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Central Sikhote-Alin

Russian Federation
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Factors identified at the time of the significant boundary modification:
  • Incomplete process of configuration and designation of the property’s buffer zone
  • Need to finalize the Integrated Management Plan for the extension
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 10 February 2020, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/766/documents/, and on 5 March 2020, the Integrated Management Plan (IMP) for the World Heritage property “Central Sikhote-Alin” (2019-2023). The State Party provides the following information:

  • The IMP outlines the conservation and protection measures, educational work, and research and monitoring activities for each component. The main threats to the property are identified as poaching, forest fires and unregulated tourism. A joint Action Plan for managing the property is proposed. To bridge gaps for an integrated management it is suggested, among other tasks, to create a Coordinative Council and joint operational groups and sign a trilateral agreement between the components;
  • In the Bikin River Valley component, indigenous peoples’ interests such as hunting and fishing, tourism and settlements are considered through the new Council of Indigenous Minorities within the administration of the National Park. The park authority is collaborating with indigenous groups to create a network of tourist routes through Bikin River Valley to experience nature and culture. Several events were held to promote conservation, including festivals celebrating indigenous traditions;
  • The Sikhote-Alin Strict Nature Reserve component continues to face threats from outside its boundaries, particularly the large forest plantations along its perimeters, which were all impacted by logging or forest fires in 2019, affecting migrating ungulate populations;
  • Overall, the components are reported to be well preserved. Results of annual monitoring, including Amur tiger and Amur goral populations, show an upward trend for these species and a general stable state of the reserve’s ecosystems. Anti-poaching activities have improved, including increased numbers of patrols, new vehicles for inspectors and adaptive raid management based on computerised monitoring results;
  • Some threats remain and new threats have emerged. A new flight route established between Vladivostok and Terney in 2015 has led to a threefold increase in the number of tourists to the Strict Nature Reserve. In Bikin River Valley, unauthorised fishing, use of all-terrain vehicles and accessibility from the Terney district are of particular concern. The impact of tourism and recreational load is being monitored annually along tourist routes;
  • No significant changes to the property boundaries are envisioned, however the IMP includes an action to increase the territory of the Strict Nature Reserve.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

The submission of an IMP is welcomed. However, it is noted that the components of the property are still largely managed separately and will need to be further consolidated and strengthened. It is recommended that the Committee requests the State Party to establish the Coordinative Council for integrated management as a matter of priority and implement other tasks proposed in the Joint Action Plan of the IMP that will enhance integrated management of the property.

The progress on finalizing the buffer zone around Bikin River Valley is welcomed. However, noting that the majority of its width is limited to 1km, the concern raised by the 2018 IUCN Evaluation of the extension regarding the potential capacity of the buffer zone to effectively provide ecological connectivity, remains. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to finalize the formalization of the buffer zone, consistent with the requirements of the Operational Guidelines and the recommendations of the IUCN Evaluation.

The establishment of the Council of Indigenous Minorities, continued collaboration to ensure indigenous peoples’ rights and interests are respected, as well as efforts to preserve the traditional way of life in the Bikin National Park all strengthen the efforts to engage local indigenous peoples, which were noted at the time of Decision 42 COM 8B.9. It is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to continue this work.

The increased anti-poaching activities and education are welcomed. Monitoring results showing an upward trend of the Amur tiger population are positive, however, no information was provided on the development of a long-term vision to enhance connectivity with other protected and non-protected tiger habitats, as was encouraged by the World Heritage Committee. In this regard, the commitment of the State Party to increase the territory of the Sikhote-Alin Strict Nature Reserve is noted, and it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide further information on this process and how it would address the recommendations made by the Committee regarding a connectivity strategy for Amur tiger habitat.

It is noted with concern that large-scale logging around the Sikhote-Alin Strict Nature Reserve is having a negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and that the dense network of timber harvesting roads is increasing every year, allowing access to remote areas and leading to greater risk of poaching and forest fires. To address these issues, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to designate an adequate buffer zone for the component and consider strengthening logging regulations around the property.

