regime for the property, the monitoring regime and planning and management arrangements. These provide useful background information regarding the property and have been noted by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN.
Creation of mining enclave
The State Party reports that in 2008 the Federal Real Estate Cadaste Agency marked out the boundaries of the national park, resulting in an increase in total area of the National Park. This exercise appears to be the same exercise that was mentioned in supplementary information submitted to the World Heritage Centre on 26 June 2009, immediately before the discussion on state of conservation at the 33rd session of the Committee, stating that “as a result of land-marking […] the “Chudnoe” area was recognised as located out of the “Yugyd Va” National Park.”
The State Party report states that “the problem of mining operations carried out in the northern section of the park remains one of the most severe up to the present moment. It notes that “there were some plots that were under development long before the park opening” and refers to a quartzitic sand field named Zhelannoye, two granitic sand fields named Obeiz and Skyviu, the mine Chudnoye, a gas pipeline (SRTO-Torzhok), and a drinking water pipeline. The report notes that the environmental safety regulations had been toughened after the opening of the park, and that the mentioned activities are in operation “practically without any environmental damage”. Moreover, the State Party notes that these areas are outside of the Park, implying that the boundary exercise has also excised these other areas.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN are deeply concerned by the report of the State Party, and that none of the requested actions in the previous decision of the World Heritage Committee have been undertaken. Since modifications to boundaries of World Heritage properties must be considered by the World Heritage Committee, the results of the national exercise to modify the national park and remove former mining areas from protected status appears to have result in legalizing mining activity within a World Heritage property. No information was received from the State Party regarding these developments, although this is requested in Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN understand that the changes to the boundaries of the Yugyd Va National Park, which lies within the World Heritage property, were legally adopted on 18 January 2010. On 30 of December 2009 Gold Minerals, CJSC a subsidiary of GV GOLD (Vysochaishy, OJSC) obtained a license for exploration and production of hard rock gold at the Chudnoye deposit (Komi Republic). The area of the license is 19.9 km2 and the license is valid until 2029. The Company’s website report of February 2010 (available at http://www.gvgold.ru/en/press/news/article.aspx?article=9c537f40-8ecd-4265-9cee- 83b2b39215a5) notes that “at the moment the Company proceeded to designing of the exploration operations, preparation of permits, licenses and approvals and elaboration of the feasibility study for investments into the commercial development of the deposit. The first explored gold reserves of the deposit amount to 2.3 tons. The deposit has a significant exploration potential of 80.3 tons. It is characterized with high gold grades in ore (4-9 g/t) and may be developed using the open cast mining method. […] On the first stage, the Company plans to invest about US$ 71 million into development of the Komi project, including: US$ 12.2 million - into the exploration operations, and US$ 58.8 million - into construction.”
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that it has been determined that the Chudnoye area lies well within the boundaries of the National Park and would result in direct and indirect impacts on the property if reactivated for mining. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN also recall that in the previous report on the state of conservation of the property it was noted that these issues had been previously considered at the 21st session of the World Heritage Committee, and that at the 22nd session (Kyoto, 1998), the Observer Delegation of
State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 52