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Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor

Montenegro
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Land conversion
  • Legal framework
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Society's valuing of heritage
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Earthquake damage (issue resolved)
  • Lack of Management System/Management Plan
  • Inadequate legal framework
  • Building and development (accelerated urban development and urban pressure)
  • Ground transportation infrastructure (proposed major bridge at Verige and other proposed development projects)
  • Lack of buffer zone (issue resolved)
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Land conversion
  • Society’s valuing of heritage
  • Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system
  • Impacts of tourism/visitor/recreation
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 2 (from 1979-1982)
Total amount approved : 70,000 USD
1982 Equipment for the Institute for the Protection of ... (Approved)   50,000 USD
1979 Emergency assistance for the natural and ... (Approved)   20,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

2003: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS mission; January 2006: Management Planning Course; February 2008: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS mission; March 2013: ICOMOS Advisory mission; October-November 2018: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 31 January 2020, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/125/documents/. The State Party provided additional information and updates throughout 2020 and in early 2021. These documents report progress in a number of areas addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions, as follows:

  • The draft Spatial Urban Plan for Kotor Municipality has been revised on the basis of the recommendations of the 2018 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission and the December 2019 ICOMOS Technical review, and also incorporated the results of public consultation. The proposed Spatial Urban Plan was transferred to the World Heritage Centre in May 2020 for final comments and ICOMOS provided a Technical review in June 2020. The Spatial Urban Plan was adopted in summer 2020;
  • The Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor for Harmonizing Policy/Planning Framework and Instruments was completed and is now undergoing institutional review before final revisions and submission to the World Heritage Centre;
  • The new Amendments of the Law on Protection of Natural and Culturo-historic Region of Kotor were passed in December 2019;
  • The Management Plan is being updated to give consideration to the recommendations of the 2018 mission, and will be integrated with the Spatial Urban Plan and influence future legislation;
  • HIAs for the proposed Morinj accommodation complex, the reconstruction of the Hotel Teuta in Risan, the preliminary design of the planned Mariott Hotel in Kotor, and the Port of Kotor Business Plan were carried out and submitted to the World Heritage Centre;
  • The Ministry of Transport has begun preparations for an HIA of the proposed Verige Bridge;
  • Concerns raised about the Silence of Administration administrative rule were addressed during the drafting of the forthcoming Law on Spatial Planning and Construction of Structures;
  • A buffer zone study will be implemented to define in which areas in and around the property an HIA should be required for potential projects, as foreseen in the Amendments to the Law on Protection of the Natural and Culturo-historic Region of Kotor;
  • A Detailed Urban Plan for Lepetani is underway by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism and on completion it will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review;
  • Information has been provided regarding two proposed projects in the buffer zone: a local road across the Luštica peninsula and a Kotor-Lovćen cable car;
  • Information has been provided regarding the upgrading of the sewage system around Kotor Bay and the reconstruction and the expansion of a hotel development within the boundaries of the property; a project for an underpass near the old town of Kotor is being translated into one of the working languages of the World Heritage Convention, after which it will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre.

On 23 April 2021, the World Heritage Centre requested information from the State Party in line with Paragraph 174 of the Operational Guidelines on the planned contruction of an apartment complex in Risan.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

Progress in implementing the Committee’s decisions continues to be made and the recommendations of the 2018 mission are being integrated into a number of strategic documents and long-term planning tools.

The Amendments of the Law on Protection of Natural and Culturo-historic Region of Kotor were passed in order to offer increased clarity on the application of HIAs while awaiting the adoption of the revised Management Plan. It is reported that the revised Management Plan in turn will prompt further legislation for improving the management system. This process has shown the need for a more nuanced approach to the buffer zone and therefore a study is foreseen to define those areas in which projects will require an obligatory HIA.

The Spatial Urban Plan for Kotor Municipality has been adopted, while the HIA for Harmonizing Policy/Planning Framework and Instruments should soon be sent to the World Heritage Centre for review. In addition, work is underway for a Detailed Urban Plan for Lepetani, which will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review prior to its adoption. These efforts show the commitment of the State Party to translating its World Heritage obligations into the management of the property.

However, further improvements are needed to make sure that this strategic planning is reflected in decision-making for individual projects. Although the State Party regularly communicates with the World Heritage Centre regarding project proposals and HIAs are carried out, there continues to be a divergence between some of the HIAs’ conclusions and the recommendations of the 2018 mission and the ICOMOS Technical reviews. It is suggested that HIAs need to be carried out with full reference to the emerging strategic documents, that clear connections need to be made in HIAs between analysis of potential impacts on OUV and the report conclusions, and that (as recognized in Art. 2 of the Amended Law), the HIA process should inform all stages of design development, rather than being a retrospective assessment of a fully-developed project. This should be adopted for the forthcoming HIA for the Verige Bridge and any other future assessments. The State Party’s plan to harmonize the Management Plan, the Spatial Urban Plan and HIA is therefore much welcomed.

Following a high-level meeting, held at UNESCO Headquarters on 5 February 2020, between the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture, the Director of the World Heritage Centre and the Minister of Culture of Montenegro, a constructive dialogue was established between the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and national authorities in order to provide advisory assistance to the state institutions to improve HIA for the reconstruction of Hotel Teuta in Risan in the best possible way. On 25 September 2020, the State Party presented the revised plans for the reconstruction of the Hotel Teuta in Risan in an online meeting to the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS and subsequently submitted a revised HIA in November 2020. The new design proposal will reduce the negative impacts of the existing structure in close and more distant views (including from the archaeological site, Carine), improve the urban structure of Risan, and eliminate risk to any archaeological deposits below the made ground on which the hotel stands, which should be commended.

