International Management Mechanism For The Transboundary Monument “STRUVE GEODETIC ARC”


Adopted by the Delegates of the Countries of the Struve Geodetic Arc
in the International Conference “THE FUTURE OF THE STRUVE GEODETIC ARC”
in Chisinau, Moldova, September 27-29, 2004.


The Struve Geodetic Arc is a chain of triangulation survey stretching more or less down the 25th E line of longitude from Hammerfest in North Norway on the Arctic Ocean over 2,820 km south to Izmail on the Black Sea in Ukraine. The Arc was set up and measured from 1816 to 1855. The goal was to determine the geometric dimensions of the Earth, its shape and size. To approach the goal, W. Struve and other leaders of the arc measurement have set a high level of international co-operation in various directions, from political and administrative to scientific and technical. The arc measurement had unprecedented stretch and accuracy; therefore it made substantial and long-term impact regarding science and practise.
In today’s geography the Struve Geodetic Arc passes through ten countries, i.e. Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russian Federation, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Each of the ten countries possesses some sites with reliable signs, which mark on the ground the positions of the geographical points where the measurements were performed.
The representatives of the ten countries of the Struve Arc have together submitted the “Nomination of Struve Geodetic Arc for Inscription on the World Heritage List”. The Struve Arc is an international trans-boundary serial monument with the selection of 34 objects, i.e. original, preserved Arc stations. According to the common procedures and guidelines based on the World Heritage Convention, each country is responsible to take care of the preservation and other management of the properties within its territory.
In the section (4) of the Nomination Document the status and procedures of the national legislation, preservation, management, etc. have been described. All this kind of activities are solely ruled and guided by each country itself, but there is a need for an additional common Management Mechanism agreed and implemented by all the ten countries jointly. Establishment of common management mechanism acting in liaison with the national managements would best meet the criterion of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. “Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention”, in the paragraph 24. (b) (ii), requires adequate protective management over a nominated property, for this particular case, a mechanism, which combines national and joint international responsibility of the countries possessing the Struve Geodetic Arc sites.
This document of the “Management Mechanism” will provide also basic guidelines for activities of a special international Coordinating Committee of the ten Struve countries. This Committee has a working group, the Bureau, of four members.

Statement of Objectives

The main objectives of the participating State Parties are, by stages through co-operation in the Coordinating Committee, to create and develop the common rules and good practice in order to protect, preserve, present and promote the international monument “Struve Geodetic Arc”. This goal involves active collaboration with the national instruments of management over the separate stations – parts of the monument, as well as effective coordination in making the monument more substantial and more known for the public.
Particular objectives that result from the main goal will be realized through common management practice agreed by the participating State Parties. Through the established Coordinating Committee necessary coordination of the ten Arc countries will be ensured, as well as joint responsibility for the international World Heritage monument “Struve Geodetic Arc”.
The aim is based on Arc’s proper protection, conservation, management, presentation and understanding. The selected 34 properties will present the whole chain of triangulation survey called the Struve Geodetic Arc. Besides these selected points, also other survived points will be on the national level preserved according to the normal national practice of the country concerned.
The basic responsibility for all kind of management and actions of individual properties must be taken by the individual State Parties and be carried out by each of them in accordance with their legislative and management systems. The role of the Coordinating Committee is to produce common guidelines for management, to monitor the progress of preservation of the sites.

Activities of the Coordinating Committee

The main activities of the Coordinating Committee will be carried out according to the following main topics:
• promoting inscription of the “Struve Geodetic Arc” (SGA) on the World Heritage List,
• to follow up the state of conservation of the SGA stations and achievements in protection, conservation, presentation and promotion of the SGA in various countries,
• to collect the yearly reports of the ten countries, make decisions and actions based on them and make yearly a summary report,
• to give recommendations and instructions to the management organisations of the ten SGA countries in order to unify the practice and include achievements of any country in protection, conservation, presentation and promotion of the SGA points,
• to uniform particular designation of the SGA sites and to develop their international use for educational and tourist attractions,
• to promote in organizing national information and promotion centers of the SGA,
• to promote the national preservation of other than originally selected 34 SGA sites,
• to promote research work and make both historical and new records of the SGA available for wider community,
• to promote geodetic use of the SGA stations, plan and guide trans-boundary measurements with satellite and astronomical techniques,
• to take care of all proposals and activities which will as a whole contribute to creating and sustaining the living World Heritage “The Struve Geodetic Arc”.

Structure of the Coordinating Committee

The ten “Struve Geodetic Arc” countries will form a Coordinating Committee. Each country will nominate its representative(s) to the Committee. Based on the practice gained within the nomination process, the main actors will be the national surveying agencies of the ten countries as described in Section 4 “Management” of the Nomination Document. Almost all the 34 sites are also today used for surveying purposes and these agencies are dealing in any case with the sites. They also have professional staff and other means for management purposes. The national boards of protection of the antiquities of the ten countries are the most immediate partners of the collaboration.
Coordinating Committee has its yearly working sessions with the Plenary by invitation of one of the Arc countries. The Bureau of the Committee forms agenda of a working session and Plenary. The decisions of the Plenary are reflected in the resolutions. The decisions of the Coordinating Committee are taken unanimously.

Chair and Bureau

One of the State Parties will be elected by turn as Chair of the Committee for a three years term. The Chair represents Committee officially concerning objectives and tasks defined above. Chair is in presidency of the yearly Committee session, and will take care of other duties defined in the Committee’s decisions.
The Coordinating Committee will form a Bureau of four members, including Chair of the Committee. The main task of the Bureau is to assist the Chair in pursuing the policies of the Coordinating Committee. The Bureau is also in charge of preparation and organization of the session as well as issuing of the proceedings and other relevant tasks. The term of the Bureau is three years.


The national representatives and Surveying Agency of an Arc country takes care of it own costs within the work of the Coordinating Committee and the Bureau, and in the other management activities described above in this document.

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