Current conservation issues
On 27 January 2010, a report on the state of conservation of the property was submitted by the State Party, together with a map indicating the location of the Olympic facilities. The report provides information on the Olympic facilities, efforts to establish clear boundaries and buffer zones for the property, information of the management of the property, as well as a summary of monitoring data for the last 10 years. The same version of the report was again submitted on 10 March 2010.
From 17 to 21 May 2010, a joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring visited the property, as requested by the Committee at its 33rd session. The mission was able to hold discussions with different stakeholders, including representatives of the Ministry for Natural Resources and the Russian National Commission for UNESCO, the management authority of the Kavkazkiy Strict Nature Reserve (KSNR), representatives of the administration of the Adygea Republic (which is in charge of the administration of the 3 Nature Monuments and Nature Park included in the property), the Sochi 2014 organising committee, Olympstroy and Gazprom (companies involved in the construction of the Olympic facilities) as well as NGO representatives. The mission report is under preparation at the time of writing of this report and will be available online at the following web address: http:/whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/34COM/.
The mission reviewed progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2008 World Heritage Centre /IUCN monitoring mission. The following issues were reviewed:
Construction of facilities and infrastructure for the 2014 Olympic Games
The mission was pleased to note that the Olympic Mountain Village and the Biathlon Complex were relocated to the Psekhako Ridge and the sliding centre to the Rosa Khuta area, away from the ecologically sensitive Grushevy ridge and upper Mzimta valley where they were originally planned, as recommended by the 2008 mission. The mission team visited the new locations in the Gazprom concession on Psekhako ridge and concluded that the new location, situated several kilometres away from the boundary of the property is minimizing the impact on the Outstanding Universal Value. Other facilities in the concession, such as ski slopes and the VIP facility appear to be at least one kilometre from the boundary.
The mission also reviewed the issue of the access road to the facilities on Psekhako ridge. This road follows the right bank of the Achipse river, which according to the map in the nomination file is the boundary of the property, for approximately 100 meter, before crossing the river, following its left bank in the envisaged buffer zone before moving away from the boundary, to the ridge. It was agreed with all stakeholders that the access road should be designated as the boundary of the property until the river crossing, from where the boundary would follow the river bed, upstream, as determined in the official map for nomination of the property. No constructions should be allowed near the road. The mission was informed that no other access roads to the Olympic facilities and crossing the property are planned.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN commend the State Party for having implemented the recommendations of the 2008 mission to minimize the impacts of the Olympic facilities on the property. They note that some indirect impact may remain, in particular on wildlife hibernation areas or migration routes and therefore support the recommendation of the mission to establish a comprehensive monitoring programme which would monitor impacts of all new facilities on wildlife trends and movements around the property and in Sochi National Park and to ensure continued cooperation and consultation between the Sochi 2014 organising committee and the Reserve authorities, as also recently suggested by the recent UNEP mission of 28 – 30 January 2010.
Buffer zones and delimitation of the property
State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 46