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World Heritage Convention

Decision 36 COM 7B.18
Pirin National Park (Bulgaria) (N 225)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.21 adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.  Takes note of conclusion of the World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission that the recent capacity upgrades of ski facilities undertaken in the buffer zone of the property do not appear to have negatively impacted the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and requests the State Party to ensure developments in the buffer zone are assessed to ensure that they do not create impacts on the property;

4.  Notes with concern the reported plans to expand new ski zones into the property, including the proposed reopening of the Tzarna Mogila ski lift and ski run, and reiterates its position that if any additional development of ski facilities, ski runs, or associated infrastructure within the property are undertaken, the conditions for inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger will be fulfilled;

5.  Urges the State Party to ensure, including through provisions in the new Management Plan, that no further areas within the property, outside the already excluded areas, are permitted for ski or other similar high-impact developments;

6.  Requests the State Party to implement the recommendations of the 2011 joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property, in particular:

a)  ensure effective wider regional planning for economic development, and ensure that no developments that exceed the capacity of the area are permitted,

b)  promote and implement the 2010 strategy for sustainable nature tourism as a viable alternative to ski-based tourism development,

c)  clearly demarcate, communicate and maintain the boundaries of the property as defined in Decision 34 COM 8B.5, using ascertained Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements, and ensure that these boundaries are respected,

d)  put in place processes to monitor the impacts of the ski and other activities within the buffer zone on the surrounding property, in order to ensure that they do not negatively impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and put in place sufficient legal, contractual or other administrative arrangements to ensure that the Pirin National Park Directorate can influence the use and environmental impact of the chalets owned by the Bulgarian Tourism Union,

e)  ensure that the implementation of restoration measures are strictly supervised and monitored by the Pirin National Park Directorate in accordance with conditions in the Territorial Arrangement Plan (TAP), Environmental Impact Assessments or any other subsequent administrative decisions,

f)   expedite the process and make available sufficient resources to ensure that the new Management Plan of the property is completed and approved on time for its implementation immediately after the current Management Plan ceases being in effect in 2013,

g)  prepare detailed “Tourism Implementation Plans” for the Bansko and Dobrinishte buffer zones, consolidating existing, approved and envisaged plans in a transparent manner, and ensure that these buffer zone areas are explicit parts of the new Management Plan;

7.  Also requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre, as soon as it is available, three printed and electronic copies of the new Management Plan for review;

8.  Further requests that the State Party submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a report on the state of conservation of the property, including confirmation that no further ski development has been or will be permitted within the property, and a report on progress achieved in the implementation of the mission’s recommendations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013.

Decision Code
36 COM 7B.18
Conservation, Reports
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2012 Pirin National Park
Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012)
Context of Decision
Other Documents (1)
Report on the Joint World Heritage Centre-IUCN Reactive Monitoring Mission to the Pirin National Park (Bulgaria), 10-14 October 2011