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World Heritage Convention

Decision 42 COM 7B.76
Lake Baikal (Russian Federation) (N 754)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.6, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Noting with serious concern the resolution extending the use of increased limits on the fluctuation between the maximum and minimum water levels of Lake Baikal for 2018-2020, urges the State Party to stop introducing further changes of the limits on fluctuation until the impacts of all existing water use and management regulations on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property are fully understood through a complete and comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), undertaken in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and requests the State Party to submit this EIA to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, by 1 December 2019;
  4. Welcomes the information, publically available on the official website of the federal agency responsible for issuing licenses for mineral resources extraction, that the mining license for Kholodninskoe deposit has been revoked and also requests the State Party to confirm this information;
  5. Also welcomes the environmental monitoring activities undertaken at the property, but notes with significant concern the reported 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;
  6. Also notes with serious concern the reported reduction in area of the water protection zone of Lake Baikal, and also urges the State Party to provide detailed information on these changes and their potential to impact on the OUV of the property;
  7. Also requests the State Party to provide an update on:
    1. Planned forest management and forest fire control measures,
    2. Assessed impacts from past fires on the lake ecosystem, and
    3. Preparation of guidelines for the future development of management plans for all protected areas around Lake Baikal, with a view to develop an Integrated Management Plan for the whole property, including a fire management and prevention plan;
  8. Regrets that the State Party did not submit either the results of the EIAs for each Special Economic Zone (SEZ) located within or overlapping with the property or a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for all SEZs regarding existing and future developments and their cumulative impacts on the OUV of the property, and further urges the State Party to complete these assessments as a matter of priority and to submit them to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, as soon as they are available;
  9. Appreciates the development of an Action Plan for the remediation of the former Baikal pulp and paper mill site as well as the consultations for an EIA, and further requests the State Party to submit this EIA, including an assessment of possible options for the future uses of the site and their potential impacts on the OUV of the property, to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, by 1 December 2019;
  10. Takes note of the intention of the State Party of Mongolia to undertake an additional study on the impacts of the Egiin Gol hydropower plant project (EGHPP), including impacts on the biodiversity of the property, and requests furthermore the State Party of Mongolia to take into account the findings and recommendations of the 2015 mission, especially regarding assessing impacts on the habitats of endangered migratory freshwater species of the Selenga/Lake Baikal complex, and to submit this study to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, as soon as it is available;
  11. Also welcomes the establishment of a joint Mongolian-Russian working group on the planned hydro-technical facilities in the Selenga River basin, also reiterates its request to the States Parties of the Mongolia and Russian Federation to implement the recommendations of the 2015 mission as well as the requests in Decisions 39 COM 7B.22, 40 COM 7B.97 and 41 COM 7B.6, and to jointly develop a transboundary SEA for any existing and planned hydropower and water management projects ensuring that its results guide the elaboration of EIAs of any such projects, including the planned Shuren hydropower and Orkhon River projects, and requests moreover the States Parties of the Russian Federation and Mongolia to also include an assessment of alternative solutions in the SEA;
  12. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, 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 44th session in 2020.
Decision Code
42 COM 7B.76
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2018 Lake Baikal
Decisions adopted during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee (Manama, 2018)
Context of Decision