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Western Caucasus

Russian Federation
Factors affecting the property in 2001*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Illegal activities
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2001
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2001**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2001

IUCN has received a copy of the State Party periodic report for the Western Caucasus prepared following the June 2001 Bureau meeting.  The report mentions that illegal trespassing continues to be significant, largely related to tourism activities and the proximity of tourist centres and hostels to the preserve’s boundaries.  Furthermore, there has been a weakening of conservation controls over the last 5-10 years, with an absence of such controls in the Lagonaki Plateau and Fisht-Oshtensky Massif which are popular areas for trekking, mountaineering etc.  In September, IUCN received reports that the Court of Adygea intended to exclude part of the Western Caucasus Zapovednik (the World Heritage site) to allow for tourist development and the construction of a road.

Tourist Development: Regarding the tourist development, IUCN received a report that the Adygean Administration is proposing to develop ski facilities in the Plateau Lagonaki, and that this area of the World Heritage site has been incorporated into the "Fisht Ecological Tourist Territory” (ETT Fisht).  On 6 August 2001, the Court of Arbitration of the Republic of Adygea ruled on an appeal made by the Administration of the Maykop District and ETT Fisht.  The ruling deems void the decisions of the Republic authorities to include Plateau Lagonaki, Fisht-Oshtensky Massif and the Bambaki tract into the Caucasus Nature Preserve.  IUCN notes that all these areas are part of the World Heritage site. The Court decision follows a land withdrawal deed filed on the 13 July 2001 for construction of tourist facilities and a cableway in the area.

Road: In relation to the road, IUCN received word that the Head of the Committee of Natural Resources of the Republic Adygea has reiterated his promise made in his previous letter to the World Heritage Committee regarding the proposed road.  IUCN notes that this letter states:

“The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of the Republic of Adygea informs you that at the present time the authorities of the Republic of Adygea are considering a new route for the Maikop-Black Sea Coast highway, avoiding the Caucasus Natural Reserve and other specially protected territories, including the Caucasus nomination.  The above-mentioned activities are being carried out for the purpose of execution of the order by President of the Republic of Adygea Dzharimov.  So the insinuations that the Adygean authorities have tried to build the highway right through the Caucasus State Natural Biospheric Reserve have no grounds.”

Illegal Hunting: IUCN is concerned with reports received noting the increasing use of helicopters, the use of a variety of high impact fire-arms, and the increase in trophy hunting.  The direct and indirect impacts associated with helicopters are likely to be substantial.  The use of machine guns enables multiple killings and creates noise distress.  Unregulated trophy hunting can alter the male-female balance to the extent that population viability may be threatened.

Summary of the interventions
This report was not discussed during the World Heritage Committee session.
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2001

The Bureau may wish to adopt the following decision:

“The Bureau notes that the issue of the road through the Lagonaki Plateau was discussed at the time of inscription of this site and that assurances of the State Party to abandon this route was key to the site being inscribed on the World Heritage List.   The Bureau requests the State Party provide an update on the status of the road and its routing. The Bureau requests the State Party to provide detailed information on the developments mentioned above, and specifically the status of the removal of areas from the site by 1 February 2002 for consideration by the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau.”

Report year: 2001
Russian Federation
Date of Inscription: 1999
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 25COM (2001)

* : 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.