/GEF has undertaken a one and a half year project development phase, involving many stakeholders, and the project itself, worth US$13 million, is expected to be operational by September 2001. One of the objectives of the project is to assist with the establishment of Bystrinsky Nature Park as a sustainable natural park. IUCN is also working on a project entitled “World Natural Heritage Territories in Russia and Ecological Tourism”.

A staff member of the UNESCO Office Moscow participated in an intersectorial mission to the Kamchatka Peninsula concerning the UNDP/GEF project, which took place from 9 to 19 February 2001. The report points out the urgent need for awareness building among the local government and local populations about World Heritage obligations. It furthermore notes that the newly elected Governor of Kamchatka promotes mining activities as a motor for the Kamchatka economy.

Action Required

The Bureau requests the State Party to provide a state of conservation report with particular reference to the problems in the Bystrinsky Nature Park by 15 September 2001. The Bureau notes that any change to the boundaries of this site requires a full analysis of biodiversity issues, ecosystems, migration routes and indigenous people issues. The Bureau requests the Centre to contact the States Party to obtain such an analysis and to make it available for review by IUCN as it may have important implications for the integrity of this site.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2001

IUCN has received a copy of the State Party report on Kamchatka prepared following the June 2001 Bureau meeting.  It reports that salmon poaching has been increasing on the Peninsula but not within the World Heritage site.  It also states explicitly that gold mining is not carried out on “..areas of especially protected natural territories, which are a part of the World Heritage site, and on nearby areas…”, and that the decrease in world prices for gold and the high costs of gold mining is holding up the development of the industry in the region.  The report also mentions the construction (already commenced) of the Kamchatskaya oblast gas pipeline, and the planned construction of a hydro-thermal power station at Mutnovsky volcano.  Both are outside the World Heritage site.

 

IUCN has received several reports on the Bystrinski Nature Park (BNP). At a Conference on Mining Industry Investments, held from 18 to 20 April 2001 at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski, the BNP status was noted as an obstacle to the development of the Kamchatka region, specifically with respect to constraining infrastructure development (roads and buildings) required for gold, platinum and molybdenum mining.  The situation in and around BNP remains uncertain. The Kamchatka Park Service has appointed a new Park Director. However there has been little progress in dealing with threats to the BNP as the Park is receiving no financial support from the Government.

 

Legal uncertainties continue to surround the BNP: legally, the Park does not have control of its land; the boundaries of the BNP are not officially defined (both on-the-ground and on paper), and zoning of the BNP remains incomplete. This situation constrains the Park Director in taking measures towards monitoring of hunting, prevention of poaching and forest fires. Reports received by IUCN note that hunting and tour operators (registered outside of the District) are actively operating within the BNP without any control or consultation with the Park Administration, and concerns have been expressed by indigenous populations.  

 

It is reported that gold mining operations have started at Manuch, following an unannounced change to the boundary of the BNP.  Neither the Forest Service, the Park authorities, nor leaders of local indigenous communities were informed of the mine development.  The site is 5km from the ‘new boundary’ of the Park in the south-eastern section.  The gold mine operation underway in Manuch is approximately 12km inside the boundary of the BNP as inscribed by the World Heritage Committee.  IUCN notes that in the original nomination of 1995 there was a small area excluded from the Park in the south, which corresponded to the Aginskoye deposit.  In 1996, there was a revision of the boundary of the BNP, releasing a section in the south for mining.  This was the same year that the World Heritage site as a whole was inscribed.  The latest boundary change has cut off a further section in the south for gold mining, moving the boundary inwards by about 17km.  IUCN notes that it is unclear what a boundary change of 17km means in terms of the total area excised from the BNP. 

 

IUCN has received a report that a road is planned connecting Esso, the administrative centre of Bystrinski District located in the centre of the BNP, with Palana, the capital of Koriak Autonomous Region.  The road will bisect the Park, and no monitoring or control programmes have been outlined.  IUCN notes this road will open up large areas to poaching and hunting.  With no monitoring or control programmes in place, and in light of the extremely limited capacities of Park authorities and the Forest Service, the potential for major threats to the fauna and flora of the Park are high.

 

Since February this year, IUCN it has been working with local and indigenous communities in Esso and Anavgai in the Bystrinksi Nature Park within the framework of the CIDA-funded project “Building partnerships for forest conservation and management in Russia”.  The project aims to build partnerships with local communities for the development and marketing of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) such as mushrooms, berries, herbal teas and medicinal plants, thereby improving livelihoods and conserving the forest.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 25 BUR V.158-162

V.158     The Bureau was informed that IUCN received a recent report, which again highlights the threats to the site, including lack of management, hunting and gold mining. Bystrinsky Nature Park, one of the five components of this site, continues to be the area most significantly threatened.  The Park has no staff. Forest fires are reported to consume significant parts of the Park each year. The Park has been divided into 24 hunting leases, half of which are owned by large businesses outside of the region, and permitted by local authorities and not by the Park’s administration or by local indigenous peoples.  Major changes to the boundaries of the site are also under discussion to allow gold mining.

V.159     This recent report also highlighted a new and significant threat to the natural values of the site. A year ago work began on a road to connect Esso, a village inside the Bystrinsky Nature Park, with Palana in the northern half of the Kamchatka region. This road will bisect the Park and will open up large areas to poaching and hunting. It is doubtful that the Parks Service and Forest Service have the capacity to control activities along this road.

V.160     IUCN notes that Bystrinsky Nature Park is one of the four parks in the UNDP/GEF project entitled “Demonstrating sustainable conservation of biological diversity in four protected areas in Russia’a Kamchatka Oblast”. UNDP/GEF has undertaken a one-and-a-half year project development phase, involving many stakeholders, and the project itself, worth US$13 million, is expected to be operational by September 2001. One of the objectives of the project is to assist with the establishment of Bystrinsky Nature Park as a sustainable natural park. IUCN is also working on a project entitled “World Natural Heritage Territories in Russia and Ecological Tourism”.

V.161     A staff member of the UNESCO Office, Moscow, participated in an intersectoral mission to the Kamchatka Peninsula concerning the UNDP/GEF project, which took place from 9 to 19 February 2001. The report points out the urgent need for awareness building among the local government and local populations about World Heritage obligations. It furthermore notes that the newly elected Governor of Kamchatka promotes mining activities as a motor for the Kamchatka economy.

V.162     The Bureau requested the State Party to provide a state of conservation report with particular reference to the problems in the Bystrinsky Nature Park by 15 September 2001. The Bureau noted that any change to the boundaries of this site requires a full analysis of biodiversity issues, ecosystems, migration routes and indigenous people issues. The Bureau requested the Centre to contact the State Party to obtain such an analysis and to make it available for review by IUCN as it may have important implications for the integrity of this site.

Decision Adopted: 25 COM VIII.95

VIII.95 The Committee noted with concern threats to the Bystrinsky Nature Park and noted conflicting reports relating to the gold mine operation and its relationship to the World Heritage boundary. The Committee requested the Centre to work in consultation with the State Party to prepare a mission to the site to review the state of conservation and to ascertain whether a case exists for inscribing this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 25 COM X.B

Property: Volcanoes of Kamchatka [Extension to include Kluchevskoy Nature Park ]

Id. N°: 765 Bis

State Party: Russian Federation

Criteria: N (i) (ii) (iii) (iv)

The Committee approved the extension of the Volcanoes of Kamchatka by the inclusion of the Kluchevskoy Nature Park as the sixth component. In addition to the 1996 inscription under criteria (i), (ii), and (iii), the Committee decided to inscribe the site also under criterion (iv).

Criterion (iv): The site contains an especially diverse range of palearctic flora, including a number of nationally threatened species and at least 16 endemics, and 33 mammal species, including internationally significant populations of sea lions and sea otter and a thriving population of brown bear, as well as 145 bird species. The rivers inside and adjacent contain the world's greatest known diversity of salmonid fish.

This serial inscription includes six protected areas:

Date inscribed

Name of Park

Area

1996

Kronotsky State Biosphere Nature Preserve

1,007 ha

1996

Bystrinsky Nature Park

1,500 ha

1996

Nalychevo Nature Park

265 ha

1996

Southwestern Tundra Nature Reserve

123 ha

1996

Southern Kamchatka Nature Park and the Southern Kamchatka State Nature  Reserve

1,025 ha

2001

Kluchevskoy Nature Park

376 ha