This geological site comprises a 15 km-long fossil-rich coastal cliff, offering exceptional evidence of the impact of the Chicxulub meteorite that crashed into the planet at the end of the Cretaceous, about 65 million years ago. Researchers think that this caused the most remarkable mass extinction ever, responsible for the disappearance of over 50 per cent of all life on Earth. The site harbours a record of the cloud of ash formed by the impact of the meteorite – the exact site being at the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. An exceptional fossil record is visible at the site, showing the complete succession of fauna and micro-fauna charting the recovery after the mass extinction.
2020 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
A globally exceptional testimony to the impact of meteorite on the history of life
Stevns Klint forms the best known exposed Cretaceous−Tertiary boundary section in the world with the exceptional boundary layer being easily recognisable immediately beneath a pronounced topographic overhang, which separates the underlying soft Cretaceous chalk from the overlying, harder Tertiary limestone. The thin black boundary clay layer found in the up to 40 m high, white cliff clearly marks the fall in primary production and makes the exceptional boundary layer visible even to the inexperienced eye (IUCN Consultation, 2020).
Outstanding fossil record
In addition, rare spiders and ground beetles are found, which are known only in few places elsewhere in Denmark. Stevns Klint is also a "hot spot" for breeding bats, and houses 11 out of 17 Danish species. Some of the species are protected according to the EU's Habitats Directive.
Fishing is not considered to affect aquatic vegetation and wildlife inside the property (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
a) "Establish without delay the revised and specific management system proposed to assume responsibility for the property upon inscription on the World Heritage List" - The management system has been revised to ensure responsibility for the property. A new Management Plan was developed after inscription, however, a revision due in 2020 needs to be ensured.
b) "Retain policies to ensure that no mining and/or quarrying activities take place within the property, nor any adjacent extraction activities that could impact the property" - The situation with regards to quarrying currently remains as it was at the time of inscription, however, OMYA A/S has applied for and extension of the chalk quarry located in the gap between the two components of the property.
c) "Ensure effective implementation of fossil collecting guidelines, including appropriate curation of key specimens" - Steps have been taken in order to preserve the outstanding fossil record. Guidelines for collecting samples and fossils have been developed and incorporated into the proposal for establishing a conservation area, which means that the guidelines will become legal power. The final decision as to whether the area will become a conservation area is not expected to happen before 2020. Until then, and probably also afterwards, it will remain challenging to enforce the guidelines and it must always be of the utmost importance to continuously work to address this issue.
d) "Ensure effective engagement of the private landowners in the protection and management of the property on an ongoing basis" - In order to engage the local citizens a Local Reference Group has been established and the engagement of private landowners and other stakeholders in the protection and management of the site is strong throughout this organization. However, more can be done to engage locals in protection and management to the property.
e) "Ensure effective presentation of the property, to provide for a high quality visitor experience, supported by appropriate education and interpretation facilities" - There has been a lot of information about the world heritage on the internet, specific apps, information boards, traditional information posters, school services, animation video etc. An ambitious project including a visitor center has been implemented and opening is expected in 2022 (The Stevns Klint Foundation, 2020).
f) "Continue strong processes of local community engagement in the property, and the commendable shared management approach with local communities and stakeholders" - Community engagement includes one or two yearly World Heritage Days, community meetings for special themes and a Partnership Programme designed to include private companies and organizations. (Stevns Municipality and World Heritage Stevns, 2017; World Heritage Stevns, 2019b)
The potential impacts of increasing visitation are included in the monitoring system. In expanding existing facilities and preparing interpretation concept, it is necessary that conservation and scientific values of the site are given proper attention.
The Management Plan and the statement of tourism policy describe how threats should be monitored, and the monitoring report continues to be an important overview that provides an opportunity to stay ahead of the development (Stevns Municipality, 2018). A new improved visitor survey was launched in 2018, however, in general it is still too early to conclude whether the planned monitoring is sufficient.
|№||Organization||Brief description of Active Projects||Website|
|1||Østsjællands Museum||A number of education programmes and research activities.||
|2||Stevns Municipality and World Heritage Stevns||Monitoring programme involving local community|
|3||Stevns Klint Partnerprogram||100+ local businesses, associations and schools are trained in i.a. the WH convention and conservation of the site.||
Danish Energy Agency (2019). Indkaldelse af idéer og forslag til afgrænsning af miljøkonsekvensrapport for Aflandshage Vindmøllepark (Call for ideas and proposals for defining the environmental impact assessment for Aflandshage Wind Farm; in Danish). [online] Energistyrelsen (Danish Energy Agency), 21 October 2019. Available at: https://ens.dk/sites/ens.dk/files/Vindenergi/foelgebrev_til… [Accessed 30 April 2020]
Danish Nature Agency (2016). Natura 2000 Management Plan 2016-2021, Holtug Kridtbrud. Nature Agency of the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark. Available at: http://mst.dk/media/130766/n182_n2000plan_2016-21.pdf
IUCN (2014). World Heritage Nomination – IUCN Technical Evaluation, Stevns Klint (Denmark). In: IUCN World Heritage Evaluations 2014, IUCN Evaluations of nominations of natural and mixed properties to the World Heritage List. WHC-14/38.COM/INF.8B2. [online] Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, pp.53-64. Available at: <http://whc.unesco.org/archive/2014/whc14-38com-inf8B2-en.pd…; [Accessed 30 April 2020].
IUCN Consultation. (2020). IUCN Confidential Consultation, Stevns Klint, Denmark.
Region Sjælland (2017). Igangsættelse af Miljøvurdering og indkaldelse af idéer og forslag (Initiation of Environmental Assessment and call for ideas and proposals; in Danish). [online] Region Sjælland. Available at: <https://www.regionsjaelland.dk/Miljo/raastoffer/gravetillad…; [Accessed 30 April 2020]
State Party of Denmark (2012). Nomination of Stevns Klint as a World Heritage Site. [online] Store Heddinge, Denmark: Tove Damholt (Østsjællands Museum) and Finn Surlyk (Department of Geography and Geology, University of Copenhagen), pp.1-86. Available at: <http://whc.unesco.org/uploads/nominations/1416.pdf> [Accessed 30 April 2020].
Stevns Municipality (2018). Monitoring Report Stevns Klint (Monitering Stevns Klint) 2018 (In Danish). [online] Stevns Kommune (Stevns Municipality) and Verdensarv Stevns (World Heritage Stevns) in collaboration with Østsjællands Museum (East Zealand Museum) (March 2019). Available at: https://docplayer.dk/111388964-Monitering-stevns-klint-2017… [Accessed 30 April 2020]
Stevns Municipality (2019a). Tourism Strategy Stevns Municipality (Turismestrategi Stevns Kommune) 2019-2022 (In Danish). [online] Stevns Kommune (Stevns Municipality). Available at: https://stevns.dk/sites/default/files/sbsys/Dagsordener/Kom… [Accessed 30 April 2020]
Stevns Municipality (2019b). 2019-95056, Høringssvar til Kriegers Flak (2019-95056, Consultation response to Kriegers Flak; in Danish). [online] Stevns Kommune (Stevns Municipality), 5 December 2019. Available at: https://stevns.dk/sites/default/files/sbsys/Dagsordener/Oek… [Accessed 30 April 2020]
Stevns Municipality and The Danish society for Nature Conservation (2016). Fredningsforslag Stevns Klint (Preservation proposal Stevns Klint; in Danish). [online] January 2016. Available at: <https://stevns.dk/sites/default/files/om_kommunen/planer_po…; [Accessed 30 April 2020]
Stevns Municipality and World Heritage Stevns (2017). Stevns Klint Management Plan (Forvaltningsplan Stevns Klint) 2017-2020 (In Danish). [online] Stevns Kommune (Stevns Municipality) and Verdensarv Stevns (World Heritage Stevns), June, 2017. Available at: https://stevns.dk/sites/default/files/forvaltningsplan_2017… see also www.stevnsklint.org [Accessed 30 April 2020]
The Stevns Klint Foundation (2020). The Stevns Klint Foundation Visitor Centre (Fonden Stevns Klint besøgscenter). https://www.fskbc.dk/
World Heritage Committee (2014). Decision: 38 COM 8B.10 Stevns Klint Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (Denmark). In: Decisions Adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th Session (Doha, 2014). [online] Paris, France: UNESCO World Heritage Centre, pp.169-171. Available at: <http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6095> [Accessed 30 April 2020].
World Heritage Stevns (2019a). Consultation response to Aflandshage Wind Farm (Høringssvar til Aflandshage Vindmøllepark) 2019-82725 (in Danish). Verdensarv Stevns (World Heritage Stevns), St. Heddinge, Denmark, 29 November 2019.
World Heritage Stevns (2019b). Baseline for Partnerprogram Stevns Klint 2019 (In Danish). World Heritage Stevns (Verdensarv Stevns). More information available at: https://www.stevnsklint.com/da/vaer-med/partnere/om-partner… [Accessed 30 April 2020]
World Heritage Stevns (2020). Alle os der arbejder med verdensarv (All of us who are working with World Heritage) [online] (in Danish). https://www.stevnsklint.com/da/om-os/alle-os-der-arbejder-m…