The State Party announced that recent changes in federal legislation ensure that the buffer zones of federal protected areas such as the KSNR are now under the authority of the Federal Government and have the same protection status as the Reserve. As a result, the legal protection status of the northern buffer zone of the Reserve, which is actually part of the property, has been restored, as recommended by the 2008 mission.
Efforts are also on-going to establish a buffer zone to the south of the property, as recommended by the 2008 mission. The mission was informed that a proposal for a buffer zone with a minimum width of 1 km was submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources, which is currently consulting with the different ministries and regional authorities as foreseen by law. It is expected that the proposed buffer zone will be approved in the coming weeks.
Work is also on going on to complete the exact definition of the geographic coordinates and legal documentation of the boundary the boundaries of the KSNR, and the registration of its territory in the National Land Registry. While the process is completed for most of the Reserve, several court cases are currently on-going over the boundary in the Adygea Republic, opposing the Federal Government to the Government of the Republic. However, the State Party expects that the process can be completed by September 2010. The same process also needs to be followed for the 3 regional Nature Monuments and Nature Park. The registration of the boundary of the property, especially on the northwestern limit, is of particular importance due to the presence of highly sensitive areas like Lagonaki plateau and other areas of ecological importance. The mission considers that clarification of the boundaries should be finalised in the nearest future, in order to remove all ambiguities regarding the exact location of this border and note the importance of ensuring that the agreed boundaries of the inscribed property are fully recognised in national and regional
Issues affecting the integrity of the Nature Monuments and northern buffer zone
included in the northern part of the property situated in the Adygea Republic
The 2008 mission noted a number of developments in the Nature Monuments which are part of the property and situated in the Adygea Republic, which were considered incompatible with the World Heritage status. These included illegal logging, construction of a roads and recreational facilities.
The State Party reported to the mission that all illegal logging was stopped since November 2008 and that only sanitary cutting was taking place in the Nature Monuments in accordance with the forest legislation. The mission team overflew the area and, while it is difficult to sometimes distinguish between recent and old logging from the air, it was of the opinion that some logging is still on-going, although to a smaller extent than in 2008. While the ongoing logging might be considered as sanitary cutting in relation to forest legislation, the mission team clearly considered it incompatible with the World Heritage designation.
The mission noted that new cabins had been constructed at Lunnaya Polyana and that also construction is continuing on the Biosphere Centre. The mission received reports that this facility continues to be used for recreational use, contrary to the recommendation of the 2008 mission. The mission notes that while these developments might not be contrary to the national protection status of the Nature Monuments, the unplanned development of recreational facilities is not in accordance with the World Heritage Status.
Road construction and power line construction
According to the State Party, works on the access road to Lunnaya Polyana were stopped after the 2008 mission and the road was used by the forestry department only. However the mission noted that the road is used to access the recreational facilities at Lunnaya Polyana
State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 47