1.         Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia) (N 98bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (vii)(viii)(ix)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1992-1997

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/98/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1992-1998)
Total amount approved: USD 46,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/98/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

February 1992: IUCN expert mission; September 1992: UNESCO/IUCN mission; September 1993: WHC/IUCN mission; May 1996: World Heritage Centre mission 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/98/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 15 February 2016, the World Heritage Centre sent a letter to the State Party requesting clarifications regarding the “Physical Plan for areas with specific features of the Plitvice Lakes National Park”, following receipt of third party information raising concerns over potential implications of the Plan for the protection of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). On 6 May 2016, in response to the letter from the World Heritage Centre, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property (a summary is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/98/documents/), providing the following information:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The expansion of tourism facilities within the property raises serious concerns, including the fact that concerns over issuing of construction permits have repeatedly been expressed by the management authority of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, but have not been addressed. The reported scale of construction within the property appears significant, and is considered to represent a potential danger to its OUV in accordance with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines, given the sensitivity of the property’s unique hydrological regime and geological features.

The information provided by the State Party that an administrative supervision has recently been requested and will be carried out in order to evaluate the issuing of construction permits for facilities within the property by the regional planning authority is noted. It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee urge the State Party to undertake such evaluation of procedures and competences as a matter of priority and to ensure that no new permits are issued until this process has been completed. It is also recommended that the Committee request the State Party to ensure, through the development of appropriate mechanisms, that the management authority of the property is included in the future decision-making processes regarding permissions for any development within the property. 

While noting that no such requirement existed at the time of the initiation of the Spatial Plan for the Plitvice Lakes National Park, the fact that the Spatial Plan was adopted in 2014 while no SEA had been carried out during its preparation is of serious concern. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to undertake such an assessment, including an assessment of potential impacts on the OUV and integrity of the property, in line with IUCN’s Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, in order to inform the measures that will need to be taken to ensure adequate protection of the OUV of the property. 

It is further recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess the threat posed to the property’s OUV by the recent expansion of tourism facilities within the property and to confirm whether or not the property meets the conditions for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The mission should also provide recommendations to the State Party with regards to the preparation of the SEA.

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 7B.95

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Notes with concern the significant expansion of tourism facilities within the property and the fact that the concerns of the management authority of the property with regards to the procedures for issuing construction permits have not been addressed by the relevant planning authorities;
  3. Considers that the scale of development of tourism facilities that has taken place in the property since 2014 represents a potential danger to its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), in accordance with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;
  4. Notes the information that an administrative supervision will be carried out in order to evaluate the issuing of construction permits for facilities within the property by the regional planning authority, and urges the State Party to undertake such an evaluation of procedures and competences as a matter of priority and to ensure that no new permits are issued until this process has been completed and proposed developments are confirmed to not have a negative impact on the OUV of the property;
  5. Requests the State Party to ensure, through the development of appropriate mechanisms, that the management authority of the property is included in the future decision-making processes regarding permissions for any development within the property;
  6. Also requests the State Party to develop a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Spatial Plan for the Plitvice Lakes National Park, including a specific assessment of potential impacts on the OUV and integrity of the property, in line with IUCN’s Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, in order to inform the measures required to ensure the adequate protection of the OUV of the property;
  7. Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to evaluate the threat posed to the property’s OUV by the recent expansion of tourism facilities within the property, provide recommendations to the State Party with regards to the SEA, and to confirm whether the property meets the conditions for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  8. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an updated report 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.

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 8D

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/8D,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 8D, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Acknowledges the excellent work accomplished by States Parties in the clarification of the boundaries of their World Heritage properties and commends them for their efforts to improve the credibility of the World Heritage List;
  4. Recalls that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are not able to examine proposals for minor or significant modifications to boundaries of World Heritage properties whenever the delimitations of such properties as inscribed remain unclear;
  5. Takes note of the clarifications of property boundaries and areas provided by the States Parties as presented in the Annex of Document WHC/16/40.COM/8D:

    ARAB STATES

    • Syrian Arab Republic: Site of Palmyra;

    EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA

    • Canada: Dinosaur Provincial Park;
    • Croatia: Plitvice Lakes National Park;
    • Czech Republic: Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc; Litomyšl Castle;
    • France: Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France; Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d'Alliance in Nancy;
    • Germany: Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar and Dessau; Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg;
    • Holy See: Vatican City;
    • Italy: City of Verona;
    • Russian Federation: Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow;
    • Spain: Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain; Las Médulas; La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia; San Millán Yuso and Suso Monasteries;
    • Sweden: Skogskyrkogården;
    • United States of America: La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico; Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site; Chaco Culture;

    LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

    • Belize: Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System;
    • Cuba: Old Havana and its Fortification System;
    • Mexico: Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan;
    • Peru: Huascarán National Park;
    • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of): Coro and its Port;

  6. Requests the States Parties which have not yet answered the questions raised in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory to provide all clarifications and documentation as soon as possible, and by 1 December 2016 at the latest, for their subsequent examination, if the technical requirements are met, by the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee in 2017.