Performance Standard 8 aims to ensure that companies work to preserve sites and items of tangible historical and cultural significance, as well as intangible forms such as traditional lifestyles.
Our Cultural Heritage Policy requires the identification and avoidance of cultural heritage wherever possible through route planning and engineering design processes. In the case of unavoidable cultural heritage objects (CHOs), the company has an object-specific management plan to work in consultation with the relevant national authorities and either remove them or ensure that pipelay does not adversely affect their integrity.
Even the best efforts to identify CHOs before the start of construction cannot rule out the possibility of later discovery. For this we have developed and implemented a Chance Finds Procedure, which details the actions and processes to be followed if cultural heritage items/sites or unexploded ordnance (UXO) turn up. It includes consultation with relevant authorities and experts and options for avoiding or removing the object. Under our Cultural Heritage Policy, all contractors are required to develop a Chance Find Procedure that mirrors ours but is tailored to the scope of their work.
Russian law recognises tangible heritage, but not intangible heritage. But to meet the requirements of this performance standard, Nord Stream 2 also recognises intangible heritage in our assessment of impacts, management plans and relevant policies. The construction corridor in the Kurgalsky Protected Area passes near two archaeological sites from the Neolithic period, which have been marked and flagged to contractors so they can be avoided. Surveys have now been completed and the Committee for Culture of the Leningrad Region has approved our archaeologists' report on these sites. Archaeologists will be on site to supervise all groundworks. Contractors will also be instructed to avoid a small cemetery near the village of Khanike, approximately 500 m from our project boundary.
Intangible cultural heritage includes the Izhorian and Vod indigenous languages, costumes, folk songs and crafts, although it is unlikely the project will affect intangible heritage. Please see Indigenous Peoples for more information.
Offshore we aim to apply the national legislative requirements for the protection of cultural heritage to the whole project, even in the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) where the project extends beyond territorial waters. These measures mean there will be no significant impacts on underwater heritage. What’s more, the level of new information on CHOs made available by the project is a significant contribution to scientific knowledge. A number of potential sites have been identified through our geophysical surveys and we have routed the pipeline away from these locations wherever possible. Likewise, anchoring will only occur in shallow waters where dynamically positioned vessels are not suitable to avoid impacts. Additional geophysical and video surveys will be carried out along the offshore pipeline routes and within the anchor corridors to search for previously unidentified CHOs, and a visual inspection of known CHOs and undetonated munitions will also be undertaken prior to construction. Any additional potential CHOs identified at this stage or through the Chance Finds Procedure will be subject to further mitigation.
Further measures for management of WWII anti-submarine nets in Finnish waters and wrecks in German shallow waters have been agreed upon with the relevant authorities and experts.