The 6th International NGO Forum on World Heritage at Risk – Paris, France, 4 – 5 February 2019
On the Upper Middle Rhine Valley
We, the Civil Society Organizations who have attended the 6th International NGO Forum on World Heritage at Risk organized by World Heritage Watch on 4-5 February in Paris, coming from 14 countries in 4 continents, as active and concerned citizens dealing with Natural and Cultural World Heritage properties at different places, would like to bring the following to the attention of the World Heritage Committee:
Permanent Rhine Crossing
We ask the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to urge the State Party of Germany, through the State of Rhineland-Palatinate, to undertake the following measures:
- To adopt a mobility concept for the Middle Rhine Valley, including an evaluation of the environmental impact of long-distance transport and traffic to the highways as well as additional traffic due to the termination of the ferry service;
- To review all previous expert opinions on road traffic (including the bridge design competition) based on applicable legal regulations and credible statistics;
- To formally acknowledge the ferries as an essential part of the Outstanding Universal Value of the cultural landscape of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.
- To ensure that no major highway and bridge are constructed through the Middle Rhine Valley.
We ask for limiting the speed of trains a an immediate measure. Noisy freight trains should not run at all during the night, and dangerous goods must be completely banned from the valley. In the long run, freight transport must be re-routed away from the narrow Rhine rift valley altogether by building a modern railway line for freight transport elsewhere.
Upgrading of the railway tunnels
We ask that the repair of the railway tunnel must not harm the OUV of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley World Heritage.
We urgently request:
- to return the Loreley Stage to its original protected monument state;
- the dismantling of the summer bobsleigh track, playground, miniature golf course and picnic area;
- to ensure with immediate effect that no further ground be available for the construction of buildings on the Loreley Plateau;
- that any further intervention be made only with full respect of nature conservation.
Paris, 5 February 2019