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World Heritage Convention

Decision 40 COM 7B.53
Curonian Spit (Lithuania / Russian Federation) (C 994)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions36 COM 7B.78 and 38 COM 7B.28, adopted at its 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012), and 38th (Doha, 2014) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the continuing collaboration between the two States Parties and the management of the two national parks and the commitment to produce a trans-boundary Management Plan for the property, as well as the strengthened forest governance, protection and management within the Lithuanian National Park;
  4. Taking note of the Reactive Monitoring mission, which took place to the property in January 2015, notes that the Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal (LNGT) project outside Klaipėda does not cause an adverse impact to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and requests the State Party of Lithuania to ensure that in the future relevant documentation for all major projects that may affect the property are submitted to the World Heritage Centre in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  5. Also notes that there is currently no proposal for the construction of a suspension bridge from Klaipėda across the lagoon to the Spit;
  6. Further notes that the development of a deep sea port and/or a deep sea outer port at Klaipėda could cause an adverse impact to the OUV of the property, arising from both visual impacts and possible changes to sea currents and the stability of the dunes on the Spit and therefore also requests the State Party of Lithuania to ensure that no final decision is made and no work proceeds on the development of a deep sea port and/or a deep sea outer port at Klaipėda until all relevant documentation, including the results of forthcoming Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs), have been be submitted to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, in order to allow an evaluation of potential impact on the property;
  7. Further requests that both States Parties expedite the completion of the Management Plan for the entire property, inclusive of the Lithuanian and the Russian domains including:
    1. a system of inter-institutional and international (trans-boundary) cooperation,
    2. a capacity development strategy for national park administrations and municipality staff,
    3. guidelines and prescriptive conditions concerning future port development,
    4. provision for preparation of HIAs which accord with the 2011 ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage Properties, with a specific section focusing on their potential impact on the OUV, for all major projects within the property, and
    5. coverage of other relevant matters raised in reports from the 2010 Reactive Monitoring mission, 2013 Advisory mission and 2015 Reactive Monitoring mission, including (but not limited to):
      1. a policy to prohibit or severely limit construction on the shores or fore-dunes to preserve the unique landscape of the dunes bordering the Baltic Sea and the shore of the Curonian lagoon,
      2. programmes to address conflicting perceptions between the national parks and the municipalities so that there is common commitment to conservation of the OUV of the property,
      3. identification of buffer zones,
      4. continued attention to housing problems and illegal development in the Lithuanian domain of the property, and
      5. an education and information strategy oriented to the local community and other stakeholders;
  8. Finally requests the States Parties of Lithuania and the Russian Federation to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, an updated joint report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.
Decision Code
40 COM 7B.53
Conservation, Reports
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2016 Curonian Spit
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision