XII.30 Following the request by the 25th session of the Committee, the Permanent Delegation of Russia transmitted a report on the situation of the Volcanoes of Kamchatka, dated 1 February 2002. IUCN noted that the report from the State Party is consistent with IUCN information related to gold mining and the fact that no gas pipeline crosses the territory of the World Heritage site.
XII.31 The State Party reported that salmon poaching in the Kamchatka Peninsula is increasing. However, such activity is being held in check in the protected natural areas included in the World Heritage site due to the operation of special services protecting and controlling the use of water resources, as well as certain environmental protection measures and education. Furthermore, IUCN noted reports of a lack of managerial and staffing levels and capacity in the protected areas, and expressed concern that this affects the ability to control poaching. IUCN acknowledged that hunting is allowed in Bystrinsky Nature Park under National Park regulations, but noted the critical need to develop systems to manage and monitor hunting to avoid reductions in the population of game species. Moreover, IUCN noted that the Bystrinsky Nature Park management does not participate in decisions on the delineation of game areas. There is also concern that current staffing levels inhibit the Park management from effectively monitoring hunting. With respect to the incidence of forest fires, IUCN notes that it continues to receive reports that fires are a problem, and in light of previous comments on staffing levels, is concerned that there is no effective fire management/response system or team. IUCN welcomed the information that the project for the improvement of the Esso-Palana road is to be the subject of a State EIA, however concerns remain on the secondary impacts that this road may have, through the opening up of opportunities for increased poaching and hunting. With respect to the construction of the gas pipeline and geothermal power plant, though both outside the site, it is not clear how far from the boundaries both developments lie. Further details should be requested from the State Party on the construction of the pipeline and geothermal power plant and their Environmental Impact Statements.
XII.32 IUCN welcomed the information that there is no intention to redefine the boundaries of Bystrinski Nature Park beyond the changes undertaken in 1996, and that no gold mining is occurring in the site or adjoining areas.
XII.33 The Bureau noted that there are two GEF-funded projects underway in Kamchatka to address salmon management and to strengthen management of the World Heritage site and welcomed such initiatives. The Bureau requested that the State Party report on any future proposed mining adjacent to the site and the environmental impact assessment process and environmental management measures associated with any such activity. The Bureau noted that there remain some conflicting reports and concerns with the conservation of this site. Therefore, it requested further information on: the management and staffing levels and arrangements in the protected areas comprising the site; the system of delineation or distribution of game areas, and the management of hunting, including the extent of involvement of the protected area management/authorities; and the location of the gas pipeline and power plant in relation to the World Heritage site boundary and any impacts on the World Heritage site. The Bureau decided that a mission to the site, as recommended by the World Heritage Committee at its 25th session, be deferred until information on the above aspects is received.