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Decision 43 COM 7B.36
Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region (North Macedonia) (C/N 99ter

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 40 COM 7B.68 and 41 COM 7B.34, adopted at its 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 41st (Krakow, 2017) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the halting of the procedure for the modification of the Management Plan of Galičica National Park, specifically its zoning, which de facto has stopped the construction projects of the sub-sections (a) and (e) of the A3 road and the Galičica ski resort within the property, however, considers that this step is not sufficient to significantly reduce the vulnerability of the property;
  4. Also recalling its decisions supporting the conclusions of the 2017 Reactive Monitoring mission that the overall state of conservation of the property was vulnerable to various threats and, if the priority recommendations were not implemented within a two-year framework, the property could meet the criteria for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger,
  5. Notes that partial progress has been made in implementing urgent Committee requests and recommendations including the delayed implementation of key milestones with no revised timeframe being proposed, especially the moratorium on any transformation within the property, the inventory of illegal buildings and the demolition of those negatively impacting the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, the approval of all relevant planning instruments, including the Management Plan, as well as other key recommendations of the 2017 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission;
  6. Also notes that the State Party is not regularly informing the World Heritage Centre of projects and planning activities being developed within the boundaries of the property, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Notes with concern that the State Party has not yet addressed the recommendations on the Railway corridor VIII, despite the Committee’s request to consider alternative routes outside the property and outside the extension proposed by the State Party of Albania; and also with highway stretch A2 Trebeništa – Struga even though an adequate Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) has not been undertaken of the overall impact of this road on the OUV of the property, and reiterates its request to the State Party to urgently identify optimal solutions for these projects, avoiding impact on the OUV of the property and the extension proposed by the State Party of Albania;
  8. Notes with satisfaction that the State Party’s action on the long-term projects including the waste water management system and redirecting of River Sateska, and furthermore welcomes the Government’s adoption of Law on Management of the Natural and Cultural Heritage in the Ohrid Region, as well as the Government Decision taken in June 2019 tasking all relevant domestic institutions to implement the recommendations of the World Heritage Centre;
  9. Strongly reiterates its requests to the State Party to:
    1. Establish a moratorium on any urban and coastal transformations within the property until all relevant planning documents have been finalized and adopted, effective protective regulations have been approved and effective control mechanisms established,
    2. Inventory illegal constructions, assessing their impacts on the OUV of the property through appropriate HIA and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) processes and proceed to demolishing all those which represent a threat to the property,
    3. Ensure strict enforcement of laws and regulations to prevent any further illegal construction,
    4. Finalize the Management Plan for the property and align all relevant planning instruments with the overall aim of protecting and sustaining the OUV of the property and submit the draft to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, prior to its finalization and adoption,
    5. Implement all other previous Committee requests and the 2017 mission recommendations;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020, with a view to considering, in case of the confirmation of the potential or ascertained danger to its Outstanding Universal Value, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision