1.         Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe (Albania,Austria,Belgium,Bulgaria,Croatia,Germany,Italy,Romania,Slovakia,Slovenia,Spain,Ukraine) (N 1133ter)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2007

Criteria  (ix)

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/1133/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1133/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/1133/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 31 January 2014, the States Parties of Slovakia and Ukraine submitted reports on the state of conservation of the property, which are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1133/documents. The State Party of Germany confirmed that these reports were jointly prepared in coordination among the three States Parties concerned. The reports note, in relation to the Committee’s request for enhanced trilateral cooperation that a Joint Management Committee for the entire property and a trilateral working group on research have commenced operation, based on a trilateral Statement of Intent. This Statement was agreed by the Parties at the international scientific conference "Beech Primeval and Ancient Forests of Europe: Problems of their Conservation and Sustainable Use" (Ukraine, September 2013) organized in part with the financial support by UNESCO under its Participation Programme.

These reports also note the initiation of coordinated efforts on research, management and capacity building, and the ongoing research project "World Heritage Beech Forests", which is aimed at a future comprehensive serial nomination of European beech forests. 

The State Party of Slovakia does not provide any information in relation to the management and integrity of its component sites of the property, and in particular in relation to Poloniny National Park (PNP), nor on the status of infrastructure development projects (antenna, roads and mass tourism infrastructure) in the vicinity of the property’s components as was requested by the Committee in its Decision 37 COM 7B.26

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The strong commitment and progress made by the States Parties of Germany, Slovakia and Ukraine towards enhancing their trilateral cooperation is worth noting, including efforts towards an integrated management regime for the component sites of the property, as well as towards a finite, comprehensive serial nomination on European beech forests. It is recommended that the Committee encourage the three States Parties to continue these activities, particularly the development and the effective implementation of an integrated management plan, aimed at preserving the ecological patterns and ecological processes of the beech forests of the property. The World Heritage status of the property’s component sites should be communicated more clearly and mainstreamed into sectoral policy and management.

However, the Committee is recommended to express regret that the State Party of Slovakia did not provide any information on the concerns raised in Decision 37 COM 7B.26. Concern remains about the integrity and management of the component sites in Slovakia, and particularly about Poloniny National Park (PNP).

According to information received, some steps towards developing a comprehensive vision of development around the Slovak parts of the property have been taken by the State Party. It is recommended that the Committee re-emphasize these requests and urge the State Party to ensure that the newly developed management plan of PNP is consistent with the overall management framework of this serial property. Given the lack of information from the State Party, the Committee is recommended to request a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the Slovak component parts of the property.

The German components of the property appear under no significant threat, except that their small size might present challenges to maintain their integrity in the future. This also applies to other component sites in Slovakia and Ukraine, the former of which are currently also facing challenges linked to insufficient human and financial resources as well as the lack of integration of the property within local socio-economic development. The Committee is therefore recommended to encourage the three States Parties to use their cooperation to address existing capacity gaps and to jointly promote improved mainstreaming of the management of the property.

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.75

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.26, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Welcomes the progress achieved by the States Parties of Germany, Slovakia and Ukraine towards a closer transnational cooperation, in particular the establishment of an integrated management system for the trilateral property, as well as research and monitoring plans and capacity building to share best practices, and encourages the States Parties to continue strengthening their technical cooperation, particular in the field of forest management;
  4. Regrets that the State Party of Slovakia did not provide any information on the concerns raised in Decision 37 COM 7B.26 and reiterates its concern about the integrity and management of the component sites in Slovakia, and particularly about Poloniny National Park (PNP);
  5. Reiterates its request to the State Party of Slovakia to ensure that a comprehensive vision for development and effective protection of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the Slovak components of the property and in particular its integrity be included in the management plan of Poloniny National Park requested by the Council of Europe in order to ensure that the requirements of the Convention for the co-ordinated management of the serial transnational property, and those of the Council of Europe can be met in one single management system;
  6. Urges the State Party of Slovakia to intensify efforts to strengthen cooperation between different Ministries and Agencies relevant for the management of the property and to ensure that the World Heritage status of the property is recognized and supported in their strategies and plans, and to urgently halt unsustainable logging activities within component sites of the World Heritage property, particularly Poloniny National Park, as requested by the Committee in its Decision 37 COM 7B.26;
  7. Reiterates that, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines , an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be conducted and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for all development projects within the property and its surroundings that could affect its OUV, in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and also urges the State Party of Slovakia to immediately halt all infrastructure development that could affect the OUV of the property until such EIA is conducted and submitted;
  8. Requests the State Party of Slovakia to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the component sites of the property in Slovakia and in particular Poloniny National Park, to assess the threats to the property, in particular issues related to its integrity and management and the implementation of the specific recommendations of Decision 37 COM 7B.26;
  9. Also requests the State Party of Slovakia, in consultation with the States Parties of Germany and Ukraine, to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015.