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Curonian Spit

Lithuania, Russian Federation
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Erosion and siltation/ deposition
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Localised utilities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Marine transport infrastructure
  • Oil and gas
  • Surface water pollution
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Potential pollution from the oil exploitation of the D-6 oil field in the Baltic Sea by the Russian Federation
  • Lack of bilateral cooperation between Lithuania and the Russian Federation, including joint assessment of environmental impact of the D-6 project
  • Impacts of sewage spill accident which took place at Klaipėda Water Treatment Station (Lithuania)
  • New constructions and possibly illegal constructions
  • Sand dunes erosion
  • Possible tourism economic zone in Kaliningrad
  • Construction of a Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal outside Klaipėda and proposed construction of a deep sea port at Klaipėda
  • Reported plans to construct a suspension bridge from Klaipėda across the Lagoon to the Spit
  • Absence of a Management Plan and associated cooperative management system between the States Parties
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 3 (from 1998-2002)
Total amount approved : 85,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

August 2001: ICOMOS monitoring mission; November 2003: World Heritage Centre mission; July 2009: ICOMOS/IUCN Technical Advisory mission (invited by Lithuania); December 2010: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; January 2015: ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 20 November 2017, the State Party of Lithuania submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property; followed on 1 December 2017 by a report from the Russian Federation, which are both available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/994/documents/. These reports outline progress made in relation to the requests of the Committee:

Lithuania:

  • An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be completed by the end of 2018 for the proposed deepening of the inner navigation canal of Klaipėda Port up to a depth of 17.0 m, the deepening of the external navigation canal up to a depth of 17.5 m and the reconstruction of the hydraulic structures for the Port entry gate;
  • The General Plan of Klaipėda Port territory is due to be approved in early 2018. It is intended to establish regulations for Klaipeda Port area activities and the main trends of Klaipeda Port development for 15 years;
  • There has been no final decision concerning a deep sea outer port at Klaipėda;
  • A new construction of the Sea Therapy Centre is planned within the property, but has not yet been examined at national level;
  • The State Party plans to start designing works for the small boats and yacht harbor in Juodkrantė, as well as a high-voltage line-cabling project;
  • The two States Parties wish to prepare two separate Management Plans for the property. The Lithuanian authorities have already drafted a Management Plan, taking into account the concerns of the local people and the visions of the local institutions;
  • The State Party strongly reaffirms that there is no formal proposal for construction of a suspension bridge from Klaipéda across the Lagoon to the Spit;
  • Lithuanian authorities have implemented national and international projects for the conservation and protection of the property.

Russian Federation:

  • The Draft Program for Social and Economic Development of Curonian Spit Rural Settlement Municipality (2014-2021) was prepared but is not yet approved by the Administration of Curonian Spit National Park (CSNP), nor by the Government of the Kaliningrad Region;
  • The Project of the CSNP Preservation Area is being considered by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment;
  • The Project of the preservation of protective dune ridge was validated by the State Environmental Review and is currently under the State Technical Expertise;
  • The CSNP took necessary actions for the conservation of the stretches of the protective coastal dune ridge (total 3.1 ha).
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

The reports indicate that the States Parties have continued efforts to address the property’s current conservation issues.

The State Party of Lithuania will complete the EIA regarding the deepening of the navigation canal and a reconstruction of Klaipėda Port by the end of 2018 and has confirmed that there is no formal proposal for construction of a suspension bridge from Klaipéda across the Lagoon to the Spit. The State Party of Lithuania should submit the General Plan of Klaipeda Port to the World Heritage Centre for review, prior to its formal adoption.

The Reactive Monitoring mission of January 2015 concluded that the proposed construction of a deep sea port has potential to impact upon the attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. However, if the enlargement of the existing channel area does not exceed the current port borders, the project may be consistent with the OUV of the property. Therefore, potential impacts should be thoroughly addressed through EIAs and Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs), in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidelines on HIAs for World Heritage Cultural Properties and with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment. They should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before any decision is made.

The State Party of Lithuania reports briefly on a planned new construction of the Sea Therapy Centre within the property, plans to start designing works for the small boats and yacht harbor in Juodkrantė, as well as a high-voltage line-cabling project. An independent HIA is necessary before any planning provision is finalized and building permit issued for these projects.

