Decision : CONF 201 V.B.31
Virgin Komi Forests (Russian Federation)
The Bureau at its twenty-first session expressed its serious concern about the proposed gold mining project in the World Heritage site and requested the Russian authorities to provide, before 1 May 1998, detailed information on the proposal, including any environmental impact studies that may have been carried out. In addition, the Bureau requested the Russian authorities to keep the relevant authorities in the Komi Republic fully informed of the Bureau's concerns and involve them in discussions aimed at ensuring the integrity of the World Heritage site. A letter from the Deputy Minister for Natural Resources of the Russian Federation stated that a project for the change of boundaries of the site has been submitted for ecological examination. It is also stated that the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Komi Republic “deprived the TERRA company of its rights to produce gold this year”. In addition, a letter of 27 May 1998 from the Deputy Chair of the Russian State Committee for Environmental Protection, indicated that “the realisation of the gold mining project in the World Heritage site has been suspended”.
The Bureau urged the State Party to provide full information on the proposal to change the borders of the site, whether a withdrawal from any mining proposals occurred, and of any potential gold mining projects by 15 September 1998. The Bureau invited the State Party to undertake all necessary measures to fully inform the authorities of the Komi Republic of the status of the site.