Volcanoes of Kamchatka

Russian Federation
Factors affecting the property in 2000*
  • Illegal activities
  • Major linear utilities
  • Mining
  • Renewable energy facilities
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

 Proposed mining project

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2000
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2000**

1997: UICN mission

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2000

Previous deliberations:
Twenty-second session of the Committee – paragraph VII.27 and Annex IV

New information: IUCN has informed the Centre that on the 12 December 1999, the Governor of Kamchatka announced the establishment of the new Kluchevskoy Nature Park of 375,981 ha., which includes the largest group of volcanoes in Eurasia.  An extension to the existing World Heritage site has been proposed and IUCN has recommended that this be evaluated in 2001. IUCN has also received a report from Project Kamchatka '98, which presents the results of the 1998 joint expedition of the Kamchatka Institute of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Russian Academy of Sciences (KIEP) and Cambridge University. This report records a number of socio-economic difficulties in this region and emphasises the need to link planning of the World Heritage site with development opportunities for local populations. The report notes that: "without constructive collaboration between the Bystrinsky District Administration, the Kamchatka Parks Directorate and the local communities, it is impossible to achieve effective development of the Park, the population and the district as a whole". To address these issues the Project Kamchatka report proposes a number of practical suggestions to regulators and decision-makers relating to options for conservation, sustainable development and research.

IUCN has received a copy of a proposal of a GEF, Block B Grant entitled: “Demonstrating sustainable conservation of biological diversity in four protected areas on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula". The proposal was due to be examined by the GEF Council in April 2000. IUCN notes that this World Heritage site faces significant management challenges and urges the World Heritage Bureau and Committee and the international community to support conservation efforts at this site.

The Secretariat will encourage the State Party and the Kamchatka Regional Authorities to proceed with the proposal to extend the site, for possible evaluation by IUCN in 2001, and to mobilise GEF funding to conserve biological diversity. The State Party will be encouraged to consider implementing the findings of the Report of the “Project Kamchatka 98” and study the feasibility for linking biodiversity conservation and regional socio-economic development.

Action Required
Note: this report was presented to the Bureau for noting only.
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2000

IUCN has received reports of potential threats to the Volcanoes of Kamchatka World Heritage site. These include: i) salmon poaching; ii) proposals for gold mining; iii) a gas pipeline; and iv) a geothermal power plant.


i)           Salmon Poaching: Kamchatka boasts Asia’s biggest salmon spawning run with 1.7 million salmon swimming up-stream to spawn which attracts hundreds of brown bears and rare sea eagles. One third of the world’s Pacific salmon population spawns in the rivers of the Kamchatka Peninsula, including the World Heritage site. However, it is reported that organised illegal gangs of poachers flown in to the region are causing great damage to the salmon population. Rivers are blocked with nets sometimes stripping an entire year’s salmon run. Brown bears are also poached for their organs for the Asian market. Some estimates suggest that the bear population has decreased by fifty percent since the 1960’s due to excessive hunting and poaching.

ii)         Gold mining: It has been reported to IUCN that there is interest in altering the boundaries of the Kamchatka World Heritage site and to shift the Park boundary northward by about 50km in order to open up part of the present site to gold mining. The Ministry argues that up to US$600 million could be generated in revenues from a mine in the area. IUCN has been informed of opposition to these proposals from environmental groups and aboriginal people from the Bystrinsky district.

iii)        Gas pipeline: IUCN has received reports that the region is planning to spend US$200 million to build a 470km pipeline from gas deposits in Western Kamchatka to the regional capital, following a route near the Bystrinsky Park. According to a UNDP report, this pipeline would cross 83 salmon-spawning rivers and streams and could threaten the region’s salmon population.

iv)       Geothermal powerplant: An engineering firm, Geoterm, plans to complete a US$150 million power plant next to the Mutnovsky Volcano at the end of 2001 to provide power for much of the main city of the Kamchatka Peninsula. The specific impacts of this on the World Heritage site are unclear.

IUCN noted the socio-economic difficulties in this region and emphasised the need to link planning of the World Heritage site with development opportunities for local populations. IUCN supported the recommendations of the Project Kamchatka report (reported in IUCN April, 2000 State of Conservation Report), which make a number of practical suggestions to regulators and decision-makers relating to options for conservation, sustainable development and research. IUCN also strongly supported implementation of the UNDP/GEF project to enhance environmental protection in this region. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2000
24 BUR IV.B.78
State of conservation

The Bureau took note of the information provided in the working document on the state of conservation of the following properties:


Comoe National Park (Côte d’Ivoire)

Caves of the Aggtelek and Slovak Karst (Hungary/Slovakia)

The Delegate of Morocco pointed out that the protection of surface water is important in karst systems.

Kaziranga National Park (India)

Lorentz National Park (Indonesia)

Kamchatka Volcanoes (Russian Federation)

Sinharaja Forest Reserve (Sri Lanka)

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda) 


Rock-hewn Churches, Lalibela (Ethiopia)

Vilnius Historic Centre (Lithuania)

City of Cuzco (Peru)

Chavin (Archaeological Site) (Peru)

Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Pampas de Jumana (Peru)

24 COM VIII.27
Volcanoes of Kamchatka (Russian Federation)

VIII.27 Volcanoes of Kamchatka (Russian Federation)

The Observer of Russia informed the Committee that the information provided in the Bureau report seemed to relate to the Kamchatka region and not the World Heritage site. He stated that in-depth information would be provided by September 2001.

The Bureau may wish to adopt the following decision and transmit it to the Committee for noting:

“The Bureau notes with concern the reported threats to this site. The Bureau requests the State Party to provide a state of conservation report on this site which addresses the points raised by IUCN in time for the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau.”

Report year: 2000
Russian Federation
Date of Inscription: 1996
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)

* : 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.