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Virgin Komi Forests

Russian Federation
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Changes to the boundaries of Yugyd Va National Park;
  • Gold mining inside the property.
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2014**

2010: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission

 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 13 February 2014, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/719/documents, and addresses the following issues:

  • Changes to the boundaries of Yugyd Va National Park: The State Party submitted a re-nomination with significant boundary modification for the property to the World Heritage Centre in January 2014, excluding 3 areas from the property (an area in the north of the Yugid Va National Park (YVNP) which includes the Obeiz granite sand extraction area, a second area which includes the Zhelannoe quartz quarry and the Chudnoe gold mining area in YVNP and a linear area in the south of YVNP around the existing SRTO-Torzhok gas pipeline) together with three additions to the property in the PL350 enclave and the Upper Illych basin, as well as a proposal for a narrow buffer zone on the western boundary of YVNP. However, the re-nomination was considered incomplete by the World Heritage Centre, and therefore was not transmitted for evaluation.
  • Gold mining: The State Party report states that no works were conducted at Chudnoe deposit in 2013. 

The State Party did not invite an IUCN advisory mission to the property, as had been recommended by the World Heritage Committee.

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

The Committee is recommended to reiterate its request to the State Party to revoke or freeze the exploration and exploitation licenses already granted, in line with the Committee’s position that mining is incompatible with World Heritage status. It should be recalled that in its Decision 37 COM 7B.24 (Phnom Penh, 2013), the World Heritage Committee expressed its concern about the boundary changes of the Yugyd Va National Park which removed the protection status of these parts of the property, and the development of the Chudnoe gold mine within the property and as a result concluded that these constitute an ascertained danger to its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines.

In August 2013 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation declared inoperative Order № 3 of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation “On approval of the Regulations about “Yugyd Va” National Park”, dated 14 January 2010, thereby confirming that the original boundaries of the national park, which coincide with the boundaries of the northern component of the property, remain valid. The Supreme Court decision is publicly available on its website.

The World Heritage Committee is therefore recommended to reiterate its request to the State Party to urgently reverse the boundary changes made to Yugyd Va National Park and clarify the legal status of all components of the property and to halt any activities within the property associated with gold mining until the boundaries of the property are clarified. Any resumption of mining activities inside the property would provide the basis for immediate inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7B.78
Virgin Komi Forests (Russian Federation) (N 719)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.24, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Regrets that the State Party has reversed neither the boundary changes which removed the legal protection of four areas within the property nor the 19.9 square km gold mining concession and has not revoked or frozen mining exploitation licences granted inside the property as requested by the Committee at its 35th and 36th sessions, reiterates its position that mining activities are not compatible with World Heritage status, and urges the State Party to immediately halt all activities associated with gold mining in the property;
  4. Takes note of the August 2013 decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation which declared inoperative the order of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology on approval of the Regulations about “Yugyd Va” National Park”, thereby confirming that the original boundaries of the national park, which coincide with the boundaries of the northern component of the property, remain valid;
  5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to implement the following measures:
    1. Revoke or freeze the exploration and exploitation licenses already granted,
    2. Reverse the boundary changes made to Yugyd Va National Park;
  6. Notes that the State Party had submitted a re-nomination of the property proposing significant boundary modifications, which was incomplete and was therefore not transmitted for evaluation;
  7. Considers that any resumption of mining activities inside the property would provide the basis for immediate inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;
  8. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a detailed report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above requests, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015. 
Draft Decision:   38 COM 7B.78

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.  Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.24, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),

3.  Regrets that the State Party has reversed neither the boundary changes which removed the legal protection of four areas within the property nor the 19.9 square km gold mining concession and has not revoked or frozen mining exploitation licences granted inside the property as requested by the Committee at its 35th and 36th sessions, reiterates its position that mining activities are not compatible with World Heritage status, and urges the State Party to immediately halt all activities associated with gold mining in the property;

4.  Takes note of the August 2013 decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation which declared inoperative the order of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology on approval of the Regulations about “Yugyd Va” National Park”, thereby confirming that the original boundaries of the national park, which coincide with the boundaries of the northern component of the property, remain valid;

5.  Reiterates its request to the State Party to implement the following measures:

a)  Revoke or freeze the exploration and exploitation licenses already granted,

b)  Reverse the boundary changes made to Yugyd Va National Park;

6.  Notes that the State Party had submitted a re-nomination of the property proposing significant boundary modifications, which was incomplete and was therefore not transmitted for evaluation;

7.  Considers that any resumption of mining activities inside the property would provide the basis for immediate inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;

8.  Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a detailed report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above requests, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015. 

Report year: 2014
Russian Federation
Date of Inscription: 1995
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)
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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