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

October 2014: World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

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 2015

A joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission visited the Slovak components of the property in October 2014. The States Parties of Slovakia and Ukraine submitted state of conservation reports. All these reports are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1133/documents.  

The State Party of Slovakia reports the following:

The 2014 mission concluded that whilst the values of the Slovak components of the property had been relatively well preserved, an integrated management system that could address existing threats was still lacking. It also concluded that the current boundary design of the Slovak components does not adequately reflect its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).  

The report submitted by the State Party of Ukraine provides additional information on the preparation of the extension of the property to other countries and on the activities that have been undertaken by the States Parties involved.

On 23 March 2015 the State Party of Germany submitted information on a planned tourism infrastructure project aimed at improving visitors’ safety at the King’s Throne cliffs in the Jasmund National Park component of the property.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The on-going cooperation between the States Parties of Germany, Slovakia and Ukraine and the signing of the Joint Declaration of Intent is worth commending, and it is recommended that the Committee encourage the States Parties to continue their cooperation.

Some progress has been achieved by the State Party of Slovakia in enhancing cooperation between the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the latter being responsible for forest lands within the boundaries of Poloniny National Park and Vihorlat Protected Landscape Area. The Cooperation and Collaboration Framework Agreement signed between the two Ministries includes a number of tasks to be jointly accomplished, including cooperation in the preparation and implementation of a management plan for the property. Unsustainable forest management practices within the Slovak components of the property have been one of the major concerns previously expressed by the Committee. Therefore, this represents a positive step towards finding a solution that would ensure protection of its OUV; particularly since the reactive monitoring mission noted that logging continued to pose threats to the OUV and integrity of the property and that, although no logging was taking place within the property, forest management plans applicable to some areas overlapping with the property provided for logging within its boundaries.

Despite a few positive steps, the absence of an integrated management framework for the Slovak part of the property and of management plans for its individual components raises concerns. Although a draft Action Plan has been prepared for the Poloniny National Park, it is a non-legislative instrument and a Management Programme for this component is yet to be prepared. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party of Slovakia to ensure that no logging operations are permitted within the Slovak components of the property until an integrated management framework for these components has been developed, in consultation with the States Parties of Germany and Ukraine, that would provide an adequate level of protection for the OUV of the property and also take into account other international designations, such as Biosphere Reserve and European Diploma.

The reactive monitoring mission further noted that the current boundary design of the Slovak components does not provide adequate protection of the property’s OUV. It is therefore recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party of Slovakia to develop a proposal for boundary modification of its components, taking into account the advice that will be provided by the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Advisory mission the State Party of Slovakia has expressed its intent to invite in 2015. It is also noted that the State Party of Slovakia intends to propose further components for inclusion in the property within the framework of the extension currently being elaborated of the existing trilateral site to other countries. It is therefore recommended that the reconfiguration of the existing Slovak components of the property be undertaken within that process to ensure consistency with the overall design of the transnational serial extension.

The reactive monitoring mission underlined the importance of involving local stakeholders in Slovakia into the process of the preparation of any key plans and management instruments which could help improve the recognition of the World Heritage values of the property among local communities. 

IUCN has also reviewed the information provided by the State Party of Germany on the planned tourism infrastructure development in the Jasmund National Park and considers that this development would not pose a threat to the property’s OUV.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7B.19

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.75, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the States Parties of Germany, Slovakia and Ukraine for their cooperation concerning the protection and management of the property and for signing the Joint Declaration of Intent and encourages the States Parties to continue their efforts;
  4. Welcomes the progress achieved by the State Party of Slovakia towards enhancing cooperation between relevant Ministries responsible for the management of Slovak components of the property, but notes with concern that an integrated management framework for the Slovak components of the property is still lacking and that forest management plans providing for logging apply to some areas within the property boundaries;
  5. Endorses the recommendations of the 2014 reactive monitoring mission and requests the State Party of Slovakia to implement them;
  6. Also requests the State Party of Slovakia to ensure that no logging operations take place within the property’s boundaries until this issue is resolved through the development, in consultation with the States Parties of Germany and Ukraine, of an integrated management framework for the Slovak components of the property, focused on nature conservation and taking into account all international designations, such as World Heritage property, Biosphere Reserve and European Diploma;
  7. Notes that the current delineation of the Slovak components of the property does not provide for adequate protection of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and further requests the State Party of Slovakia to develop a proposal for boundary modification of its components, in close cooperation with the States Parties of Germany and Ukraine, as well as other States Parties who are currently preparing a proposal for an extension of the property;
  8. Takes note of the State Party of Slovakia’s intention to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Advisory mission to provide advice on the management of the Slovak components of the property and on the development of a proposal for boundary modification;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party of Slovakia to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2016, an updated 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 41st session in 2017.