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World Heritage Convention

Decision 44 COM 7B.100
Białowieża Forest (Belarus, Poland) (N 33ter)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.14, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Notes with satisfaction that forest management activities in the property, including logging, have remained at a very low scale, and only limited to the active management zone, as recommended by the 2018 Reactive Monitoring mission;
  4. Notes the confirmation by the State Party of Poland that the recently approved amendments to the Forest Management Plans (FMPs) for the Bialowieza and Browsk Forest Districts are in line with the recommendation of the 2018 mission and only allow for limited forest management activities in the active management zone for strictly necessary safety measures and for measures necessary to implement Natura 2000 requirements;
  5. Urges the State Party of Poland to accelerate the development of an overall Management Plan for its part of the property, which places the protection of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) as its central objective, taking into account the recommendations of the 2018 mission, and stresses that this Management Plan should guide the development of other management documents, including the new 2022-2031 FMPs, to ensure that they are in line with the protection of the OUV of the property;
  6. Also urges the State Party of Poland to ensure that any forest operations in the property, including those that might be envisaged in the new 2022-2031 FMPs, comply with the management prescriptions included in Decision 43 COM 7B.14, in line with the 2014 Nomination file and the recommendations of the 2018 mission, and encourages the State Party of Poland to seek further advice from IUCN on the development of the new FMP to ensure that these requirements are met, before approving them;
  7. Requests the State Party of Belarus to finalize the updating of the Managemnet Plan for its part of the property, to submit a draft to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN before its final approval and, noting with satisfaction the strengthening of its legal status, to ensure that the relevant wildlife and forest management plans are updated, based on the updated MP;
  8. Also requests the States Parties of Belarus and Poland, to define a common goal and objectives for the entire property based on the protection of the property’s OUV as part of the preparation of a Transboundary Integrated Management Plan (TIMP), which should be subsequently integrated in the Management Plans of both parts of the property;
  9. Also encourages the States Parties to engage technical expertise from the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to support the development of the TIMP and the Management Plans for the Polish and Belarusian parts of the property through appropriate mechanisms, such as an Advisory mission;
  10. Welcomes the assurances provided by the State Party of Belarus that no wolf hunting will be carried out in its component of the property, as well as the on-going efforts to restore the hydrological regime of the property but expresses concern about reported new drainage works inside the property and further requests the State Party of Belarus to provide updated information on this matter;
  11. Requests furthermore the State Party of Poland to ensure that the necessary follow-up measures are put in place for the Narewkowska road, including monitoring of the number of vehicles using the road, and, if any negative impacts from the increased use of the road are observed, that further consideration is given to establishing the necessary restrictions to minimize the impacts;
  12. Finally requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, an updated joint report on the state of conservation of the property, on the implementation of the above and the recommendations by the 2018 mission, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session.
Decision Code
44 COM 7B.100
States Parties 2
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2021 Białowieża Forest
Decisions adopted at the 44th extended session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision