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Decision 35 COM 8B.13
Natural Properties - Ancient Beech Forests of Germany (Germany)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-11/35.COM/8B and WHC-11/35.COM/INF.8B2,

2. Approves the extension of the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians, Slovakia and Ukraine, to include the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany, Germany, and becomes the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany, Slovakia, Ukraine and Germany, on the basis of criterion (ix);

3. Takes note of the following provisional Statement of Outstanding Universal Value:

Brief synthesis

The Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany are a serial property comprising fifteen components.  They represent an outstanding example of undisturbed, complex temperate forests and exhibit the most complete and comprehensive ecological patterns and processes of pure stands of European beech across a variety of environmental conditions.  They contain an invaluable genetic reservoir of beech and many species associated and dependent on these forest habitats.

Criterion (ix): The Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany are indispensable to understanding 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 undisturbed, complex temperate forests exhibit the most complete and comprehensive ecological patterns and processes of pure stands of European beech across a variety of environmental conditions and represent all altitudinal zones from seashore up to the forest line in the mountains. Beech is one of the most important elements of forests in the Temperate Broad-leaf Forest Biome and represents an outstanding example of the re-colonisation and development of terrestrial ecosystems and communities after the last ice age, a process which is still ongoing. They represent key aspects of processes essential for the long term conservation of natural beech forests and illustrate how one single tree species came to absolute dominance across a variety of environmental parameters. 

Integrity

The individual components of this serial property are of sufficient size to maintain the natural processes necessary for the long-term ecological viability of the property's habitats and ecosystems. Buffer zones including surrounding protected areas (nature parks, biosphere reserves) will be managed to protect the property and enhance integrity.

Protection and Management requirements

Long-term protection and management is ensured through national legal protection as national parks or core areas of a biosphere reserve. Effective implementation of the integrated management plan and the trilateral integrated management system is required to guide the planning and management of this serial property.  Key management issues include forest fire control and conservation of monumental old trees, conservation and management of mountain meadows, river corridors and freshwater ecosystems, tourism management, research and monitoring. Cooperative management agreements with local groups and tourism agencies can enhance the achievement of management goals and ensure local community engagement in the component parts.

4. Recommends the States Parties of Slovakia, Ukraine and Germany to address the following points:

a) The establishment of the Integrated Management System for the trilateral property that ensures the protection of the functional linkages between the component parts,

b) The establishment of cooperative and transnational research and monitoring plans in order to monitor and report on the transnational serial property as a whole,

c) Set up cooperative international programmes of capacity building to share best practices from countries included in the series, and other countries with significant primeval and ancient beech forests;

5. Commends the States Parties of Ukraine, Slovakia and Germany for their on-going commitment to ensure a comprehensive approach to conserving the primeval and ancient beech forests of Europe and for their exploration of the potential for the World Heritage Convention to further these efforts by cooperating with the support of IUCN and the World Heritage Centre, with other interested States Parties towards a finite serial transnational nomination in order to assure the protection of this unique forest ecosystem.

Documents
WHC-11/35.COM/20
Decisions Adopted by the Word Heritage Committee at its 35th Session (UNESCO, 2011)
Context of Decision
WHC-11/35.COM/8B
WHC-11/35.COM/INF.8B2
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