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Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe

Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine
Factors affecting the property in 2013*
  • Forestry /wood production
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Human resources
  • Illegal activities
  • Localised utilities
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Subsistence hunting
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Threats identified at the time of the extension of the property in 2011:

  • Lack of integrated Management Plan;
  • Lack of transnational research and monitoring plans;
  • Need for capacity building.
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2013
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN received information from the Council of Europe concerning an expert mission that visited the Poloniny National Park in Slovakia in October 2012 as part of the renewal process of its European Diploma of Protected Areas. Parts of the park are included in the Slovak component of the property. The reports highlight a number of threats and conservation challenges that the park is confronted to, as described below. In September 2012 the World Heritage Centre and IUCN also received a letter from a Slovak environmental NGO outlining various threats to the Slovak component of the property which was transmitted to the State Party in October 2012.

In response to the letters of the World Heritage Centre of 15 February and 19 March 2013 requesting information on the threats and the measures taken to address them, the State party replied on 28 March 2013 stating that relevant information on the overall situation around the property will be provided to the World Heritage Centre in the State Party’s Periodic Report. The State Party also mentioned in the letter that they might ask for assistance of the World Heritage Centre in order to assess the state of conservation of the property and concluded that the Ministry was “looking for the most appropriate measures for solving problems of the World Heritage property”.

The following conservation issues affecting the property have been identified on the basis of the received information, which relates only to components of the property located in Slovakia, and particularly within Poloniny National Park:

a)  Lack of integrated management

IUCN notes that although an Integrated Management Plan for the property had been prepared at the time of its nomination, its implementation is not clear nor is its relationship with other forest management plans of several forest reserves that form the Slovak component of the property, which do not take into account the World Heritage status of those component sites and do not provide for sufficient level of protection of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note the management challenges pointed out  by the Group of Specialists of the European Diploma, who concluded that the management of the park could not be considered exemplary, as required by the regulation of the European diploma. The Group of Specialists recommended that the State Party be requested to immediately start the process of elaboration of an integrated management plan for the Diploma holding area, which would address all land uses and different activities sectors (tourism, hunting) in order to meet its obligations under the Regulations of the European Diploma for Protected Areas. The State Party has been requested to submit the draft management plan by November 2014, place this process under the coordination of a Pilot Committee, ask the Council of Europe for assistance, associate all other relevant international organizations including UNESCO and IUCN, ask also for financial external support if needed, and benefit from external technical expertise. In the event of failure to meet these provisions, the Group of Specialists recommended that the European Diploma be withdrawn immediately. 

b)  Unsustainable logging

According to the information included in the report received from the Council of Europe, the forest management plans of the forest reserves which form the Slovakian part of the World Heritage property provide for logging in those areas. The expert mission concluded that 93% of the Park is under serious pressure from unsustainable logging, as well as hunting and poaching. 

c)  Infrastructure development

The report received from the Council of Europe also mentions several infrastructure projects (e.g. an antenna, roads and mass tourism infrastructures) that are planned in the immediate surroundings of the World Heritage areas.

 

 

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2013

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note the report of the Council of Europe, which shows that the Slovak part of the World Heritage property is affected by serious threats that might impact its Outstanding Universal Value, in particular its integrity, and are exacerbated by a lack of adequate management. It is therefore recommended that the State Party of Slovakia be requested to take a series of immediate measures to stop activities that negatively impact the property directly and indirectly, to improve the management of the Slovak part of the property, and enhance its transnational cooperation with Germany and Ukraine for a more effective management of this trilateral property as a whole. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2013
37 COM 7B.26
Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany (Slovakia / Germany / Ukraine) (N 1133bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B.Add,

2.  Recalling Decision 35 COM 8B.13 , adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.  Expresses its concern about the level of threats which might be affecting the Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of the property and about the lack of adequate management response to address those pressures;

4.  Requests the State Party of Slovakia to ensure that a comprehensive vision for development around the Slovak component of the property and practical guidance for achieving an effective protection of its Outstanding Universal Value and in particular its integrity be included in the management plan requested by the Council of Europe, in order to ensure that both the requirements of the Convention and those of the Council of Europe can be met in one single management plan;

5.  Also requests the State Party of Slovakia to strengthen cooperation between different Ministries and Agencies relevant for the management of the property and to ensure that the World Heritage status of the property is recognized in their strategies and plans;

6.  Urges the State Party of Slovakia to halt unsustainable logging activities within component sites of the World Heritage property;

7.  Recalls that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be conducted and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for all development projects within the property and its surroundings that could affect its Outstanding Universal Value, in line with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines , and further requests the State Party of Slovakia to immediately halt all infrastructure development that could affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property until such EIAs are conducted ;

8.  Encourages the State Parties of Germany, Slovakia and Ukraine to enhance their transnational cooperation and to implement the recommendations adopted in its Decision 35 COM 8B.13 , in particular the establishment of an integrated management system for the trilateral property  to ensure the protection of the functional linkages between the component parts, as well as research and monitoring plans in order to monitor the property as a whole, and the development of capacity building to share best practices;

9.  Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014 , 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 38th session in 2014. 

Draft Decision:  37 COM 7B.26

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B.Add,

2.  Recalling Decision 35 COM 8B.13, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.  Expresses its concern about the level of threats which might be affecting the Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of the property and about the lack of adequate management response to address those pressures;

4.  Requests the State Party of Slovakia to ensure that a comprehensive vision for development around the Slovak component of the property and practical guidance for achieving an effective protection of its Outstanding Universal Value and in particular its integrity be included in the management plan requested by the Council of Europe, in order to ensure that both the requirements of the Convention and those of the Council of Europe can be met in one single management plan;

5.  Also requests the State Party of Slovakia to strengthen cooperation between different Ministries and Agencies relevant for the management of the property and to ensure that the World Heritage status of the property is recognized in their strategies and plans;

6.  Urges the State Party of Slovakia to halt unsustainable logging activities within component sites of the World Heritage property;

7.  Recalls that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be conducted and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for all development projects within the property and its surroundings that could affect its Outstanding Universal Value, in line with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and further requests the State Party of Slovakia to immediately halt all infrastructure development that could affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property until such EIAs are conducted ;

8.  Encourages the State Parties of Germany, Slovakia and Ukraine to enhance their transnational cooperation and to implement the recommendations adopted in its Decision 35 COM 8B.13, in particular the establishment of an integrated management system for the trilateral property  to ensure the protection of the functional linkages between the component parts, as well as research and monitoring plans in order to monitor the property as a whole, and the development of capacity building to share best practices;

9.  Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, 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 38th session in 2014. 

Report year: 2013
Albania Austria Bosnia and Herzegovina Belgium Bulgaria Switzerland Czechia Germany Spain France Croatia Italy North Macedonia Poland Romania Slovenia Slovakia Ukraine
Date of Inscription: 2007
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 37COM (2013)
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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