Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1979
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/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 46,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/98/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
February 1992: IUCN expert mission; September 1992: Joint UNESCO/IUCN mission; September 1993: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission; May 1996: World Heritage Centre mission; January 2017: Joint 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/98/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017
A joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission visited the property from 17 to 19 January 2017. On 1 February 2017, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property. Both reports are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/98/documents/. The State Party reports the following:
On 20 April 2017, the State Party submitted an Action Plan for improving the Plitvice Lakes National Park conservation status as an addendum to its report. The plan has been adopted by an interdepartmental Operational Working Group established in April 2017. Several activities of this plan are already being implemented, as reported above, and seek to strengthen collaboration among the participating institutions and with other stakeholders.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN
The 2017 joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission confirmed the Committee’s concern over the significant recent expansion of tourism facilities within the property. While concluding that the ecological integrity of the property has so far been preserved, the mission noted the current and potential serious threats to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) arising from these developments together with related threats of excessive number of visitors, water usage, water pollution, road infrastructure and traffic.
In response to Decision 40 COM 7B.95, and to claims that the process of issuing new construction permits did neither adequately involve the management authority of the property nor fully follow the provisions of the Spatial Plan in force, the State Party has initiated an assessment of suspected illegally built facilities within the property and an analysis of the Spatial Plan and its implementation. These efforts, which will inform the potential amendments to the related procedures and legislative framework, should be welcomed and concluded prior to issuing any new construction permits. To date, the issuance of permits has in fact continued, as reported by the mission.
The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Spatial Plan requested by the Committee will be initiated by the State Party only if deemed necessary after completion of the above-mentioned analyses. However, the findings of the mission confirm that an SEA would be necessary in order to fully assess the existing, potential and cumulative impacts of this plan on the property and its OUV. The conclusions of an SEA could also feed into the new Management Plan and the Visitor Management Plan, currently being developed. It is therefore recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to undertake this SEA as a matter of urgency in order to inform the measures required to ensure adequate protection of the OUV of the property.
The mission was briefly informed of a major EU-supported project to rehabilitate water infrastructure within the property. It is recommended that the Committee request further information on this project. Given the rapid increase of developments within the property and in its surroundings, it is also recommended that the Committee request the State Party to undertake rigorous Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), including a specific assessment of impacts on the OUV, in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, for all major developments within the property, including major tourism facilities and other infrastructure, and to submit them to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.
The mission also confirmed the commitment and the strong institutional and scientific capacity of the State Party as a premise to address the issues related to both conservation and physical planning, but emphasized a need to harmonize these two management regimes to be fully consistent with the protection of the OUV and the provisions of the World Heritage Convention through appropriate legislative and other adjustments. It is noted that the State Party has already submitted a proposed Action Plan for the improvement of the state of conservation of the property. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to take urgent action to implement all the mission’s recommendations, and to review the Action Plan once the results of the analysis of the Spatial Plan and its implementation are available.
While the State Party’s current efforts are commendable, in view of the current and potential impacts from the expansion of tourism facilities and the excessive number of visitors on the OUV of the property, it is recommended that the Committee consider the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines, at its 42nd session in 2018 if no substantial progress is achieved by the State Party in implementing the requests of the Committee.
Decision Adopted: 41 COM 7B.3
The World Heritage Committee,