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Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe - extension (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

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The Tentative Lists of States Parties are published by the World Heritage Centre at its website and/or in working documents in order to ensure transparency, access to information and to facilitate harmonization of Tentative Lists at regional and thematic levels.

The sole responsibility for the content of each Tentative List lies with the State Party concerned. The publication of the Tentative Lists does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the World Heritage Committee or of the World Heritage Centre or of the Secretariat of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its boundaries.

Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party


The future nomination, which is subject of this Tentative List entry, represents an extension to the existing World Heritage property of the “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe” (Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine, 1133ter). This property was inscribed by the World Heritage Committee first in 2007 as “Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians”, extended once in 2011 by the “Ancient Beech Forests of Germany” and extended another time in 2017 by the “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe” to the present transnational site.

The future extension corresponds to the decision 41  COM 8B.7, where future extensions toward a finite series are noted. With this extension 37 component parts in 10 European States Parties add new values to displaying the history and evolution of the European Beech.

Together with the already inscribed component parts in 12 European States Parties the component parts of this extension will represent an outstanding example of relatively undisturbed, complex temperate forests and exhibit a wide spectrum of comprehensive ecological patterns and processes of pure and mixed stands of European beech across a variety of environmental conditions. They contain an invaluable genetic reservoir of beech and many species, which are associated with and dependent on these forest habitats.

Name(s) of the component part(s)

Strict Nature Reserve - Primeval forest "Janj" - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Srpska, Šipovo
Between N44 07 and N44 10 - E17 15 and E17 17 

Description of the component part(s)

The strict nature reserve "Prašuma Janj" is located in the territory of Šipovo municipality on the western slopes of the Stolovas massif in the western part of the Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is state-owned and managed by the Public Enterprise "Forests of the Republic of Srpska", the forest farm "Gorica". It is located between 44 "07' and 44" 10'N north latitude and between 17" 15' and 17" 17' east longitude. The height amplitude of the reserve is from 1,180 to 1,510 meters altitude.

By decision of the People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, primeval forest Janj, by decision no. 245/54 dated July 17, 1954, protected as an object for scientific research and natural rarity, appealing to visitors. That same year, it was enrolled in the register of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities. By the decision of the Government of the Republic of Srpska on the protection of the Strict Nature Reserve " Prašuma Janj" ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska " No. 123/12), this natural resource in the territory of Šipovo municipality  is protected under the highest category I, according to the classification of the International Union for Nature Conservation IUCN). The total area of the "Janj" reserve is 295.0 hectares, of which 57.2 hectares accounts for the core of the primeval forest, 237.0 hectares for the area outside the core, and 0.8 hectares for non-productive area (road).

The basic value is that forest ecosystems are untouched, preserved and unique. This is area of unmodified  natural features, with representative eco-systems, intended exclusively to preserve the original nature, ecological balance, but also scientific research, which does not disturb basic properties and values, monitoring the phenomena  and processes in nature, including education that does not endanger free development of natural processes. The living  world  expressed through  vegetation (phytocoenoses and plant communities, ecosystems, flora, fauna and others) is varied and rich.

The first detailed vegetation research of the reserve was performed by the Institute of Forestry in Sarajevo, led by prof.  Dr. Pavia Fukareka. The results of this study were provided in a study titled "Studying the stands of the rainforest type", Sarajevo, 1967. Vegetation reserves have not changed significantly since then. Vegetation "Pigment Janj" is classified into three alliances: Vaccinia - Piceion Br.- Bl (1938) 1939 - alliance of spruce forest, Fagion illiricum Ht. (1938) 1950 - alliance of beech forest of the lllyrian region, Pinion silvestris (Aich.1933)  Lksc. 1972 - alliance of white pine forests.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

Criterion (ix): The property is indispensable for the understanding of the history and evolution of the genus Fagus  which, given its  wide distribution  in the  Northern Hemisphere and its  ecological importance, is globally significant. These largely undisturbed, complex temperate forests exhibit comprehensive.ecological patterns and processes of pure and mixed stands of European beech across a variety of environmental gradients,such as climatic and geological conditions, throughout much of the European beech forest range. Forests are included from all altitudinal zones from the coast up to the forest line in the mountains and,furthermore,include the best remaining examples from the range limits of the European beech forest. Beech is one of the most important features in the Temperate Broadleaf Forest  Biome  and  represents an  outstanding example  of  the  re-colonization  and development of terrestrial ecosystems and communities since the last Ice Age. The continuing northern and westward expansion of beech from its original glacial refuge areas in the eastern and southern parts of Europe cari be tracked along natural corridors and stepping stones spanning the continent.The dominance of beech across extensive areas of Europe is a living testimony of the tree's genetic adaptability, a process which is still ongoing.


Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

The selected component parts represent the diversity found across Europe in terms of different climatic and geological conditions and altitudinal zones. Inclusion of these components representing the variability of European beech forest ecosystems across these different environmental conditions contributes to the integrity of the property as a whole in terms of the full representation of the ecological processes that convey the OUV of the property. However, each component part also needs to demonstrate integrity at the local level by representing the full suite of natural forest development processes in its particular geographical and ecological setting within the series. All component parts are of sufficient size (> 50 ha) to maintain such natural processes necessary for their ltong-term ecological viability.

All component parts have buffer zones of various configurations including surrounding protected areas (national parks, nature parks, biosphere reserves and others). These buffer zones will be regularly reviewed to ensure protection under changing environmental conditions such as climate change. The boundaries of buffer zones are, where possible, aligned with existing protected area boundaries. Special emphasis was given during the zonation of the new component parts to ensure effective ecological connectivity between beech forests and the surrounding complementary habitats to allow natural development and adaptation to environmental change.

While the history of distribution and expansion of beech across Europe demonstrates an outstanding example of the re-colonization and development of terrestrial ecosystems since the last Ice Age, more recent changes in the distribution pattern of beech across Europe relate to direct influences of human disturbance and the more complex effects of anthropogenically induced climate change. To effectively protect the components of the property from negative influence, a comprehensive analysis of threats has been undertaken.

The basic natural value of the "Prašuma Janj" reserve is autochthony of the beech-fir-spruce forest in the phytocenological sense, which due to its original and unchanged phytocenological, structural  and ecological characteristics represents the autochthonous beech-fir-spruce primeval forest, significant for our area. Trees of beech, fir and spruce in the reserve, as edifiers and bearers of the distinctive features of the community, of exceptional dimensions, are a sort of phenomenon. Scientific-research function is reflected in monitoring and conducting various researches such as phytocenological, ecological one and research in the field of conservation biology. The process of spontaneous stand development is primarily monitored including scientific processes that take place. The vocational-educational function is developed through presentation and popularization of values, publication of guides, postcards, maps etc. The reserve is easily accessible and can be used for various educational programs. The ecological function is reflected in the importance of conservation of autochthonous stands of beech-fir-spruce primeval forest type. For this reason, these stands should be protected  and have significant and invaluable ecological value as well as the value in preserving the biodiversity and ecosystem stability. The  aesthetic function is reflected and depends on the biological-ecological and aesthetic­ physiognomic values of the reserves ,and in particular, the individual beech, fir and spruce trees that dominate  and stand out with their beauty and distinctive appearance. The preservation  of  this protected area has a special aesthetic significance for the wider area.

Pursuant to the Law on Nature Protection, "Official Gazette of Republic of Srpska" No 113/08, Article 26, paragraph 1:"A. Within the area of strict nature reserve (Ia) "Prašuma Janj" first degree protection regime, meaning the land area with exceptional or representative ecosystems, geological or physiological characteristics and species used primarily for scientific purposes and monitoring of the environment. The first degree protection regime is established throughout the area of strict nature, “Prašuma Janj".

Justification of the selection of the component part(s) in relation to the future nomination as a whole

In the selection process of suitable primeval and ancient beech forests in Europe, a classification system defining Beech Forest Regions (BFR) in Europe has been developed. Each BFR is characterized by its specific climatic and floristic situation  and showing an individual history of postglacial beech forest development differing in time of first beech arrival and the different genetic exotypes of beech, as beech was re-colonising Europe after the last ice-age from different refuge areas.

It is considered that a finite serial transnational European nomination will include candidates from all BFR. Therefore, the best suitable beech forest sites in each BFR have been selected to represent the different ecotypes and postglacial development  processes in a most representative way. Each component part within one BFR brings specific aspects and significantly adds additional value to the series as a whole. These specific aspects are shown in the following:
- the basic value of the primeval forest Janj is that it is intact, preserved and unique forest ecosystem. 
- there is no disturbance to the regime of strict nature reserves in this area.
- including primeval forest Janj in the existing WH site will contribute to the full representation of all beech forest regions in Europe.

Comparison with other similar properties

The comparison with similar properties has already been provided in the nomination dossiers 1133 (2007), 1133bis (2011) and 1133ter (2016).