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Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe

Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Commercial hunting
  • Forestry /wood production
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Lack of integrated Management Plan (in progress)
  • Lack of transnational research and monitoring plans (in progress)
  • Need for capacity building (in progress)
  • Inadequate regulation and management of uses and activities (logging and hunting) in the Slovak part of the property
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

A joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission visited the Slovak components of the property in October 2014. The States Parties of Slovakia and Ukraine submitted state of conservation reports. All these reports are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1133/documents.  

The State Party of Slovakia reports the following:

  • A “Joint Declaration of Intent between the relevant Ministries of Germany, Slovak Republic and Ukraine concerning the Cooperation on the Protection and Management of the property” was signed in May 2014 and the next session of the Joint Management Committee is planned for October 2015.
  • An amendment of the Law on Nature Protection is in force since 1 January 2014.
  • In 2014, a draft non-legislative Action Plan was prepared for the Poloniny National Park, which will be in use until the official Management Programme of the Poloniny National Park is developed and approved in 2016. There is an intention to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN advisory mission in 2015 to provide advice, inter alia, on the Management Programme plan for the Slovak components of the property. Within the process of the current on-going preparation of a proposal for extension of the property to other countries, the State Party of Slovakia is planning to explore options of reconfiguring its components and their buffer zones to ensure better management of the property. Addition of further components in Slovakia is also envisaged.
  • The Ministry of Environment established the Slovak Joint Management Committee to deal with issues pertinent to the European Diploma of Protected Areas and the World Heritage property.
  • An agreement was signed between the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The two Ministries are also jointly preparing alternative forest management solutions to ensure protection of the property’s OUV.
  • No development projects requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) are planned in the region.
  • A Slovak – Norway project “Nature Protection as an opportunity for Regional Development, 2015 – 2017” (total amount 999.643 €).
  • On 4 May 2015: training of local stakeholders on existing opportunities to support nature-friendly management of agriculture and forest land and rural development from EU Structural Funds.

The 2014 mission concluded that whilst the values of the Slovak components of the property had been relatively well preserved, an integrated management system that could address existing threats was still lacking. It also concluded that the current boundary design of the Slovak components does not adequately reflect its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).  

The report submitted by the State Party of Ukraine provides additional information on the preparation of the extension of the property to other countries and on the activities that have been undertaken by the States Parties involved.

On 23 March 2015 the State Party of Germany submitted information on a planned tourism infrastructure project aimed at improving visitors’ safety at the King’s Throne cliffs in the Jasmund National Park component of the property.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

The on-going cooperation between the States Parties of Germany, Slovakia and Ukraine and the signing of the Joint Declaration of Intent is worth commending, and it is recommended that the Committee encourage the States Parties to continue their cooperation.

Some progress has been achieved by the State Party of Slovakia in enhancing cooperation between the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the latter being responsible for forest lands within the boundaries of Poloniny National Park and Vihorlat Protected Landscape Area. The Cooperation and Collaboration Framework Agreement signed between the two Ministries includes a number of tasks to be jointly accomplished, including cooperation in the preparation and implementation of a management plan for the property. Unsustainable forest management practices within the Slovak components of the property have been one of the major concerns previously expressed by the Committee. Therefore, this represents a positive step towards finding a solution that would ensure protection of its OUV; particularly since the reactive monitoring mission noted that logging continued to pose threats to the OUV and integrity of the property and that, although no logging was taking place within the property, forest management plans applicable to some areas overlapping with the property provided for logging within its boundaries.

Despite a few positive steps, the absence of an integrated management framework for the Slovak part of the property and of management plans for its individual components raises concerns. Although a draft Action Plan has been prepared for the Poloniny National Park, it is a non-legislative instrument and a Management Programme for this component is yet to be prepared. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party of Slovakia to ensure that no logging operations are permitted within the Slovak components of the property until an integrated management framework for these components has been developed, in consultation with the States Parties of Germany and Ukraine, that would provide an adequate level of protection for the OUV of the property and also take into account other international designations, such as Biosphere Reserve and European Diploma.

The reactive monitoring mission further noted that the current boundary design of the Slovak components does not provide adequate protection of the property’s OUV. It is therefore recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party of Slovakia to develop a proposal for boundary modification of its components, taking into account the advice that will be provided by the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Advisory mission the State Party of Slovakia has expressed its intent to invite in 2015. It is also noted that the State Party of Slovakia intends to propose further components for inclusion in the property within the framework of the extension currently being elaborated of the existing trilateral site to other countries. It is therefore recommended that the reconfiguration of the existing Slovak components of the property be undertaken within that process to ensure consistency with the overall design of the transnational serial extension.

The reactive monitoring mission underlined the importance of involving local stakeholders in Slovakia into the process of the preparation of any key plans and management instruments which could help improve the recognition of the World Heritage values of the property among local communities. 

IUCN has also reviewed the information provided by the State Party of Germany on the planned tourism infrastructure development in the Jasmund National Park and considers that this development would not pose a threat to the property’s OUV.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7B.19
Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany (Ukraine, Germany, Slovakia) (N 1133bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.75, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the States Parties of Germany, Slovakia and Ukraine for their cooperation concerning the protection and management of the property and for signing the Joint Declaration of Intent and encourages the States Parties to continue their efforts;
  4. Welcomes the progress achieved by the State Party of Slovakia towards enhancing cooperation between relevant Ministries responsible for the management of Slovak components of the property, but notes with concern that an integrated management framework for the Slovak components of the property is still lacking and that forest management plans providing for logging apply to some areas within the property boundaries;
  5. Endorses the recommendations of the 2014 reactive monitoring mission and requests the State Party of Slovakia to implement them;
  6. Also requests the State Party of Slovakia to ensure that no logging operations take place within the property’s boundaries until this issue is resolved through the development, in consultation with the States Parties of Germany and Ukraine, of an integrated management framework for the Slovak components of the property, focused on nature conservation and taking into account all international designations, such as World Heritage property, Biosphere Reserve and European Diploma;
  7. Notes that the current delineation of the Slovak components of the property does not provide for adequate protection of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and further requests the State Party of Slovakia to develop a proposal for boundary modification of its components, in close cooperation with the States Parties of Germany and Ukraine, as well as other States Parties who are currently preparing a proposal for an extension of the property;
  8. Takes note of the State Party of Slovakia’s intention to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Advisory mission to provide advice on the management of the Slovak components of the property and on the development of a proposal for boundary modification;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party of Slovakia to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2016, 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 41st session in 2017.
Draft Decision: 39 COM 7B.19

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.75, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the States Parties of Germany, Slovakia and Ukraine for their cooperation concerning the protection and management of the property and for signing the Joint Declarion of Intent and encourages the States Parties to continue their efforts;
  4. Welcomes the progress achieved by the State Party of Slovakia towards enhancing cooperation between relevant Ministries responsible for the management of Slovak components of the property, but notes with concern that an integrated management framework for the Slovak components of the property is still lacking and that forest management plans providing for logging apply to some areas within the property boundaries;
  5. Endorses the recommendations of the 2014 reactive monitoring mission and requests the State Party of Slovakia to implement them;
  6. Also requests the State Party of Slovakia to ensure that no logging operations take place within the property’s boundaries until this issue is resolved through the development, in consultation with the States Parties of Germany and Ukraine, of an integrated management framework for the Slovak components of the property, focused on nature conservation and taking into account all international designations, such as World Heritage property, Biosphere Reserve and European Diploma;
  7. Notes that the current delineation of the Slovak components of the property does not provide for adequate protection of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and further requests the State Party of Slovakia to develop a proposal for boundary modification of its components, in close cooperation with the States Parties of Germany and Ukraine, as well as other States Parties who are currently preparing a proposal for an extension of the property;
  8. Takes note of the State Party of Slovakia’s intention to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Advisory mission to provide advice on the management of the Slovak components of the property and on the development of a proposal for boundary modification;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party of Slovakia to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2016, 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 41st session in 2017.
Report year: 2015
Albania Austria Bosnia and Herzegovina Belgium Bulgaria Switzerland Czechia Germany Spain France Croatia Italy North Macedonia Poland Romania Slovenia Slovakia Ukraine
Date of Inscription: 2007
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 39COM (2015)
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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