Preserving the Curonian Spit is shared concern for Lithuania and Russia2013-03-25
The Curonian Spit – Nida and Lesnoye town in Kaliningrad Region – last week was home to an international workshop devoted to the protection of the location’s unique cultural landscape. According to Director of the Protected Areas and Landscape Department of the Ministry of Environment, Vidmantas Bezaras, it was convened to meet the obligation imposed by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for Lithuania and Russia to draft common strategic documentation for the entire area of the Curonian Spit with the view to safeguarding preservation of its outstanding universal value and to submit it at this year’s session of the Committee.
The Curonian Spit was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. As every other site on this list, it must have a description of the outstanding universal value and a management plan. These documents must provide a summary of value, the essential criteria of it being authentic and globally protected as well as principal guidelines for preservation and administration. The World Heritage Committee imposed an obligation to discuss the drafts of above-referred documentation during the meeting of Lithuanian and Russian representatives with participation of representatives from UNESCO.
2012 saw approval of the key planning documents for the Curonian Spit, discussed since back in 2005. A common description of the outstanding universal value of the Curonian Spit acceptable to Lithuania and Russia was submitted to the World Heritage Centre last year. This year it has to be adjusted taking into account the comments of UNESCO international experts.
“Although Lithuania and Russia do not share the same attitude to cultural landscape and its preservation, it is extremely important that we are in search of common understanding and work on common documents. The drafting of the management plan for the Curonian Spit has lead to a better understanding of issues in the neighbouring state and to a more proactive involvement of self-government,” said Mr Bezaras. He added that this, without doubt, would be a valuable addition to preserving the outstanding universal value of the Curonian Spit.
Information of the Ministry of Environment, tel. 8~706 63660
25 March 2013