Bikin added to UNESCO World Heritage List

Bikin added to UNESCO World Heritage List

3 July 2018

On 2 July 2018, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (UNESCO World Heritage Committee) officially announced that the Bikin River Valley has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of a serial nomination of Central Sikhote-Alin, a network of specially protected areas.


Back in 2010, the woodlands of the Bikin River Valley natural site were included on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. But, according to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee rules, Russia had to show interest in preserving the territory, primarily by granting it the status of a nationally protected area. In 2015, at President Vladimir Putin’s instruction, Bikin National Park was established in the basin of the upper and middle reaches of the Bikin River.


“The obvious fact has been recognised. Bikin to Russia is what the Amazon River is to South America. Granting the status proved that the national park meets all international requirements and that the rights of tigers and indigenous peoples are not violated there. Undoubtedly, the status will attract tourists from all over the world,” said Sergei Aramilev, general director of the Amur Tiger Centre.


The serial nomination of Central Sikhote-Alin was prepared by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in order to provide the necessary protection to the Amur tiger. The cedar and broadleaf forest area along the Bikin River’s middle and upper reaches is the world’s only preserved cohesive area of once widespread Ussuri taiga. The area is important because it preserves the natural state of habitats of animals whose wellbeing affects the future of the Bikin group of Udege, indigenous people of the Bikin River basin. It is noted also that this vast territory is the only large basin where tree felling has not occurred.


Since 2004, Central Sikhote-Alin, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has also included the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve and the Goraly Wildlife Sanctuary.