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World Heritage Convention

Decision 41 COM 7B.49
Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands (Russian Federation) (C 632)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.56, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Acknowledges the progress made by the State Party to address the decisions of the Committee, notably the issuing of a Decree establishing a working group in charge to progress with classification of Solovetsky archipelago and adjoining territories as Cultural Heritage objects of federal significance, namely as a religious and historical site;
  4. Notes the progress with the development of the Master Plan of the Solovetsky settlement and the Management plan, and requests the State Party to pursue this work and submit these draft documents to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Notes with great concern the negative condition of the monastic irrigation system, with its lakes and canals, and also requests the State Party, as a matter of urgency, to develop a Conservation Plan for the overall property, to adequately plan and implement conservation measures, as well as to define and implement, immediately, all relevant preventive conservation measures regarding the monastic irrigation system, as well as to secure all relevant funds for mid- and long-term conservation and maintenance measures;
  6. Welcomes the assurance of the State Party that Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) will be undertaken for all projects;
  7. Notes with concern that the Solovetsky main island is currently facing many development projects related to the need to upgrade housing, education and health facilities, and tourism facilities, on the island, and also notes with concern that proposals for large building complexes are being considered in advance of the Master Plan, the Management Plan and the Conservation Plan being completed, approved and implemented; and without a formally approved Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  8. Noting that new revised plans have been submitted for the Museum Complex, recognizes the efforts taken by the State Party to implement the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee and the Advisory Bodies on the Museum Complex project, and requests the State Party to report progress to the World Heritage Centre by 1 December 2017, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  9. Further requests the State Party not to resume work on this project until all revised proposals and possible alternative location have been fully reviewed by the Advisory Bodies and examined by the World Heritage Committee;
  10. Requests furthermore the State Party to invite a World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, in consultation with IUCN, in the light of the considerable challenges facing the property, which should asses the overall issues concerning the Solovetsky archipelago, consider the revised plans for the museum building and the full scope of the development that is being proposed over the next decade, to advise on whether and how this might be satisfactorily accommodated within the main island, and whether the current management structures are effective enough to ensure new development does not erode the special characteristics of the main island and impact adversely on OUV, and, if not, how these might be strengthened;
  11. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 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 43rd session in 2019.
Decisions adopted during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee (Krakow, 2017)
Context of Decision