Regarding tourism, although numbers remain relatively low despite a threefold increase due to the opening of a new direct flight from Vladivostok in 2015, it is noted that unregulated tourism, including visitors from nearby regions and recreational activities such as uncontrolled fishing and other resource use, are impacting negatively on the property’s OUV. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to effectively regulate tourism and recreational activities and prepare a tourism management strategy that clearly defines the type of activities permitted and outlines how impacts of tourism and recreational use on the OUV of the property will be controlled.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.105
Central Sikhote-Alin (Russian Federation) (N 766bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.84, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018)
  3. Welcomes the submission of an Integrated Management Plan (IMP) for the property, but considers that management of the components of the property will need to be further consolidated and therefore requests the State Party to establish a Coordinative Council for integrated management of all component parts, as foreseen in the IMP, as a matter of priority, and to complete the tasks listed in the Joint Action Plan of the IMP;
  4. Also welcomes the establishment of the Council of Indigenous Minorities, and the continued collaboration and dialogue with indigenous peoples, as well as efforts to showcase and preserve the traditional way of life in the Bikin National Park, and encourages the State Party to continue this work;
  5. Further welcomes the progress on finalizing the designation of a buffer zone around the Bikin River Valley component, however notes with concern that the current proposal appears to suggest only a very narrow buffer zone, and that large-scale logging activities and the associated increase in forest roads along the boundaries of the Sikhote-Alin Strict Nature Reserve are negatively affecting the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and leading to greater risk of poaching and forest fires, and also requests the State Party to:
    1. Further develop a proposal for an adequate formal buffer zone for the Bikin River Valley component, in line with the recommendations of the 2018 IUCN Evaluation and Decision 42 COM 8B.9,
    2. Establish at the same time a formal buffer zone for the Sikhote-Alin Strict Nature Reserve within which logging activities are prohibited, and strengthen the regulation of logging activities in the vicinity of the property beyond the buffer zone,
    3. Ensure that the process of designating an adequate buffer zone for the property is undertaken in a coordinated manner across all components,
    4. Submit the proposal for a consolidated buffer zone through a Minor Boundary Modification procedure, in conformity with Paragraphs 163 and 164 of the Operational Guidelines;
  6. Welcomes furthermore the State Party’s commitment to increase the territory of the Sikhote-Alin Strict Nature Reserve and further requests the State Party to provide further information on this process and how it would address the recommendations made by the Committee regarding the connectivity of the Amur tiger habitat;
  7. Also notes with concern the increase in access routes, unregulated tourism and recreational use of the property leading to potential negative impacts on its OUV, and therefore requests furthermore the State Party to regulate tourism and recreational activities within the property and its buffer zones and prepare a tourism management strategy that clearly defines the type of activities permitted and outlines how impacts of tourism and recreational use will be monitored and controlled;
  8. Requests furthermore 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.
44 COM 8B.67
Statements of Outstanding Universal Value of properties inscribed at previous sessions and not adopted by the World Heritage Committee

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/8B.Add,
  2. Adopts the Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for the following World Heritage properties inscribed at previous sessions of the World Heritage Committee:
  • Azerbaijan, Historic Centre of Sheki with the Khan’s Palace;
  • Cambodia, Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk, Archaeological Site of Ancient Ishanapura;
  • China, Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China (Phase I);
  • Czechia, Landscape for Breeding and Training of Ceremonial Carriage Horses at Kladruby nad Labem;
  • India, Jaipur City, Rajasthan;
  • Poland, Krzemionki Prehistoric Striped Flint Mining Region;
  • Portugal, Royal Building of Mafra – Palace, Basilica, Convent, Cerco Garden and Hunting Park (Tapada);
  • Portugal, Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga;
  • Russian Federation, Central Sikhote-Alin;
  • Saudi Arabia, Al-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Cultural Landscape;
  • South Africa, Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains.
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.105

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.84, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018)
  3. Welcomes the submission of an Integrated Management Plan (IMP) for the property, but considers that management of the components of the property will need to be further consolidated and therefore requests the State Party to establish a Coordinative Council for integrated management of all component parts, as foreseen in the IMP, as a matter of priority, and to complete the tasks listed in the Joint Action Plan of the IMP;
  4. Also welcomes the establishment of the Council of Indigenous Minorities, and the continued collaboration and dialogue with indigenous peoples, as well as efforts to showcase and preserve the traditional way of life in the Bikin National Park, and encourages the State Party to continue this work;
  5. Further welcomes the progress on finalizing the designation of a buffer zone around the Bikin River Valley component, however notes with concern that the current proposal appears to suggest only a very narrow buffer zone, and that large-scale logging activities and the associated increase in forest roads along the boundaries of the Sikhote-Alin Strict Nature Reserve are negatively affecting the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and leading to greater risk of poaching and forest fires, and also requests the State Party to:
    1. Further develop a proposal for an adequate formal buffer zone for the Bikin River Valley component, in line with the recommendations of the 2018 IUCN Evaluation and Decision 42 COM 8B.9,
    2. Establish at the same time a formal buffer zone for the Sikhote-Alin Strict Nature Reserve within which logging activities are prohibited, and strengthen the regulation of logging activities in the vicinity of the property beyond the buffer zone,
    3. Ensure that the process of designating an adequate buffer zone for the property is undertaken in a coordinated manner across all components,
    4. Submit the proposal for a consolidated buffer zone through a Minor Boundary Modification procedure, in conformity with Paragraphs 163 and 164 of the Operational Guidelines;
  6. Welcomes furthermore the State Party’s commitment to increase the territory of the Sikhote-Alin Strict Nature Reserve and further requests the State Party to provide further information on this process and how it would address the recommendations made by the Committee regarding the connectivity of the Amur tiger habitat;
  7. Also notes with concern the increase in access routes, unregulated tourism and recreational use of the property leading to potential negative impacts on its OUV, and therefore requests furthermore the State Party to regulate tourism and recreational activities within the property and its buffer zones and prepare a tourism management strategy that clearly defines the type of activities permitted and outlines how impacts of tourism and recreational use will be monitored and controlled;
  8. Requests furthermore 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
Russian Federation
Date of Inscription: 2001
Category: Natural
Criteria: (x)
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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