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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7B.52
Fertö / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape (Austria, Hungary) (C 772rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Welcomes the States Parties’ commitment to achieving the joint management of the property and encourages the States Parties to strengthen their dialogue to collaboratively address the complex issues affecting the transboundary lacustrine cultural landscape;
  3. Expresses its utmost concern about the scale of the original Sopron Fertő Lake Resort, welcomes the decision to suspend the project but notes that any future project cannot be regarded solely as a rehabilitation project, and that its potential impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property will need to be assessed in cumulation with the existing tourism infrastructure along the entire lakeshore;
  4. Invites the States Parties to consider suspending the planning and implementation of all tourism-related development projects along the lakeshore until an inventory of all existing and planned tourism facilities along the lakeshore has been jointly carried out and an assessment of cumulative adverse impacts on the property’s attributes prepared;
  5. Also welcomes the States Parties’ invitation for a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission to the property, extended to the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention, which will provide recommendations to the States Parties regarding tourism development projects, including the re-designed Sopron Fertő Lake Resort, water supply to the lake and wind turbines in the vicinity of the property;
  6. Requests the States Parties to jointly develop a vision for the future of the property and lay down a shared strategy, including a strategy for tourism infrastructure and management, to ensure a sustainable and equitable use of the property compatible with its OUV;
  7. Requests that the ‘Criteria for Building in the World Heritage Site’ developed by the Lake Neusiedl World Heritage Association be revised and the need for an impact assessment be based on the potential of developments to adversely impact the OUV of the property and its supporting attributes rather than on the size of proposals;
  8. Equally welcomes the decision to suspend the implementation of the project of the Mosoni-Duna section of the Lébény-Hanyi Irrigation Canal thus giving the planned joint Advisory mission time to assess the proposal and make recommendations thereon;
  9. Notes the progressive water shortage recorded at the lake, and requests the States Parties to submit detailed documentation, including a transboundary Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), of the proposed project to divert waters from the Mosoni-Duna to feed the Seewinkel groundwater body and Fertő-Neusiedl Lake, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before a final decision is taken on this proposal;
  10. Also notes the preparation of an HIA of the proposal to repower the wind farm site at Weiden am See, and urges the State Party of Austria to submit the outcomes of the HIA to the World Heritage Centre before any final decision is taken;
  11. Recalls that, in a World Heritage context, HIAs should be carried out on the basis of the Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context and that a more specialised tool, the Guidance for Wind Energy Projects in a World Heritage Context, is also available online;
  12. Requests furthermore the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2024, an updated joint report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 46th session.
Context of Decision