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World Heritage Convention

Decision 44 COM 7B.186
Shiretoko (Japan) (N 1193)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 41 COM 7B.30 and 43 COM 7B.10, adopted at its 41st (Krakow, 2017) and 43rd (Baku, 2019) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the national focus on climate change adaptation through the enactment of the 2018 Climate Change Adaptation Act, which will facilitate the development of an adaptive management strategy for the property, and requests the State Party to submit the final strategy to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN and to ensure that full support is provided for its implementation and the ongoing protection of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  4. Also welcomes the continued cooperation between the States Parties of Japan and the Russian Federation to survey the Western Steller Sea Lion population, reiterates its concern however regarding the ongoing culling of the sea lions, given the continued absence of population data, and therefore urges the States Parties to accelerate the development of a population dynamic model, to the extent possible, in order to inform population management;
  5. Urges again the State Party to reconsider, reduce or eliminate if necessary the current levels of culling of the Western Steller Sea Lion population, taking international advice into consideration and adopting a precautionary approach until accurate and comprehensive data on this subspecies become available;
  6. Appreciates the revision of the Long-Term Monitoring Plan to improve monitoring of climate change-driven impacts, but also requests the State Party to ensure that the attributes of the property’s OUV are fully reflected in the Long-Term Monitoring Plan to ensure aquatic biodiversity, specifically the salmonid species and marine mammals, are all included and monitored;
  7. Also takes note of the State Party’s response to the 2019 IUCN Advisory mission’s recommendations, and also encourages the State Party to:
    1. Take measures to improve the representation of biological variables in river ecosystems, to enhance the current understanding of river restoration approaches and options,
    2. Consider alternative methodologies to capture large wooden debris as a way to better balance river restoration needs with the fishery stakeholders’ concerns,
    3. Continue to monitor the impacts of the riverbed path pilot project, especially in relation to erosion, fish passage and disturbance to the benthic habitat, and take prompt remedial actions in relation to any identified impacts, as necessary, based on comprehensive scientific understanding;
  8. Further requests 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.
Decision Code
44 COM 7B.186
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2021 Shiretoko
Decisions adopted at the 44th extended session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision