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MOSCOW, September 21 (Itar-Tass) — The mission of UNESCO and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will assess the state of the Western Caucasus World Heritage site. “Experts of the authoritative international organisations will visit at the end of September the Krasnodar Territory and the Republic of Adygea to assess the state of conservation of the World Heritage sites and identify the progress made in implementing the decisions of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and recommendations of the previous UNESCO and IUCN mission of 2010,” the press-service of the JSC Resorts of the Northern Caucasus (RNC) told Itar-Tass on Friday.
To this end, representatives of UNESCO and IUCN will spend in the region five days during which they fly over the World Heritage site in a helicopter and examine the area from a car. They will visit the Lagonaki plateau, Fisht and Oshten Mountains, the natural monuments – upper riches of the Tsitsa River, Buiny Ridge, upper riches of the Pshekha and Pshekhashkha Rivers. The mission will hold meetings with representatives of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources, Resorts of the Northern Caucasus, administrations of the Krasnodar Territory and Adygea, meetings with members of non-governmental organisations and associations of Adygea. “During one of the meetings the JSC Resorts of the Northern Caucasus will present information about the project for the development of the tourism cluster in the Northern Caucasus,” the press service reported.
A meeting in the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources is expected to be held on the mission results and a report will be prepared the conclusions of which the UNESCO World Heritage Committee will consider at its 37th session in 2013.
The Western Caucasus World Heritage Site includes the Caucasian State Biosphere Reserve, the natural monuments – upper riches of the Tsitsa River, Buiny Ridge, upper riches of the Pshekha and Pshekhashkha Rivers and the Bolshoi Tkhach natural park.
Earlier, the JSC Resorts of the Northern Caucasus and the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) signed an agreement on cooperation in the North Caucasus Federal District, Krasnodar Territory and the Republic of Adygea. The document was signed by RNC Director General Alexei Nevsky and NABU Vice President Thomas Tennhardt. In accordance with the signed document, NABU plans to provide to RNC advisory assistance “on environmental requirements in the development of special economic zones within the framework of the tourism cluster project in the south of Russia.” RNC and NABU agreed to cooperate in the conservation of natural and cultural heritage of the Caucasus, its unique and complex objects. NABU is one of the world’s largest environmental organisations. Its activities are focused on the integration of environmental, economic and social aspects, the conservation of biological diversity, the development of environmental education, education and ecotourism, the implementation of principles of sustainable development of society and nature. “Since the launch of the project of the tourism cluster in the south of Russia, RNC sees the preservation of the unique nature of the region as one of the main priorities in its work,” RNC emphasised.
RNC manages the creation in the South of Russia of a large-scale project for the construction of new world-class mountain skiing resorts Lagonaki (Krasnodar Territory, Adygeya), Arkhyz (Karachai-Cherkessia), Elbrus Bezengi (Kabardino-Balkaria), Mamison (North Ossetia), Matlas (Dagestan), Tsori and Armkhi (Ingushetia), as well as beach resorts on the coast of the Caspian Sea in Dagestan. The total length of the downhill courses will exceed 1,100 kilometres and 227 lifts will be installed there. Hotels, apartments and villas of different levels of comfort for 102.5 thousand people will be built, and the daily capacity of the alpine skiing resorts will reach 172 thousand people.