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Decision 41 COM 7B.6
Lake Baikal (Russian Federation) (N 754)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.97, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party regarding existing regulations on water use and management of Lake Baikal, but notes with concern the resolution increasing the allowed fluctuation between the maximum and minimum water levels of Lake Baikal in 2016-2017 and urges the State Party to elaborate an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of potential impacts of existing water use and management regulations on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and not to introduce any further changes in the regulations until their effects on the property are fully understood;
  4. Also notes with significant concern the reported changes in the property’s ecosystem, including algal blooms and decreases in fish stocks, and reiterates its request to the State Party to develop a property-wide ecological monitoring system in order to identify the scale and causes of such changes and the responses required to preserve the ecological integrity of the property;
  5. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the results of the EIAs for each Special Economic Zone (SEZ) located within or overlapping with the property, for review by IUCN, and to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of all SEZs, in order to guide all future developments, including tourism infrastructure projects, in a coherent manner consistent with the conservation of its OUV, which should include a specific assessment of impacts on OUV in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and take into account cumulative impacts of all existing and proposed developments;
  6. Regrets that the State Party did not report on the development of a detailed EIA on the future use of the Baikal Paper and Pulp Mill site and its impact on the OUV of the property, as was requested in Decision 38 COM 7B.76 and reiterated in Decisions 39 COM 7B.22 and 40 COM 7B.97, and also urges the State Party to develop such an assessment as a matter of priority and to submit a copy of it to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, as soon as it is completed;
  7. Welcomes the intention of the State Party of Mongolia to undertake an additional study on the impacts of the Egiin Gol project on the biodiversity of the property, and notes the information provided by the State Party of Mongolia regarding the Shuren hydropower project and the Orkhon river project, including the Terms of References for the development of Regional Environmental Assessments (REAs) and Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) for these projects;
  8. Reiterates furthermore its request to the States Parties of the Russian Federation and Mongolia to jointly develop a transboundary SEA for any future hydropower and water management projects which could potentially affect the property, taking into account any existing and planned projects on the territory of both countries, and requests both States Parties to ensure that the results of such transboundary SEA guide the elaboration of ESIAs of any concrete hydropower and water management projects, including the planned Shuren hydropower project and the Orkhon river project;
  9. Also 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.
Decision Code
41 COM 7B.6
Themes
Conservation
States Parties 1
Properties 1
Year
2017
State of conservation reports
2017 Lake Baikal
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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