Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1998
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/768/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/768/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
2001: UNESCO/UNDP mission; 2007, 2012: 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/768/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015
The State Party did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the property, which was requested by the Committee at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013). The World Heritage Centre received detailed third party information on 13 February and on 6 March 2015 on the state of conservation of the property, and in particular on the plans for the construction of a gas pipeline through the property. This information was shared with the State Party, with a request for verification and comments, on 18 February 2015 and on 10 March 2015, but at the time of preparation of this report, no reply was received. According to the information provided, the Altai pipeline was included in the scheme of future pipeline development until 2030, which was approved in August 2013 by Government Order N° 1416-r, which is available on a government website (http://government.ru/media/files/41d48491818d6eb9f890.pdf). It further informs about the signature, in November 2014, of a Framework Agreement between the Governments of the Russian Federation and China on gas delivery via the western route, which includes the Altai pipeline, as well as of a Memorandum for cooperation in the oil and gaz sector. Also, there have been numerous articles in the specialized press, including statements by the CEO of the pipeline development company Gazprom, that a contract between China and the Russian Federation on the provision of gas via the western route and the Altai gas pipeline could be signed this year.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN
It should be recalled that on 30 April 2013, the State Party reported that “the design works on the Altai pipeline project have been suspended and that no further funding for the design will be provided in the period 2012-2015”. Taking note of the information referred to in the preceding paragraph, it is recommended that the Committee express its concern about the fact that shortly after, the Government of the Russian Federation included the Altai pipeline in its future pipeline development programme.
At the 37th session, the Committee also expressed concern about a decree adopted in 2012 by the Republic of Altai to change the protection regime of the property by allowing the “construction and exploitation of linear objects as well as structures that are an integral part of the process” on the territory of the Ukok Quiet Zone. The decree weakens the legal provisions protecting the property and as such affects its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) (the legal protection being one of the three pillars of OUV).
It is therefore recommended that the Committee reiterate its position that the pipeline crossing the property would compromise its OUV, and a decision to go forward with the project would represent a clear case for inscribing the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger. It is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to make an unequivocal decision to abandon the construction of the Altai gas pipeline through the property. It is further recommended that the Committee request the States Parties of the Russian Federation and China to consider alternative solutions for gas supply projects that would not pose a threat to the property.
Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7B.21
The World Heritage Committee,