The proposals for a Kotor-Lovćen cable car and a local road for the Luštica peninsula seem to pose no problems at this stage, nor does the Business Plan for Kotor Port. However, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party, in addition to maintaining communication with the World Heritage Centre as plans are developed (for example, by providing Accurate Visual Representations for the cableway), to consider indirect and cumulative impacts of such projects on the property. The purpose of the Luštica road is to facilitate the construction of tourist resorts and, while improvements to Kotor Port are welcomed, one of its primary purposes remains that of hosting cruise ships. These cases point towards much bigger challenges in managing tourism and the impact it has on World Heritage, which goes beyond consideration of individual building or infrastructure projects.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.51
Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor (Montenegro) (C 125ter)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.87, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the ongoing efforts of the State Party to improve the management system of the property, including by passing the Amendments of the Law on Protection of Natural and Culturo-historic Region of Kotor and the on-going revision of the Management Plan, the update of the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor for Harmonizing Policy/Planning Framework and Instruments, and the development of the Detailed Urban Plan for Lepetani and the forthcoming buffer zone study, and requests the State Party to submit these documents to the World Heritage Centre prior to their adoption;
  4. Acknowledges the adoption of the Spatial Urban Plan for Kotor Municipality, and also welcomes that the recommendations in ICOMOS’ Technical review of the draft plan have been taken into account in the adopted planning document;
  5. Also requests that the revised Management Plan incorporate the recommendations of the 2018 mission so that it becomes a fully operational instrument for the efficient management of the entire property and its buffer zone, with binding policies and provisions endorsed at national and local government level within the changing legal framework, addressing the following issues in particular:
    1. development issues, in harmony with the Spatial Urban Plan for Kotor Municipality,
    2. the conservation of the tangible and intangible attributes that convey the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and other values,
    3. disaster risk reduction,
    4. tourism management, including issues related to the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts that tourism could have on the property;
  6. Further welcomes the preparation of the HIAs requested for various development proposals and the regular communication of information on other projects under consideration, and encourages the State Party to continue improving the HIA process in light of the strategic documents being prepared for the property;
  7. Commends the State Party for taking into consideration ICOMOS’ recommendations in the reconstruction of the Hotel Teuta, and welcomes furthermore that the revised design plans substantially mitigate the negative impact of the existing hotel on the OUV of the World Heritage property;
  8. Further requests the State Party to consider the conclusions of the ICOMOS Technical review on the Morinj accommodation complex, and to revisit the project in light of the Spatial Urban Plan for Kotor Municipality and consider other design alternatives that would avoid negative impacts on OUV;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies an HIA for the Verige Bridge project, Accurate Visual Representations for the Kotor-Lovćen cable car, documentation on the proposed underpass near Kotor old town and information on any developments foreseen associated with the Luštica peninsula road;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 46th session.
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.51

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.87, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the ongoing efforts of the State Party to improve the management system of the property, including by passing the Amendments of the Law on Protection of Natural and Culturo-historic Region of Kotor and the on-going revision of the Management Plan, the update of the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor for Harmonizing Policy/Planning Framework and Instruments, and the development of the Detailed Urban Plan for Lepetani and the forthcoming buffer zone study, and requests the State Party to submit these documents to the World Heritage Centre prior to their adoption;
  4. Acknowledges the adoption of the Spatial Urban Plan for Kotor Municipality, and also welcomes that the recommendations in ICOMOS’ Technical review of the draft plan have been taken into account in the adopted planning document;
  5. Also requests that the revised Management Plan incorporate the recommendations of the 2018 mission so that it becomes a fully operational instrument for the efficient management of the entire property and its buffer zone, with binding policies and provisions endorsed at national and local government level within the changing legal framework, addressing the following issues in particular:
    1. development issues, in harmony with the Spatial Urban Plan for Kotor Municipality,
    2. the conservation of the tangible and intangible attributes that convey the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and other values,
    3. disaster risk reduction,
    4. tourism management, including issues related to the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts that tourism could have on the property;
  6. Further welcomes the preparation of the HIAs requested for various development proposals and the regular communication of information on other projects under consideration, and encourages the State Party to continue improving the HIA process in light of the strategic documents being prepared for the property;
  7. Commends the State Party for taking into consideration ICOMOS’ recommendations in the reconstruction of the Hotel Teuta, and welcomes furthermore that the revised design plans substantially mitigate the negative impact of the existing hotel on the OUV of the World Heritage property;
  8. Further requests the State Party to consider the conclusions of the ICOMOS Technical review on the Morinj accommodation complex, and to revisit the project in light of the Spatial Urban Plan for Kotor Municipality and consider other design alternatives that would avoid negative impacts on OUV;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies an HIA for the Verige Bridge project, Accurate Visual Representations for the Kotor-Lovćen cable car, documentation on the proposed underpass near Kotor old town and information on any developments foreseen associated with the Luštica peninsula road;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 46th session in 2023.
Report year: 2021
Montenegro
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 1979-2003
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2020) .pdf
Initialy proposed for examination in 2020
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
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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