Kotor, Srebarna and Yellowstone are withdrawn from the list of World Heritage in dangerParis – UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, meeting since June 30 at Organization Headquarters under the chair of Vera Lacœuilhe of Saint Lucia, has withdrawn the following three sites from the List of World Heritage in Danger: the Srebarna Nature Reserve (Bulgaria), Yellowstone (USA) and the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor (Serbia and Montenegro).
The Srebarna Nature Reserve (Bulgaria) was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1983. It was added to the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1992 due to the progressive destruction of the bird populations’ fresh-water habitat. There was concern over the reduced flow of water into the site which was damaging the nature reserve.
The Committee decided to remove the site from the Danger list following efforts by Bulgaria, namely to supply the reserve with water from the Danube, to stop damaging activities, and the recent adoption of a management plan.
Srebarna Nature Reserve is a freshwater lake of more than 600 hectares adjacent to the Danube. It is a breeding ground for almost 100 species of birds, many of which are rare or endangered. Some 80 other bird species migrate and seek refuge there every winter. Among the most interesting bird species are the Dalmatian pelican, night heron, glossy ibis and white spoonbill.
Yellowstone (United States of America), the first national park in the world, designated in 1872, was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1978 and on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1995. There was particular concern over adjacent mining operations that could compromise the values of the Park. Other threats were also identified, among them: the introduction of non-native lake trout; road construction; and the pressure of year-round visitors. Threats to the bison population were apparent in proposals to slaughter large numbers of them as a control measure to eradicate brucellosis in the herds, which would otherwise spread to domestic cattle.
Following the abandonment of the mining project and in recognition of progress achieved in the handling of all the essential issues which led to the inscription of Yellowstone on the List of World Heritage in Danger, the Committee decided to withdraw the site from the List while inviting the United States to continue providing information on measures taken and progress accomplished.
The vast natural forest of Yellowstone National Park covers nearly 9,000 km2; 96% of the park lies in Wyoming, 3% in Montana and 1% in Idaho. Yellowstone contains more than half of all the world's known geothermal features. It also has the world's largest concentration of geysers, more than 300, or 2/3 of all those on the planet. Yellowstone National Park is equally known for its wildlife, which includes grizzly bears, wolves, bison and wapitis.
The Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor (Serbia and Montenegro) was inscribed on the World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger simultaneously, in 1979. In the Middle Ages, this natural harbour on the Adriatic coast in Montenegro was an important artistic and commercial centre with famous schools of masonry and iconography.
A large number of monuments, including four Romanesque churches and the town walls, were seriously damaged by an earthquake on April 15, 1979. The shock of the quake reduced many of the surrounding villages to rubble and destroyed approximately 70% of Kotor's buildings.
Noting that the most remarkable historic monuments and buildings had been restored using appropriate conservation techniques, the World Heritage Committee decided to withdraw the site, which had benefited from UNESCO’s continuous support, from the List of World Heritage in Danger. Nevertheless, concern was expressed over the threat posed by uncontrolled urbanization to the site.
With the List of World Heritage in Danger, UNESCO aims to draw the attention of the international community to the need to reinforce protection of sites threatened by, for example, natural disasters, mining, industrial pollution, pillage, war, badly managed tourism and poaching. Once on this List, sites generally benefit from more effective national measures and increased international funding. The World Heritage Committee may inscribe new sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger by the end of the session.
For more information see http://whc.unesco.org/danglist.htm