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Decision 41 COM 7B.3
Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia) (N 98bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.95, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Notes with significant concern the conclusions of the 2017 joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission that, while the ecological integrity of the property has so far been preserved, the property and its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) are threatened by the significant expansion of tourist facilities, excessive number of visitors, associated pressures from unsustainable water use, water pollution, traffic as well as pressures to expand road infrastructure;
  4. Considers that inappropriate and poorly regulated development of tourist facilities inside the property is causing visual impacts and pressures on the sensitive hydrogeology of the area, and therefore represents a potential danger to the OUV of the property, in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;
  5. Acknowledging the strong institutional and scientific capacity of the State Party as a premise to address the issues related to both conservation and physical planning, appreciates the State Party’s stated commitment to address the threats to the property by initiating a number of actions to remedy the situation, as noted below;
  6. Notes that a process to develop the Management Plan and the Visitor Management Plan for the property has been initiated, and requests the State Party to provide these draft plans to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, as soon as they become available;
  7. Also notes that an analysis of the Spatial Plan and its implementation, as well as the inspectional supervision of suspected illegally built facilities within the property have been initiated, and urges the State Party to ensure that no new construction permits are issued until this process, which is expected to inform the potential amendments to the related procedures and legislative framework, has been completed and proposed developments are confirmed to not have a negative impact on the OUV of the property;
  8. Reiterates its request to the State Party to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Spatial Plan, including a specific assessment of potential impacts on the OUV and on the ecological and visual integrity of the property, in line with IUCN’s Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and to submit this to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN;
  9. Also requests the State Party to provide further information on the major EU-supported project to rehabilitate water infrastructure within the property;
  10. Further requests the State Party to undertake rigorous Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), including a specific assessment of impacts on OUV in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, of all major developments within the property, such as the upgrade of the water infrastructure, the construction of the presentation centre and the reconstruction of entrances to the park proposed within the Action Plan, and to submit them to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  11. Taking note of the proposed Action Plan to improve the property’s conservation status, requests furthermore the State Party to fully and effectively implement all recommendations made by the 2017 joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission as a matter of priority, and to review the Action Plan based on the results of the analysis of the Spatial Plan and its implementation as soon as they are available;
  12. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, 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 42nd session in 2018, with a view to considering, in the absence of substantial progress in the implementation of the above, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
41 COM 7B.3
Themes
Conservation
States Parties 1
Year
2017
State of conservation reports
2017 Plitvice Lakes National Park
Documents
WHC/17/41.COM/18
Decisions adopted during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee (Krakow, 2017)
Context of Decision
WHC-17/41.COM/7B
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