1.         Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor (Montenegro) (C 125ter)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1979-2003

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/125/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1979-1982)
Total amount approved: USD 70,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/125/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

2003: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS mission; January 2006: Management Planning Course; February 2008: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS mission; March 2013: ICOMOS Advisory mission; October-November 2018: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/125/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

A joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission visited the property in October-November 2018 (mission report available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/125/documents/). Subsequently, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 29 March 2019, together with 5 annexes (Annexes 4 and 5 were not provided in translation), which is also available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/125/documents/. Progress in a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:

Some other issues are also reported by the State Party:

In addition, it should be noted that the World Heritage Centre was contacted by several local stakeholders concerned with the drafting of the Spatial Plan, various development projects and the property’s state of conservation.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

Progress has been made on a number of fronts, and ongoing dialogue between the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS is helping to inform results. The recommendations of the 2018 mission cover the many challenges faced by the property and are being taken into consideration by the State Party as work progresses. Ongoing efforts to integrate World Heritage approaches into national and local legislation and planning for the long-term protection and management of the property should be recognized.

However, further improvements are needed. The draft Spatial Plan for Kotor Municipality was adopted by the Government of Montenegro on 4 April 2019. ICOMOS will provide in-depth analysis in a technical review but it is likely that the plan will need to integrate additional multidisciplinary contributions and guarantee genuine public consultation. It should not be forgotten that there are other municipalities within the World Heritage property and similar planning should be taken forward for the whole property, buffer zone and wider setting. These issues should also be addressed within the revised Management Plan and the upgraded HIA “for Harmonizing Policy/Planning Framework and Instruments.” Similarly, it is important to monitor the progress made by the working group preparing the new Amendments of the Law on Protection of Natural and Culturo-historic Region of Kotor.

With regard to the number of development projects that continue to be proposed in and around the property, it is positive to see that the projects for St John’s Fortress cable car and the Glavati-Prčanj tourist village have been abandoned in order to protect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). However, it is of concern that there is a dissonance between the conclusions of the HIAs carried out for these projects and the ICOMOS technical reviews, with the State Party making decisions on the basis of ICOMOS’ recommendations, rather than the HIA conclusions. Impact assessment methodologies were created in order to support better decision-making and therefore the HIA process needs to be improved to provide opportunities to build consensus based on solid values analysis, clear evidence-based evaluations of impacts and solutions that bring benefits to both the heritage and the local community. It is hoped that the recent workshop on HIA will have provided support to the State Party in this area and that they will continue to promote capacity-building for HIA where it is needed. This is particularly important for the HIAs currently being developed for Verige bridge and the Morinj accommodation complex.

Finally, while significant effort is being devoted to work in all these key areas, there is a need to bring together these results into the management plan currently undergoing revision, so that it becomes a fully operational instrument for the efficient management of the entire World Heritage property and its buffer zone, with binding policies and provisions endorsed at national and local government level within the changing legal framework. In addition, the management plan should include an assessment of the state of conservation of both tangible and intangible attributes (in particular disused or decaying historic buildings) and specific actions to ensure their conservation. It should also address disaster risk reduction and the challenges of tourism management.

Decision Adopted: 43 COM 7B.87

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.26, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Welcomes the ongoing efforts of the State Party in many areas, including drafting the Spatial Plan for Kotor Municipality, preparing new Amendments of the Law on Protection of Natural and Culturo-historic Region of Kotor, initiating the revision of the Management Plan, and upgrading the Heritage Impact Assessment for Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor for Harmonizing Policy/Planning Framework and Instruments, and requests that the State Party submit revised versions of these documents to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  4. Also welcomes the decisions to abandon projects for the St John’s Fortress cable car and the Glavati-Prčanj tourist facility in order to protect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), and encourages the State Party to continue improving the impact assessment process so that it supports good decision-making with regard to change within and around the property;
  5. Notes the State Party’s interest in allowing an accommodation complex to be built at Morinj, but urges the preparation of a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) before any irreversible decisions are made, and also requests the State Party to submit as soon as possible the HIAs both for Morinj and for the Verige bridge to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Further requests that the Management Plan, which is also being revised, should incorporate the recommendations of the 2018 Reactive Monitoring mission, so that it becomes a fully operational instrument for the efficient management of the entire World Heritage property and its buffer zone, with binding policies and provisions endorsed at national and local government level within the changing legal framework, which, in addition to tackling development issues in harmony with the Kotor Spatial Plan, should also address the conservation of the tangible and intangible attributes that convey the OUV and other values, as well as disaster risk reduction and tourism management;
  7. Also urges the State Party to fully implement all the recommendations of the 2018 mission, including the immediate and permanent suspension of the administrative rule entitled “Silence of Administration” in the case of issuance of any kind of construction permits or project developments within the World Heritage property and its buffer zone;
  8. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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 44th session in 2020.