In response to their different legal systems and institutions, the States Parties of Lithuania and the Russian Federation are considering developing two separate interrelated Management Plans (with similar content and measures) in which the management of the Curonian Spit, the actions for the preservation of the OUV of the property and responsible institutions are defined, and means of information exchange are provided.  While it is understood that the management systems in the two countries are different, as this is a trans-boundary property with shared attributes, an agreed formal over-arching management approach is necessary.  It is recommended that the States Parties agree on a suite of shared strategies to guide both separate Management Plans, agree to undertake HIAs on the OUV of the whole property, not just national components, and agree to the formation of a system of inter-institutional and international (transboundary) cooperation in order to oversee the coordinated implementation of shared strategies. There are a number of matters raised in the conclusions of the 2015 Reactive Monitoring mission report which are yet to be addressed.  These include, for example, preparation of a capacity development strategy for the national parks administrations and municipalities’ staff, a construction policy for the shores and fore dunes, improved processes for resolving conflicts between the national parks and the municipalities, identification and regulation of appropriate buffer zones and development of an education and information strategy. These matters should appropriately be addressed through the integrated trans-boundary Management Plan.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7B.25
Curonian Spit (Lithuania, Russian Federation) (C 994)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.53, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul, 2016),
  3. Welcomes the two States Parties’ efforts in addressing the property’s current conservation issues;
  4. Taking note of the commitment of the State Party of Lithuania concerning the completion the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the deepening of the navigation canal and a reconstruction of Klaipèda Port by the end of 2018;
  5. Reminding the State Party of Lithuania that the Reactive Monitoring mission of January 2015 concluded that the proposed construction of a deep sea port has the potential to impact upon the attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, considers that if the enlargement of the existing channel area does not exceed the current port borders, the project may be consistent with the OUV of the property; and requests the State Party to address all potential impacts through EIAs and Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs), in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties and with IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the project on the OUV of the property, which should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before any decision is made;
  6. Also requests the State Party of Lithuania to submit the General Plan of Klaipėda Port territory to the World Heritage Centre before it is adopted and any irreversible decisions are made regarding its implementation, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Further requests that HIAs are undertaken for a new construction of the Sea Therapy Centre, designing works for the small boats and yacht harbor in Juodkrantė, as well as a high-voltage line-cabling project before any decisions are taken, in order to clearly define potential impacts on the attributes of OUV;
  8. Requests furthermore the two States Parties to address any remaining recommendations of the 2015 Reactive Monitoring mission, particularly, preparation of a capacity development strategy, a construction policy for the shores and fore dunes, improved processes for conflict resolution, consideration of appropriate buffer zones and development of an education and information strategy;
  9. Notes with satisfaction that there is currently no proposal for the construction of a suspension bridge from Klaipėda across the lagoon to the Spit;
  10. Although noting the two States Parties wish to prepare two separate Management Plans to reflect different management systems, nevertheless urges the States Parties to integrate these plans with agreed over-arching strategies, to undertake HIAs on the OUV of the whole property, not just national components, and to establish a system of inter-institutional and international (transboundary) cooperation in order to oversee the coordinated implementation of shared strategies;
  11. Finally requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, a joint updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7B.25

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.53, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul, 2016),
  3. Welcomes the two States Parties’ efforts in addressing the property’s current conservation issues;
  4. Taking note of the commitment of the State Party of Lithuania concerning the completion the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the deepening of the navigation canal and a reconstruction of Klaipèda Port by the end of 2018;
  5. Reminding the State Party of Lithuania that the Reactive Monitoring mission of January 2015 concluded that the proposed construction of a deep sea port has the potential to impact upon the attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, considers that if the enlargement of the existing channel area does not exceed the current port borders, the project may be consistent with the OUV of the property; and requests the State Party to address all potential impacts through EIAs and Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs), in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties and with IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the project on the OUV of the property, which should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before any decision is made;
  6. Also requests the State Party of Lithuania to submit the General Plan of Klaipėda Port territory to the World Heritage Centre before it is adopted and any irreversible decisions are made regarding its implementation, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Further requests that HIAs are undertaken for a new construction of the Sea Therapy Centre, designing works for the small boats and yacht harbor in Juodkrantė, as well as a high-voltage line-cabling project before any decisions are taken, in order to clearly define potential impacts on the attributes of OUV;
  8. Requests furthermore the two States Parties to address any remaining recommendations of the 2015 Reactive Monitoring mission, particularly, preparation of a capacity development strategy, a construction policy for the shores and fore dunes, improved processes for conflict resolution, consideration of appropriate buffer zones and development of an education and information strategy;
  9. Notes with satisfaction that there is currently no proposal for the construction of a suspension bridge from Klaipėda across the lagoon to the Spit;
  10. Although noting the two States Parties wish to prepare two separate Management Plans to reflect different management systems, nevertheless urges the States Parties to integrate these plans with agreed over-arching strategies, to undertake HIAs on the OUV of the whole property, not just national components, and to establish a system of inter-institutional and international (transboundary) cooperation in order to oversee the coordinated implementation of shared strategies;
  11. Finally requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, a joint updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.
Report year: 2018
Lithuania Russian Federation
Date of Inscription: 2000
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (v)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2017) .pdf
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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