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Virgin Komi Forests

Russian Federation
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Management and institutional factors (Changes to the boundaries of Yugyd Va National Park)
  • Mining (Gold mining inside the property)
  • Tourism (need for a sustainable tourism management strategy)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

2010: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 30 November 2017, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/719/documents/ and provides the following information:

  • The boundaries of the property within the Yugyd Va National Park (YVNP) have not changed and no exploration or extraction of minerals have been carried out on the property’s territory, including within the area of Chudnoe gold deposit. The Arbitration Court of the Republic of Komi granted ZAO “Gold Minerals” a postponement until 1 September 2018 for the removal of their large-size equipment and property from the Chudnoe site;
  • A Business Plan and a Management Plan were developed for the YVNP for the 2016-2020 period;
  • In the framework of an UNDP/GEF (Global Environment Facility) project, a number of activities were implemented, which were aimed at the prevention of forest fires and permafrost protection;
  • Two monitoring programmes for key species and tourism flows, respectively, have continued. No major negative impacts have been observed;
  • A fire-fighting station was established on the territory of the park. In 2017, three forest fires impacting a total area of 791.6 ha were extinguished within the park.

The State Party also submitted an Integrated Management Plan for the property for the 2017-2031 period.

On 1 March 2018 and 18 April 2018, the World Heritage Centre requested clarifications from the State Party regarding information available on the official website of the Russian Federal Geological Fund “Rosgeolfond” of the Federal Agency for Subsoil Use “Rosnedra”. According to this information, the license for exploration and mining at the Chudnoe gold deposit was amended twice in 2017 and would only expire by 31 December 2029. No response has been received from the State Party at the time of writing.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

The State Party report only provides information on one component of the property, YVNP, but no information on the Pechora Ilych Nature Reserve (PISNR) component.

The information provided by the State Party that no exploration or extraction of minerals has been carried out within the property, and that the ZAO “Gold Minerals” company has to remove its equipment and property from the area of the Chudnoe gold deposit by September 2018 is noted. However, it is noted with concern that the license granted to ZAO “Gold Minerals” for exploration and extraction at Chudnoe appears to have been extended according to the information available on the official website of the Russian Federal Geological Fund “Rosgeolfond” of the Federal Agency for Subsoil Use “Rosnedra”. It is therefore recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to clarify the status of this license, and to urgently revoke the mining exploration and exploitation licenses granted for the Chudnoe gold deposit, situated within the property. It is also recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to ensure the strict enforcement of the deadline for the removal of the company’s equipment as imposed by the Arbitration Court of the Republic of Komi, and to restore the areas damaged by mining-related activities, which were undertaken in 2011 and 2012.

It is welcome that the Committee’s request to develop an Integrated Management Plan for the 2017-2031 period for the entire property has been fulfilled. In order to ensure sufficient human and financial resources for the implementation of the Plan in the entire property, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to address the total budget deficit of more than 25 million roubles (approximately USD 406,500) a year, given that a lack of resources is noted in the Integrated Management Plan as a significant obstacle. It is also welcome that prevention of forest fires and protection of permafrost was enhanced in the framework of a UNDP/GEF project and that a fire-fighting station was established.

The information provided by the State Party regarding tourism management and monitoring in YVNP is noted. However, it should be recalled that tourism impact concerns had previously been expressed in the PINR component. It is therefore recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to ensure that tourism is effectively managed across all components of the property in order to minimize any potential impacts on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7B.78
Virgin Komi Forest (Russian Federation) (N 719)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.99, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Regrets that the State Party report only includes information on one component of the property, Yugid Va National Park (YVNP) but that no information on the Pechoro-Ilychskiy Nature Reserve component is provided;
  4. Welcomes enhanced capacity for the prevention of forest fires and protection of permafrost in YVNP as well as the development of the property’s Integrated Management Plan for the 2017-2031 period, and requests the State Party to address the total budget deficit for the implementation of the plan at all components of the property;
  5. Reiterating its established position that mining exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status, notes with concern that, according to official information, the license granted to the ZAO “Gold Minerals” company for exploration and extraction at the Chudnoe gold deposit has been extended, and therefore urges the State Party to:
    1. Clarify the status of the license of the Chudnoe gold deposit,
    2. Unequivocally revoke the mining exploration and exploitation licenses granted for the Chudnoe gold deposit, as requested in previous Committee decisions
    3. Ensure that the removal of the ZAO “Gold Minerals” company’s equipment from the property is completed by September 2018 as imposed by the Arbitration Court of the Republic of Komi,
    4. Restore the areas damaged by the mining-related activities, which were undertaken in 2011 and 2012;
  6. Recalling previous concerns regarding tourism impacts on Pechoro-Ilychskiy Nature Reserve, also requests the State Party to ensure that tourism is effectively managed across all components of the property in order to minimize negative impacts on its Outstanding Universal Value;
  7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the entire property, including the Pechoro-Ilychskiy Nature Reserve and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020.
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7B.78

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.99, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Regrets that the State Party report only includes information on one component of the property, Yugid Va National Park (YVNP) but that no information on the Pechoro-Ilychskiy Nature Reserve component is provided;
  4. Welcomes enhanced capacity for the prevention of forest fires and protection of permafrost in YVNP as well as the development of the property’s Integrated Management Plan for the 2017-2031 period, and requests the State Party to address the total budget deficit for the implementation of the plan at all components of the property;
  5. Reiterating its established position that mining exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status, notes with concern that, according to official information, the license granted to the ZAO “Gold Minerals” company for exploration and extraction at the Chudnoe gold deposit has been extended, and therefore urges the State Party to:
    1. Clarify the status of the license of the Chudnoe gold deposit,
    2. Unequivocally revoke the mining exploration and exploitation licenses granted for the Chudnoe gold deposit, as requested in previous Committee decisions
    3. Ensure that the removal of the ZAO “Gold Minerals” company’s equipment from the property is completed by September 2018 as imposed by the Arbitration Court of the Republic of Komi,
    4. Restore the areas damaged by the mining-related activities, which were undertaken in 2011 and 2012;
  6. Recalling previous concerns regarding tourism impacts on Pechoro-Ilychskiy Nature Reserve, also requests the State Party to ensure that tourism is effectively managed across all components of the property in order to minimize negative impacts on its Outstanding Universal Value;
  7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the entire property, including the Pechoro-Ilychskiy Nature Reserve and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020.
Report year: 2018
Russian Federation
Date of Inscription: 1995
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2017) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 42COM (2018)
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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