Today, on 24 September 2018, a group of experts from the World Heritage Centre and IUCN arrived in Warsaw to carry out a joint Reactive Monitoring mission to the transboundary World Heritage property “Białowieża Forest” (Belarus/Poland). Situated on the watershed of the Baltic and Black Seas, the World Heritage property is the site of an immense and biologically diverse primeval forest that covers a total area of 141,885 hectares.

The Reactive Monitoring mission takes place at the invitation of the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Poland and was requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in Krakow in 2017 (Decision 41 COM 7B.1). The mission’s objectives include evaluating the impact of current forest management operations on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value and assessing whether the property meets the criteria for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The experts carrying out the mission will meet with Polish and Belarussian authorities and will prepare recommendations for review by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and IUCN. The final report will be sent to the Governments of the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Belarus for consideration. The findings of the report will also be examined by the World Heritage Committee at its forthcoming 43rd session in Baku (2019).