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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7B.96
Virgin Komi Forests (Russian Federation) (N 719)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 40 COM 7B.99, 42 COM 7B.78 and 44 COM 7B.108 adopted at its 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016), 42nd (Manama, 2018) and extended 44th (Fuzhou/online, 2021) sessions respectively,
  3. Regrets the insufficient information provided to address previous requests of the Committee;
  4. Reiterates its established position that mining exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status and again urges the State Party to:
    1. Unequivocally revoke the mining exploration and exploitation licenses granted for the Chudnoe gold deposit, as requested in its previous decisions,
    2. Confirm there is no remaining mining equipment and infrastructure within the property;
  5. Expresses its concern over reports of the proposal of a draft law, which would allow the boundaries of federally protected areas to be changed to accommodate economic activities such as mining, and requests the State Party to confirm that the boundaries of the Yugyd Va National Park component of the property will not be modified to facilitate mining and other economic activities;
  6. Recalls that legal protection is an integral part of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of World Heritage properties and that its removal would constitute a clear case for inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in accordance to Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Further requests the State Party to clarify the legal status of the buffer zone of the Pechora-Ilychsky State Nature Biosphere Reserve, which is part of the property, and to verify the reported logging activities and illegal waste disposal, by submitting relevant information to the World Heritage Centre and ensure that any activities undertaken in the property are consistent with the conservation of its OUV;
  8. Reiterates its request to the State Party to develop a sustainable tourism management strategy for the entire property to ensure that tourism is effectively managed across all its components, including clear indicators for monitoring impacts associated with visitation access, and to report on the progress of measures outlined in the strategy;
  9. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that sufficient financial and human resources are available for the implementation of the Integrated Management Plan for the 2017-2031 period and to report on this in its next report;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2024, 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 47th session.
Decision Code
45 COM 7B.96
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2023 Virgin Komi Forests
Context of Decision