Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Curonian Spit

Lithuania, Russian Federation
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Erosion and siltation/ deposition
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Oil and gas
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Potential pollution from the oil exploitation of the D-6 oil field in the Baltic Sea by the Russian Federation;
  • Lack of bilateral cooperation between Lithuania and the Russian Federation, including joint assessment of environmental impact of the D-6 project;
  • Impacts of sewage spill accident which took place at Klaipėda Water Treatment Station (Lithuania);
  • New constructions and possibly illegal constructions;
  • Sand dunes erosion;
  • Possible tourism economic zone in Kaliningrad.
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 3 (from 1998-2002)
Total amount approved : 85,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2014**

August 2001: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN mission; November 2003: World Heritage Centre mission; July 2009: ICOMOS/IUCN Technical Advisory Mission (invited by Lithuania); December 2010: WHC/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; March 2013: ICOMOS Advisory Mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 31 January 2014, a state of conservation report was submitted by the State Party of the Russian Federation, and on 6 February 2014, a state of conservation report was submitted by the State Party of Lithuania; both are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/994/documents/. These reports respond to the some of the requests of the Committee at its 36th session in 2012 and include updates on improvements as well as proposed developments:

  • Illegal buildings in Lithuania: During 2013, a large building at Juodkrantė was demolished and there were seven further cases of annulment or demolition of buildings in the Lithuanian part of the property; no new cases of illegal buildings have been reported to the authorities.
  • Cooperation between National Parks in Lithuania and the Russian Federation: In March 2013, a joint seminar was held with an ICOMOS expert to address the management of the overall cultural landscape of the property. In accordance with the agreed recommendations of the seminar, work has started on the preparation of a joint management plan for the property. A joint programme for 2013-2015 has also been developed for the two national parks.
  • Regulation on the National Park, Russian Federation: In November 2012, the new Regulation was approved. This defines the rights and duties of the National Park and determines its borders that now include the villages of Lesnoy, Rybachiy and Morskoye; it also regulates social and economic activity within the National Park.
  • Liquefied Gas Terminal, Lithuania: Work on this terminal (outside the property) has started, but the impact assessments requested by the Committee before work commenced were not provided.
  • Proposed bridge and port development at Klaipėda, Lithuania: In early 2014, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (Lithuania) formed a working group to consider the development of Klaipėda Port and to evaluate the construction of a bridge to the Curonian Spit. On 23 January 2014 the Council of Neringa municipality approved a ‘protocol resolution’ for a bridge. No further details were submitted.

On 7 April 2014, the State Party of the Russian Federation submitted a letter to the World Heritage Centre expressing concern at the potential negative impacts that the proposed bridge project could have on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. The World Heritage Centre requested information from the State Party of Lithuania on 14 April 2014, but no response has been received at the time of writing this document. Further information on the bridge project is available on the Port of Klaipėda website at: http://www.portofklaipeda.lt/news/9962/577/Representatives-of-Chinese-company-China-Road-and-Bridge-Corporation-visited-Klaipeda-port/d,archyveand http://www.portofklaipeda.lt/outer-deep-sea-port. These websites outline proposals for a deep sea port to the north of the property and for a large suspension bridge linking the mainland with the Spit, and presumably with the new port.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2014

The continuing active collaboration between the two National Parks is welcomed, in particular the agreement to work on an overall management plan for the transnational property and to pursue other outcomes of the joint seminar held in March 2013.The successful measures taken in Lithuania to reverse illegal building permissions must also be commended, including the demolition of structures such as the highly visible restaurant at Juodkrantė.

A new framework has been agreed for the Russian National Park and will regulate social and economic activity within the park. This should pre-empt further major, inappropriate development proposals and instead encourage sustainable development. The inclusion of the three villages within the park boundaries will also strengthen the links between the local community and the landscape.

The apparent lack of dialogue on proposals to develop a new port and bridge at Klaipėda is a source of concern, particularly as information in the public domain suggests that such schemes have been considered over several years. The apparent haste with which approval in principle for the bridge appears to have been given, before any impact assessments or plans have been submitted for review, is also deeply concerning. It is therefore recommended that the Committee should request the State Party to invite a reactive monitoring mission to the property, to be organised as soon as possible.

While the proposed bridge is within the property and the proposed port would be immediately outside the boundary, both could have major impacts on the highly sensitive Spit, and not only in visual terms. The bridge could allow unregulated access to the Spit, while the port might impact on sea currents and wave motions that could further destabilize the dunes. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to suspend work on both projects until a full assessment of the overall development of Klaipėda in relation to the property has been undertaken.

