1.         Western Tien-Shan (Kazakhstan,Kyrgyzstan,Uzbekistan) (N 1490)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2016

Criteria  (x)

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/1490/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2008-2008)
Total amount approved: USD 30,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1490/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Factors identified at the time of inscription in 2016:

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1490/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

Uzbekistan

On 1 February 2018, the State Party of Uzbekistan submitted a report on the state of conservation of the Uzbek components of this serial property, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1490/documents/, and provides the following information:

Kazakhstan

On 9 April 2018, the State Party of Kazakhstan submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, also available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1490/documents/. With regards to the trilateral MoC, the State Party provides some further details regarding the process by which the draft was developed and notes that signing of the MoC has been delayed since mid-2017, due to significant ongoing changes in the management system of protected areas in Uzbekistan. A copy of the MoC (in Russian) was submitted by the State Party with its report.

Regarding the Kazakh components of the property, the State Party informs that the boundaries of the Sairam-Ugam component have been revised. Specifically, the areas within the Limited Economic Use zone of the Sairam-Ugam National Park (ca. 60,628 ha according to the information provided in the report) are proposed to be included in the buffer zone of the property. Some technical mistakes regarding the boundaries of the property were also noted and maps of the proposed revised and adjusted boundaries have been submitted by the State Party with its report. 

Kyrgyzstan

The State Party of Kyrgyzstan did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the property.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The information provided by the States Parties of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan regarding the elaboration of a trilateral MoC on the management and protection of the property is welcomed. It is, however, regrettable that it has not yet been signed by all three States Parties and it is therefore recommended that the Committee urge the States Parties to complete the signing of the MoC as soon as possible and to expedite the actions required to operationalize the MoC, once duly signed by all three States Parties, particularly with regards to the establishment of the planned joint steering committee, which would assume coordinating functions. Development of a functioning transboundary management framework for the property will require additional efforts and in this regard, it should be recalled that in its Decision 40 COM 8B.9, the Committee also requested the States Parties to work in consultation with IUCN to build capacity on transnational management of the property.

With regards to the information provided by the State Party of Uzbekistan regarding the management provisions for the Bashkizilsay and Maydantal areas of the Chatkal Biosphere Reserve component of the property, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to clarify the role of the railway company in the protection of the property, and provide more detailed information regarding potential changes in the management system that result from these decrees, and possible impacts on the conservation of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. 

The information provided by the State Party of Kazakhstan regarding the revision of the boundaries on the Sayram-Ugam component of the property is noted. However, it should be recalled that any proposed changes to the boundaries of the property should be officially submitted by the States Parties in the form of a proposal for boundary modifications. It is noted with concern that some of the changes outlined in the information provided by the State Party of Kazakhstan appear to propose exclusion of a large area from the boundaries of the property, to be instead included in its buffer zone. It should be stressed that changes to the boundaries should only be proposed with the aim of enhancing representation and protection of the property’s OUV, and that in its Decision 40 COM 8B.9, the Committee requested the States Parties to review and rationalize the boundaries of the components of the property and their buffer zones to ensure that they fully correspond to criterion (x), follow ecological principles and address connectivity. Areas originally included into the property for their paleontological values in relation to criterion (viii) should also be excluded, since the property was inscribed under criterion (x) only. It is therefore recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the States Parties to review and rationalize the boundaries of the property, and to develop, as a matter of priority, a joint proposal for a significant boundary modification, in accordance with Paragraph 165 of the Operational Guidelines. It is further recommended that the Committee encourage the States Parties to consider, as part of the boundary modification process, the potential of the property to also meet criterion (ix), in addition to criterion (x).

Finally, it is regrettable that the State Party of Kyrgyzstan did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the Kyrgyz components of the property. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the States Parties to submit joint reports on the state of conservation of the entire transboundary property for examination by the Committee in the future.

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7B.69

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 8B.9, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Regretting that the State Party of Kyrgyzstan did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the Kyrgyz components of the property, recalls that for transboundary properties, States Parties should submit a joint report, rather than individual reports on their national components, and strongly encourages all three States Parties involved in this serial transnational property to submit joint reports in the future;
  4. Noting the elaboration of a trilateral Memorandum of Cooperation on protection and management of the property and the delay in signing it, urges all three States Parties to complete the signing of the Memorandum as soon as possible, and requests them to expedite the actions required for its operationalization, particularly with regards to the establishment of a joint steering committee which would assume coordinating functions;
  5. Reiterates its request to the States Parties to work in consultation with IUCN to build capacity on transnational management of the property;
  6. Notes the information provided by the State Party of Uzbekistan regarding the decrees adopted for the management of the Bashkizilsay and Maydantal areas of the Chatkal Biosphere Reserve component of the property, and requests the State Party to clarify the role of the Uzbekistan National Railway Company in the protection of the property, and to provide more detailed information regarding the changes in the management system resulting from these decrees, and their possible impacts on the conservation of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  7. Also noting the information provided by the State Party of Kazakhstan regarding the revision of the boundaries on the Sayram-Ugam component of the property, expresses its concern that some of the proposed boundary changes would exclude a significant area of the property, to be instead included in its buffer zone, and also recalls that changes to the boundaries should only be proposed with the aim of enhancing representation and protection of the property’s OUV;
  8. Also reiterates its request to the States Parties to review and rationalize the boundaries of the components of the property and their buffer zones to ensure that they fully correspond to criterion (x), follow ecological principles and address connectivity, exclude areas originally included for their paleontological values and to develop, as a matter of priority, a joint proposal for a significant boundary modification in accordance with Paragraph 165 of the Operational Guidelines, and encourages the States Parties to seek further advice from IUCN on the proposal before submitting it;
  9. Encourages the States Parties to consider as part of the boundary modification process, the potential of the property to also meet criterion (ix), in addition to criterion (x);
  10. Further requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, a joint updated report on the state of conservation of the entire property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020.