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World Heritage Convention

Decision 42 COM 7B.75
Golden Mountains of Altai (Russian Federation) (N 768rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.5, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Regrets that the State Party report provides little information on the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2012 mission and that most of the information provided is related to one component of the property only, the Katunsky State Nature Reserve;
  4. Urges the State Party to implement all the recommendations of the 2012 mission, as adopted in Decision 36 COM 7B.25, across all components of the property and to provide information of progress achieved to the World Heritage Centre;
  5. Commends the States Parties of the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan for their ongoing transboundary cooperation resulting in the official approval by the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme of the transboundary Biosphere Reserve “Great Altai”, which includes the component of the property Katunsky State Nature Reserve and Katon-Karagaiskiy National Park in Kazakhstan, welcomes enhanced transboundary cooperation with the State Party of Mongolia and encourages again all States Parties in the Altai region to consolidate existing transboundary conservation efforts, including under the World Heritage Convention;
  6. Also welcomes the efforts undertaken by the State Party aimed at involving local communities and other stakeholders in the management of the property, including activities supporting local communities and promoting sustainable livelihoods as well as outreach, promotion and education, and encourages the State Party to continue these efforts, including in other parts of the property;
  7. Noting the information provided by the State Party that the route for the Altai gas pipeline has not yet been determined and that no construction works have been undertaken, but reiterates its concern about legal changes introduced in 2012, which grant the legal basis for construction of linear infrastructure within the Ukok plateau component of the property, also reiterates its position that any decision to go forward with the Altai gas pipeline through the property would represent an ascertained danger to its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines, and therefore a clear case for inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger; and therefore reiterates its request to the State Party to take an unequivocal decision to abandon the plans for the construction of the Altai gas pipeline through the property as a matter of urgency, and to consider alternative routes and to revoke Decree N202 of the Republic of Altai dated 2 August 2012;
  8. Also noting the information provided by the State Party that the Kalgutinskoye deposit of tungsten-molybdenum ores located on the territory of the Ukok Quiet Zone Nature Park is not being developed, however, notes with serious concern that, according to third-party information received by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, a licence would have recently been granted for gold exploration and extraction from a deposit located within the property in close proximity to Lake Teletskoye, reiterates its established position that mining is incompatible with World Heritage status, and requests the State Party to urgently respond and to provide detailed clarifications regarding any existing or proposed mining licences or concessions that overlap with the property and to revoke any mining licences or concessions that overlap with the property and to ensure that mining outside the property is not permitted if it is likely to have negative impacts on the property’s OUV;
  9. Also requests the State Party to clarify third party information raising concerns about planned and ongoing tourism infrastructure development within the property;
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the entire property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019, with a view to considering, in case of the confirmation of ascertained or potential danger to the property’s OUV, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
42 COM 7B.75
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2018 Golden Mountains of Altai
Decisions adopted during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee (Manama, 2018)
Context of Decision