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Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands

Russian Federation
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Legal framework
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Lack of monitoring

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Lack of joint management system between national, local and religious authorities (issue resolved);
  • Lack of monitoring mechanisms;
  • Lack of appropriate legal measures and rules for conservation, restoration, management and use of World Heritage properties of religious interest.
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

In August 2013, a joint World Heritage Centre/ ICOMOS/ICCROM monitoring mission to the property was undertaken. The mission provided a set of recommendations to the State Party available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/632/documents/. On 31 January 2014, the State Party submitted a detailed State of conservation report. An executive summary of this report is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/632/documents/.

  • Protection of the property: the State Party noted that the protection status for the entire Archipelago, as well as the boundaries of protected land and water areas are not defined at this stage. In line with the mission recommendations, the State Party organized a working meeting on protected zones.
  • Conservation conditions: the report also informs about the works undertaken to address the mission recommendation regarding hydrological soil analysis and action plan to prevent degradation of the water management system of Solovetsky and confirmed that emergency, restoration and repair works are planned to be carried out in 2015-2016. While the State Party reports that only the restoration works and not reconstructions were carried out in coordination with the authorized protection agencies, and in compliance with all required laws and standards, the mission expressed its concern about on-going new construction works presented as “regeneration” of historical landscape.
  • In line with the Committee’s Decision, the State Party organized and hosted the International Seminar for religious representatives involved in the management and use of the World Heritage properties (Moscow, 2013, https://whc.unesco.org/en/events/1056/). The Russian authorities presented a draft Law introducing processes concerning the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. Participants recommended development of a capacity-building programme to improve the qualifications of World Heritage site managers and users. (https://whc.unesco.org/document/124117). 
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2014

The State Party’s efforts to develop a range of mechanisms to safeguard and develop the property are acknowledged. The mission considered that the general state of conservation of the key components of the property is still satisfactory and the positive improvement of the existing management system, as well as progress made in the relations between the national, local and religious authorities. However, the findings of the mission that the property, as a living heritage with its continuing religious function, is in a very vulnerable state should be noted.

Attention should also be drawn to the mission report that highlighted that the absence of adequate legal protection status and regulatory measures, including protection zones and regimes, as well as lack of clarification of the boundaries for the property and its buffer zones, stimulates entrepreneurial activities of various entities that have led to the improper use of the territory, which could represent a potential threat to its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).

The on-going new construction works and other possible major interventions in the landscape of the property have to be noted, and the Committee is recommended to request the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre technical details of all project proposals, including Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs), in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for World Heritage cultural properties.

Taking into account the mission recommendations, planning tools and proposals, including the development strategy of the Solovetsky Islands, the Master Plan, the project for new administrative and exposition building of Solovetsky Museum and Reserve, projects for new infrastructures, and the enlargement of the existing airport, need to be revised in coordination with all involved stakeholders to enhance the protection of the property and to sustain its OUV. The revised documentation, including the Integrated Management Plan along with a Conservation Master Plan, a tourism management strategy, a risk preparedness strategy, as well as environmental and socio-cultural risk management, need to be submitted for review.

It is recommended that special attention is paid to the living religious heritage by adopting efficient protection and management instruments and conservation policy. In view of the results of the International Seminar, the Committee may encourage the State Party to share its experience with other States Parties by developing a capacity-building programme for the representatives of religious communities involved in the management and use of the World Heritage properties.  

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7B.32
Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands (Russian Federation) (C 632)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 35 COM 7B.107, 36 COM 7B.86 and 37 COM 7B.82 adopted at its 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) and 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) sessions respectively,
  3. Notes the recommendations of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission to the property in August 2013 and requests the State Party to give high priority to the implementation of its recommendations;
  4. Encourages the State Party to revise the Development Strategy of the Solovetsky Archipelago and its Master Plan, including all proposed projects, in order to enhance the protection of the property and to sustain its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  5. Urges the State Party to pay special attention to the living religious heritage of the property by defining its legal protection status and adopting efficient regulatory and management instruments, and also requests the State Party to revise and/or develop planning tools, including a Protection Zoning Plan and regimes of all components of the property, an Integrated Management Plan, a Conservation Master Plan, a tourism management strategy, a risk preparedness strategy, as well as environmental and socio-cultural risk management, and to submit the revised documentation to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Reiterates its concern about the possible reconstruction of the monastery buildings and other major interventions in the landscape of the property given their potential impact on its OUV, and also reiterates its request to the State Party to submit, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, to the World Heritage Centre technical details, including Heritage Impact Assessments, for proposed projects that may threaten the OUV of the property;
  7. Takes note of the steps taken by the State Party to develop legal measures for the protection of World Heritage cultural properties and further reiterates its request that it develops and implements appropriate legal measures and regulations for conservation, restoration and management and use of World Heritage properties of religious interest, and also encourages the State Party to adopt, as a matter of urgency, a legal framework to support the implementation of the World Heritage Convention;
  8. Welcomes the results of the International Seminar for religious representatives involved in the management and use of the World Heritage properties (Moscow, 2013), and further encourages the State Party to share its experience with other States Parties by developing a capacity-building programme, as an essential part of the management strategy, to improve the qualifications of World Heritage site managers and users of the World Heritage properties of religious interest;
  9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a progress report on the state of conservation of the property, and by 1 December 2015 a state of conservation report, on the implementation of the above, both reports including a 1-page executive summary, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.
Draft Decision:   38 COM 7B.32

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decisions 35 COM 7B.107, 36 COM 7B.86 and 37 COM 7B.82 adopted at its 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) and 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) sessions respectively,

3.  Notes the recommendations of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission to the property in August 2013 and requests the State Party to give high priority to the implementation of its recommendations;

4.  Encourages the State Party to revise the Development Strategy of the Solovetsky Archipelago and its Master Plan, including all proposed projects, in order to enhance the protection of the property and to sustain its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);

5.  Urges the State Party to pay special attention to the living religious heritage of the property by defining its legal protection status and adopting efficient regulatory and management instruments, and also requests the State Party to revise and/or develop planning tools, including a Protection Zoning Plan and regimes of all components of the property, an Integrated Management Plan, a Conservation Master Plan, a tourism management strategy, a risk preparedness strategy, as well as environmental and socio-cultural risk management, and to submit the revised documentation to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;

6.  Reiterates its concern about the possible reconstruction of the monastery buildings and other major interventions in the landscape of the property given their potential impact on its OUV, and also reiterates its request to the State Party to submit, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, to the World Heritage Centre technical details, including Heritage Impact Assessments, for proposed projects that may threaten the OUV of the property;

7.  Takes note of the steps taken by the State Party to develop legal measures for the protection of World Heritage cultural properties and futher reiterates its request that it develops and implements appropriate legal measures and regulations for conservation, restoration and management and use of World Heritage properties of religious interest, and also encourages the State Party to adopt, as a matter of urgency, a legal framework to support the implementation of the World Heritage Convention;

8.  Welcomes the results of the International Seminar for religious representatives involved in the management and use of the World Heritage properties (Moscow, 2013), and further encourages the State Party to share its experience with other States Parties by developing a capacity-building programme, as an essential part of the management strategy, to improve the qualifications of World Heritage site managers and users of the World Heritage properties of religious interest;

9.  Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a progress report on the state of conservation of the property, and by 1 February 2016 a state of conservation report, on the implementation of the above, both reports including a 1-page executive summary, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.

Report year: 2014
Russian Federation
Date of Inscription: 1992
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2014) .pdf
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.


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