It is also noted that work on the liquefied gas terminal has commenced despite the fact that none of the impact assessments requested by the Committee were conducted. Together, the development of these projects would appear to indicate that the management of the Klaipėda part of the property is not aligned with the positive management that now prevails within the two National Parks, an issue that ought to be addressed during a reactive monitoring mission.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7B.28
Curonian Spit (Lithuania / Russian Federation) (C 994)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.78 adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),
  3. Welcomes the continuing collaboration between the two national parks and the commitment to produce a transnational Management Plan for the property, as well as the recently strengthened regulations within the Russian National Park that should support sustainable development within the property;
  4. Also welcomes the significant progress made within Lithuania to contain and reverse illegal development;
  5. Expresses its concern however that work on the liquefied gas terminal outside Klaipėda has been approved and commenced although no impact assessments were provided, despite its earlier requests and reiterates its request to the State Party of Lithuania to undertake full impact assessments (Strategic Environmental and Heritage Impact Assessments) in order to consider the potential impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property; these assessments should be provided to the World Heritage Centre, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines ;
  6. Expresses its strong concern that approval in principle has apparently been given for the construction of a large suspension bridge from Klaipėda across the lagoon to the Spit, as this structure could have severe adverse visual impacts and affect traffic management along the Spit;
  7. Understands that the bridge could be part of a larger project to develop a deep sea port at Klaipėda, which could have an impact on the stability of the dunes, and notes with regret that no details of either project have been submitted to the World Heritage Centre, as required by Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines ;
  8. Requests the State Party of Lithuania to halt further development of both projects until full details have been provided, including detailed impact assessments (Strategic Environmental and Heritage Impact Assessments), in order to allow an evaluation of potential impact on the property;
  9. Also requests the State Party of Lithuania to invite an ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property in 2014 to consider the proposed bridge and port projects as well as the liquefied gas terminal project;
  10. Further requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a progress report on the implementation of the above and, by 1 December 2015, 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 40th session in 2016, both reports including a 1-page executive summary.
38 COM 8E
Adoption of Retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/8E,
  2. Congratulates the States Parties for the excellent work accomplished in the elaboration of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in their territories;
  3. Adopts the retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, as presented in the Annex of Document WHC-14/38.COM/8E, for the following World Heritage properties:
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC:
  • China: Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area;
  • Japan: Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu; Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara; Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama; The Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome);
  • Sri Lanka: Sinharaja Forest;
  • Vietnam: Hoi An Ancient Town; Complex of Hué Monuments;

    EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA:

    • Albania: Butrint;
    • Armenia: Monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley;
    • Austria: Semmering Railway; Wachau Cultural Landscape;
    • Azerbaijan: Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower;
    • Belarus / Estonia / Finland / Latvia / Lithuania / Moldova / Norway / Russian Federation / Sweden / Ukraine: Struve Geodetic Arc;
    • Belgium: Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta (Brussels); Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes (Mons); Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai; Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex;
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina: Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar;
    • Cyprus: Paphos;
    • Denmark: Ilulissat Icefjord;
    • Finland: Bronze Age Burial Site of Sammallahdenmäki; Fortress of Suomenlinna; Old Rauma; Petäjävesi Old Church; Verla Groundwood and Board Mill;
    • Georgia: Historical Monuments of Mtskheta; Upper Svaneti;
    • Germany / Poland: Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski;
    • Germany: Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch; Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar and Dessau; Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust at Brühl; Collegiate Church, Castle and Old Town of Quedlinburg; Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz; Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg; Monastic Island of Reichenau; Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin; Pilgrimage Church of Wies; St Mary's Cathedral and St Michael's Church at Hildesheim; Völklingen Ironworks; Wartburg Castle; Würzburg Residence with the Court Gardens and Residence Square; Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen;
    • Holy See / Italy: Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura;
    • Holy See: Vatican City;
    • Iceland: Þingvellir National Park;
    • Italy: Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua; Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta; Historic Centre of Florence; Historic Centre of Naples;
    • Lithuania / Russian Federation: Curonian Spit;
    • Lithuania: Kernavė Archaeological Site (Cultural Reserve of Kernavė);
    • Malta: City of Valletta; Hal Saflieni Hypogeum; Megalithic Temples of Malta;
    • Mongolia / Russian Federation: Uvs Nuur Basin;
    • Montenegro: Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor;
    • Netherlands: Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City and Harbour, Curaçao;
    • Norway: Vegaøyan -- The Vega Archipelago; West Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord;
    • Poland: Centennial Hall in Wrocław; Historic Centre of Warsaw;
    • Portugal: Historic Centre of Évora; Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture; Monastery of Alcobaça; Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon;
    • Russian Federation: Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskoye; Historical Centre of the City of Yaroslavl; Kizhi Pogost;
    • Slovakia: Bardejov Town Conservation Reserve; Vlkolínec;
    • Slovenia: Škocjan Caves;
    • Spain: Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida; Burgos Cathedral; Historic Centre of Cordoba; Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid; Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias; Mudejar Architecture of Aragon; Old City of Salamanca; Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches; Old Town of Cáceres; Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct; Poblet Monastery; Route of Santiago de Compostela; Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe; San Cristóbal de La Laguna; Santiago de Compostela (Old Town); Works of Antoni Gaudí;
    • Turkey: Archaeological Site of Troy; City of Safranbolu; Hattusha: the Hittite Capital; Xanthos-Letoon;
    • Ukraine: Kiev: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kiev-Pechersk Lavra;
    • United Kingdom: Gough and Inaccessible Islands; Henderson Island; Historic Town of St George and Related Fortifications, Bermuda;
    • United States of America: Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site; Chaco Culture; Independence Hall; Mesa Verde National Park; Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville; Statue of Liberty;

    LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARRIBBEANS:

    • Argentina: Ischigualasto / Talampaya Natural Parks; Los Glaciares; Península Valdés;
    • Belize: Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System;
    • Bolivia: City of Potosí;
    • Brazil: Brasilia; Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia; Historic Centre of São Luís; Historic Centre of the Town of Diamantina; Historic Centre of the Town of Goiás; Historic Centre of the Town of Olinda; Historic Town of Ouro Preto; Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas;
    • Colombia: Los Katíos National Park;
    • Costa Rica / Panama: Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad National Park;
    • Cuba: Archaeological Landscape of the First Coffee Plantations in the South-East of Cuba; San Pedro de la Roca Castle, Santiago de Cuba; Urban Historic Centre of Cienfuegos; Viñales Valley;
    • Dominican Republic: Colonial City of Santo Domingo;
    • Guatemala: Tikal National Park;
    • Panama: Coiba National Park and its Special Zone of Marine Protection; Fortifications on the Caribbean Side, Portobelo and San Lorenzo;
    • Suriname: Central Suriname Nature Reserve; Historic Inner City of Paramaribo;

    4.  Decides that retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in Danger will be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies in priority;
    5.  Further decides that, considering the high number of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value to be examined, the order in which they will be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies will follow the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting, namely:

    • World Heritage properties in the Arab States;
    • World Heritage properties in Africa;
    • World Heritage properties in Asia and the Pacific;
    • World Heritage properties in Latin America and the Caribbean;
    • World Heritage properties in Europe and North America;

    6.  Takes note that the World Heritage Centre is in the process of harmonising all sub-headings in the adopted Statements of Outstanding Universal Value and, as appropriate, reflects name changes of World Heritage properties throughout the text of the Statements as requested by the Committee at its 37th session, and requests the World Heritage Centre to also update the size of the property and/or its buffer zone, as appropriate, following subsequent Decisions of the World Heritage Committee concerning Minor Boundary Modifications.
    7.  Requests the States Parties to provide support to the World Heritage Centre for translation of the adopted Statements of Outstanding Universal Value into English or French respectively, and finally requests the Centre to upload the two language versions on its website.

    Draft Decision:   38 COM 7B.28

    The World Heritage Committee,

    1.   Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
    2.   Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.78 adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),
    3.   Welcomes the continuing collaboration between the two national parks and the commitment to produce a transnational Management Plan for the property, as well as the recently strengthened regulations within the Russian National Park that should support sustainable development within the property;
    4.   Also welcomes the significant progress made within Lithuania to contain and reverse illegal development;
    5.   Expresses its concern however that work on the liquefied gas terminal outside Klaipėda has been approved and commenced although no impact assessments were provided, despite its earlier requests and reiterates its request to the State Party of Lithuania to undertake full impact assessments (Strategic Environmental and Heritage Impact Assessments) in order to consider the potential impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property; these assessments should be provided to the World Heritage Centre, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
    6.   Expresses its strong concern that approval in principle has apparently been given for the construction of a large suspension bridge from Klaipėda across the lagoon to the Spit, as this structure could have severe adverse visual impacts and affect traffic management along the Spit;
    7.   Understands that the bridge could be part of a larger project to develop a deep sea port at Klaipėda, which could have an impact on the stability of the dunes, and notes with regret that no details of either project have been submitted to the World Heritage Centre, as required by Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
    8.   Requests the State Party of Lithuania to halt further development of both projects until full details have been provided, including detailed impact assessments (Strategic Environmental and Heritage Impact Assessments), in order to allow an evaluation of potential impact on the property;
    9.   Also requests the State Party of Lithuania to invite an ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property in 2014 to consider the proposed bridge and port projects as well as the liquefied gas terminal project;
    10.   Further requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a progress report on the implementation of the above and, by 1 February 2016, 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 40th session in 2016, both reports including a 1-page executive summary.
    Report year: 2014
    Lithuania Russian Federation
    Date of Inscription: 2000
    Category: Cultural
    Criteria: (v)
    Documents examined by the Committee
    arrow_circle_right 38COM (2014)
    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.


    top