1.         Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor (Montenegro) (C 125ter)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1979-2003

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/125/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1979-1982)
Total amount approved: USD 70,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/125/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

2003: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS mission; January 2006: Management Planning Course; February 2008: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS mission; March 2013: ICOMOS Advisory Mission 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/125/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

The State Party invited, in March 2013, an ICOMOS advisory mission to assist the national and local authorities in finding appropriate solutions to improve the transport system in the area. The mission report is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/125/documents/. On 31 January 2014, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/125/documents/. The State Party reported on the progress in adoption in 2013 of relevant legal instruments, including a specific law on the Protection of Natural and Cultural Historical Heritage of the Kotor region. The latter regulates the protection and management of the area and formally establishes the Management Council of the Kotor Region.

The State Party informed that the newly created Directorate for Conservation of cultural property and the Centre for Conservation of archaeology of Montenegro will ensure the enforcement of legislative and regulatory measures.

The State Party confirmed that the Management Plan adopted in 2011 is currently being implemented. Additional studies are being undertaken for the protection of cultural properties within the Spatial Urban Plan of the Municipality of Kotor. This study will also include a specific transportation study to be concluded in June 2014. The State Party noted that Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) will be needed to inform decision making and that assistance will be required in this matter. The State Party also noted that other planning tools are being revised to ensure consistency in provisions and guarantee the protection of the property.

The State Party informed that regarding alternative solutions to the Verige Bridge these are being explored based on the results from the Visual Impact Study, including a conceptual design of the tunnel. The State Party informed that based on the results of feasibility studies and heritage impact assessments, the final alternative will be identified. No timeframe for this decision is mentioned.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The State Party has made significant efforts in addressing the current conservation issues at the property and in the establishment of an efficient management system supported by adequate legislative and regulatory provisions. Harmonising all planning tools is an important factor to ensure that no contradictions occur in terms of what will be acceptable for future development. Urban and development pressures need to be reconciled with the preservation of the attributes that warranted inscription on the World Heritage List and that this will entail a strong heritage policy imbedded in all planning tools for the territory of the property and its buffer zone. It will also need to consider the identification of different zones susceptible for new development and areas for strict protection should be clearly identified. This zoning should be integrated into a territorial management plan that integrates the three municipalities involved.

The review of planning tools should lead to the enforcement of a system of measures and detailed provisions that will protect the characteristics of the cultural landscape and that will provide precise parameters for future development. In this respect, finalising the transportation strategy, adequately informed by HIAs, will be a crucial measure. Upon finalisation of the diverse planning tools, mechanisms should be explored to ensure the binding nature of the decisions made by Management Council.

However, the information included in the advisory mission report about a number of on-going building and infrastructure projects and the mission’s recommendation that these should be halted, pending the finalization and implementation of the necessary planning and management tools.

Finally, the direct link to Verige is seen as essential for the transportation strategy, and the State Party has made efforts to explore alterative solutions to the originally proposed bridge. However, all options for this transportation link must be accompanied by specific HIAs in relation to the Outstanding Universal Value, to ensure that the selected option will not have a negative impact on the World Heritage property.  

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.29

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.79 adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),
  3. Welcomes the actions undertaken by the State Party for improving the legal and management arrangements for the property and for the implementation of the recommendations from the 2013 advisory mission;
  4. Encourages the State Party to continue its efforts with particular attention to the following;
    1. Ensure the sustained operation and resourcing of the management system, particularly by formally designating the newly created Management Council of the Kotor Region as a coordinating entity between different management levels,
    2. Continue with the harmonisation of planning tools to establish a clear policy framework for heritage decision-making to ensure that urbanisation and development are adequately planned for and controlled, particularly in consideration of the landscape qualities of the property;
    3. Consider the establishment of a zoning system for protection of the property, based on the Special Purpose Spatial Plan for the Coastal Area (SPSPCA), with adequate regulatory regimes that include detailed provisions regarding the acceptable limits and rate for change, particularly in terms of specific urban development parameters in consideration to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property,
    4. Conclude the Spatial Urban Plan, including the Regional Transport Strategy, and integrate its provisions in the planning tools of all three neighbouring municipalities,
  5. Encourages controlled implementation of developments in Morinj, Kostanjica and Glavati and requests the State Party to undertake Heritage Impact Assessment to ensure that no impact occurs on Outstanding Universal Value. The State Party is invited to submit a Heritage Impact Assessment for the Kotor Region, which is underway, to the World Heritage Centre for review prior to undertaking any further commitments;
  6. Requests that Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) be undertaken for all options for the transportation connection at Verige, including the by-pass road around Kotor, and that project proposals under consideration, with corresponding HIAs, be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review prior to making commitments to their implementation;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, 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.

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 8E

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:



    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:

    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.