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World Heritage Convention

Decision 43 COM 7B.83
Upper Middle Rhine Valley (Germany) (C 1066)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.45, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Noting the recommencement of planning for a permanent river crossing, reiterates its request to the State Party to involve the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, at the earliest possible stage in the appraisal of options undertaken in a wide regional strategic context, but focusing on developing solutions for local needs, and before any decisions are taken;
  4. Welcomes the State Party’s continuous commitment to reduce rail-related noise levels in the property, notes however with regret that no effective result was achieved so far, and notes with concern the plans to upgrade railway tunnels between St. Goar and Oberwesel in a manner that could potentially harm the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, therefore, encourages the State Party to develop long term solutions for diverting freight train traffic from the property or effectively reduce their traffic flow;
  5. Also welcomes the decision to withdraw the application for the installation of the wind farm project on Ranselberg Hill, near the municipality of Lorch, and strongly encourages the State Party:
    1. to reject the application for the extension of the wind farm on the Kandrich Hill, near the municipality of Oberdiebach,
    2. to harmonize its legislative tools and criteria for the assessment of the impact of wind farms on the OUV of the property and its buffer zone, and develop systematic mapping for identifying sensitive areas within the property, its buffer zone and beyond, also considering culturally significant visual aspects, key views, viewpoints, panoramas, silhouettes and other factors related to its OUV;
  6. Also encourages the State Party to provide revised detailed plans with a spatial assessment document that includes a Visual Impact Assessment on the cultural landscape for the Holiday Resort Sankt-Goar-Werlau, to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, and before any irrevocable decisions are taken;
  7. Commends the State Party for its effort to update the Management Plan of the property into a consolidated document with the Master Plan, and also requests the State Party to provide the draft consolidated document to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, in order to ensure that its recommendations and comments can be appropriately taken into account in the final document;
  8. Further welcomes the initiative of the State Party to invite an ICOMOS Advisory mission to the property in 2019 to assess the extension of the Koblenz cable car operating permit, nevertheless, further requests the State Party to invite instead a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to assess the impact of already implemented changes and provide expert advice on how to assess, mitigate or avert the potential cumulative adverse impact on the OUV of the property of prospective projects, including the upgrading of three railway tunnels, and the Federal Horticultural Show 2029;
  9. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, 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 45th session in 2021.
Decision Code
43 COM 7B.83
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2019 Upper Middle Rhine Valley
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision