04 July 2019 - The UNESCO World Heritage Committee adopted decisions relating to two world heritage sites in Montenegro - the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor and the National Park Durmitor.
The decision relating to the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor is one of the most affirmative decisions of the Committee related to the Region of Kotor, especially since 2003, when the area was removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger on which it was inscribed due to the devastating earthquake in 1979.
Nevertheless, from that moment, the Committee commenced the warnings about the danger of sudden and uncontrolled urbanization and tourist pressure that threatens the preservation of exceptional universal values that are the basis of the World Heritage List. The decisions of the Committee were stricter, until the Istanbul Decision in 2016, after which a series of consultations were held with UNESCO, which resulted in the Government of Montenegro's adoption of the Action Plan for the implementation of this Decision. Since February 2017, when the Action Plan was adopted, a number of activities resulted in a Decision that welcomes the efforts of the "member state in many areas, including the development of the Draft Urban Spatial Plan of Kotor, the preparation of amendments to the Law on Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor, the initiation of the audit of the Management Plan, the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) of the area...".
It welcomes the State's decision to abandon the proposed project of the cable car from the Old Town to the San Giovanni Fortress and the Glavati Prčanj tourist complex in order to protect the exceptional universal value. The State is encouraged to continue to improve the process of impact assessment, the HIA is required for the tourist complex in Morinj and the bridge in Verige, before State's commitment to implement these ideas. It is required that the revised Management Plan includes recommendations of the Reactive Monitoring Mission from 2018. In particular, it is required that the Management Plan addresses the issues of managing and reducing risks and tourism management.
The Ministry of Culture of Montenegro reported that the decision concerning the Durmitor National Park treats the issues that were the subject of the Advisory Mission in November 2018. The decision confirms the findings of the Advisory Mission, which calls for a series of activities that the State should undertake in the upcoming period in cooperation with UNESCO and advisory bodies.
The World Heritage Committee is held every year with the aim of considering the state of conservation of natural and cultural goods inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as well as considering new nominations. This year's Committee is being held in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 30 June to 10 July. The Committee has made a number of important decisions, some of which concern the cessation of the status of "heritage in danger" for countries that have managed to prevent the loss of certain values. Certain goods are inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
At this year's Committee, Montenegro joined a group of states that supported Switzerland in an appeal for a more consistent application of the Convention in deciding, and for equal access to all countries and goods under consideration, in order to further strengthen the Convention and the role of the Committee.
Secretary-General of the National Commission for UNESCO of Montenegro Milica Nikolić is taking part at the Committee in Baku.
Read more about traveling through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.