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Durmitor National Park

Montenegro
Factors affecting the property in 2005*
  • Forestry /wood production
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Proposed dam project on the Tara River; boundary issues; ski development; logging.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2005
Requests approved: 4 (from 1981-1988)
Total amount approved : 117,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2005**

UNESCO mission 1996; joint UNESCO/IUCN mission 17 to 21 January 2005.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2005

Threats to Durmitor National Park by a hydropower plant project were already discussed at the World Heritage Committee in 1985, when the Committee identified the property “for possible inclusion on the List of World Heritage in Danger” and noted “This property had been threatened by the construction of a dam on the Tara River, however, due to public pressure from within and without Yugoslavia, this proposal had been cancelled.  The Committee noted its satisfaction that this threat had now been removed and congratulated the Yugoslav authorities on making the best use of the Convention to support efforts to protect this property.”

UNESCO and IUCN were informed again in 2004 of a hydropower project Buk Bielja (HPBB).  During a meeting at UNESCO Headquarters on 19 November 2004, the Director-General of UNESCO and the President of Serbia and Montenegro, Mr S.  Marovic, discussed the proposed construction of a dam to be built on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its potential impact on the World Heritage property of Durmitor National Park and the Tara River Basin Biosphere Reserve.  The Director-General agreed to the request to send an expert mission to review the situation.  Furthermore, at a meeting on 10 December 2004 held in Tirana, Albania, the President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr B.  Paravac, and the Director-General of UNESCO also discussed the HPBB project and they agreed that the proposed mission to Serbia and Montenegro should also meet with the relevant authorities and organizations of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The official letter of 16 December 2004 from the State Party of Serbia and Montenegro, formally invited the international expert mission. 

The joint UNESCO/IUCN mission (WHC, UNESCO Venice, IUCN International and IUCN Regional Office) was undertaken from 17 to 21 January 2005.  The full report of the mission is available on-line at https://whc.unesco.org/archive.2005. The mission was informed of the HPBB project from different sources and at various meetings with a wide variety of stakeholders, including a round table discussion entitled “Protection and Valorisation of the Tara River” organized by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Physical Planning of the Republic of Montenegro, Public Enterprise “National Parks of Montenegro”, and the Institute for the Protection of Nature, on 17 January 2005.  The mission reviewed a range of relevant documents including the Environmental Study (ES) “Hydro Power Plants Buk Bijela and Srbinje”: Analysis of Environmental Impacts of Hydro Power Plants (Belgrade, March 2000) jointly submitted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Physical Planning of the Republic of Montenegro and the State Party, Serbia and Montenegro.

The mission noted the complex history of the project, starting in 1957 with intermittent phases.  Despite the designations of the Tara River Basin Biosphere Reserve (1977) and the Durmitor National Park World Heritage property (1980) and the decisions of the World Heritage Committee (1985 and following sessions), activities began again in 1988 and 2000 to 2004. 

The mission noted the key issues and concerns, as raised by various stakeholders after evaluating the project and its potential effects: environmental and socio-economic impacts, Long-term economic viability, threats to the values and integrity of the World Heritage property and relevance for the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, impacts on the tangible and intangible cultural heritage and population relocation and risk preparedness.  In addition, the mission identified a number of other issues regarding the state of conservation of the site, including the spatial plan for the Durmitor National Park Region and its relation to the hydropower project, Public participation and management issues; Management and Management Plan, Ski development and exclusion of the city of Zabljak; Other factors affecting the World Heritage property; Issues concerning the Biosphere Reserve; Sustainable Development of the Durmitor Region; and transboundary context. 

The mission made a wide range of specific recommendations both as a follow-up to the 1996 mission as well as the hydropower project and concluded that this project would constitute a threat to the values and integrity of the property and the buffering UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. 

The mission specifically recommended danger listing of the property in accordance with the Operational Guidelines should the current project be pursued, as the Buk Bijela dam project constitutes a potential threat to the outstanding universal value of the property, as well as to its integrity, particularly as the National Natural Monument of the Tara River and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of the Tara River Basin, buffering the World Heritage property, would be flooded by such a dam project.

Following the results of the mission the Director-General of UNESCO transmitted the detailed report to both States Parties to the Convention for comments.  On 31 January 2005 minor boundary changes to the World Heritage property were submitted to the World Heritage Centre, as result of recommendations of both the 1996 and 2005 missions.

On 1 April 2005, a detailed report was received from the authorities of Serbia and Montenegro which confirmed that the Government of Montenegro, had halted the project.

The Director General congratulated the State Party for its swift action and for the approach taken in support of World Heritage conservation.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2005
29 COM 7B.21
Durmitor National Park (Serbia and Montenegro)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-05/29.COM/7B.Rev;

2. Recalling its Decisions 9 COM, 15 COM and 20 COM adopted at its 9th (UNESCO, 1985), 15th (Carthage, 1991) and 20th (Merida, 1996) sessions respectively;

3. Thanks the Director-General of UNESCO for immediately dispatching an international expert team to both the State Parties of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro to review the proposed Buk Bijela dam project;

4. Notes with concern the results of the joint mission of UNESCO and IUCN to the property and the States Parties concerned and the detailed report by the mission team;

5. Requests the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to fully respect the Convention, in particular Article 6.3, and not to take any action to threaten the values and integrity of a property located on the territory of another State Party to this Convention;

6. Urges both States Parties to fully implement all recommendations of the international expert mission;

7. Congratulates the Government of Serbia and Montenegro and the authorities of Montenegro for the immediate action taken to halt the hydropower project and requests that for any other potential project international standards for Environmental Impact Studies are applied and all measures are taken to minimize and, preferably, to eliminate any direct and indirect threats to the World Heritage property;

8. Encourages both States Parties to ratify other relevant international agreements, including the Aarhus Convention and the Danube Convention;

9. Urges both States Parties to collaborate in seeking alternative energy solutions and to fully comply with the provisions of the Convention and its Operational Guidelines in protecting the Durmitor National Park and other protected areas in the region;

10. Further requests both States Parties to provide the World Heritage Centre with an updated report, including any new decisions relating to the dam project or other development projects and issues, as well as transboundary collaboration, by 1 February 2006 for examination by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006).

29 COM 8B.15
Minor Modifications to the boundaries (Durmitor National Park )

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-05/29.COM/8B, WHC-05/29.COM/8B.Add 2 and WHC-05/29.COM/INF.8B.2,

2. Decides to modify the boundaries of Durmitor National Park (Serbia and Montenegro) to be in line with the boundaries of the National Park approved by the State Party in 1997, thus excluding the town of Zabljak from the property. The World Heritage property, therefore, in line with the current boundaries of the National Park, comprises an area of 34,000 ha;

3. Requests the State Party of Serbia and Montenegro to submit a topographical map of the entire National Park on one sheet, and to inform the World Heritage Centre of what assistance it requires to prepare this map, and to inform the Committee of any future changes in the boundaries of the National Park.

Draft Decision : 29 COM 7B.201

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-05/29.COM/7B.Rev;

2.  Recalling its Decisions 9 COM, 15 COM and 20 COMadopted at its 9th, 15th and 20th sessions respectively;

3.  Thanking the Director-General of UNESCO for immediately dispatching an international expert team to both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro to review the proposed Buk Bijela dam project;

4.  Notes with concern the results of the UNESCO/IUCN mission to the property and the States Parties concerned and the detailed report by the mission team;

5.  Requests the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to fully respect the World Heritage Convention, in particular Article 6.3 and not to take any action to threaten the values and integrity of a property located on the territory of another State Party to this Convention;

6.  Urges both States Parties to fully implement all recommendations of the international expert mission;

7.  Congratulates the Government of Serbia and Montenegro and the authorities of Montenegro for the immediate action taken to halt the hydropower  project  and requests that for any other potential project international standards for Environmental Impact Studies are applied and all measures are taken to minimize and, preferably, to eliminate any direct and indirect threats to the World Heritage property;

8.  Encourages both States Parties to ratify other relevant international agreements, including the Aarhus Convention and the Danube Convention;

9.  Urges both States Parties to collaborate in seeking alternative energy solutions and to fully comply with the provisions of the World Heritage Convention and its Operational Guidelines in protecting the World Heritage property of Durmitor National Park and other protected areas in the region;

10.  Further requests both States Parties to provide to the World Heritage Centre with an updated report, including any new decisions relating to the dam project or other development projects and issues, as well as transboundary collaboration, by 1 February 2006 for examination by the Committee at its 30th session in 2006.

Report year: 2005
Montenegro
Date of Inscription: 1980
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(x)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 29COM (2005)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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