Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999, the Western Caucasus site has what the UN agency calls “a remarkable diversity of geology, ecosystems and species. It is of global significance as a center of plant diversity, containing extensive tracts of undisturbed mountain forests unique on the European scale.”
The World Heritage site is at the far western end of the Greater Caucasus Mountains within Krasnodar Kray and the republics of Adygea and Karachevo-Cherkessia.
The Western Caucasus World Heritage Site has 60 mammal species, including wolf, bear, lynx, wild boar, Caucasian deer, tur, chamois, and reintroduced European bison, which are globally endangered. There are 246 bird species, including many found nowhere else, of which 24 are nationally threatened and 24 globally threatened.
The ski resorts project has been named Altitude 5642, for the height of Elbrus, the highest mountain in the Caucasus.
Project Altitude 5642 developer, North Caucasus Resorts, plans five mountain ski resorts:
- Lagonaki (Krasnodar Territory, the Republic of Adygea) – this location would impact the World Heritage site
- Arkhyz (Karachay-Cherkessia)
- Elbrus-Bezengi (Kabardino-Balkaria)
- Mamison (Republic of North Ossetia – Alania)
- Matlas (Republic of Dagestan)
Oother 4 projects and their economic impact Russia’s tourism investments in the North Caucasus