1.         Pyrénées - Mont Perdu (France,Spain) (C/N 773bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1997

Criteria  (iii)(iv)(v)(vii)(viii)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/773/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/773/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Impacts of Festival de Gavarnie ;

b) Lack of transboundary cooperation

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/773/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006

The State Party of France had been requested to report on the situation of the Festival de Gavarnie and transboundary cooperation by 1 February 2006. Following a reminder of the Chairperson of the Committee, the State Party submitted a letter on the situation of the Festival de Gavarnie. In its letter dated 23 March 2006, the Permanent Delegate of France reported that every effort had been made to ensure that the Committee’s decision should be respected and implemented, so that the Gavarnie Festival would no longer be authorised at La Courade. Despite numerous discussions with the Ministry of Ecology and the regional authorities, the Delegation was unable to report that the Committee’s decision would be respected, at least for the current year. For local political reasons it was decided to permit the Festival to take place at La Courade for one final year. The State Party report states that it has continued its efforts to relocate the festival from Courade as requested by previous Committee decisions. However, despite numerous communications, the Ministry of Ecology and the local authorities were still planning to authorise the festival at Courade in 2006, supposedly for a last time.

The World Heritage Centre has received information, indicating that the authorities have indeed authorised the festival to take place in 2006. Until 2004, the Festival de Gavarnie has been taking place every summer in the Cirque de Gavarnie, a part of the core zone on the French side of this transboundary World Heritage property. IUCN noted in its evaluation of the nomination dossier in 1996 that the festival constitutes an “inconsistent” activity within the World Heritage property due to its adverse impact on an ecologically sensitive area. Since then the Committee has repeatedly reminded the State Party of France of its announcement to relocate the festival from Courade. The Festival did not take place in 2005.

Despite continued efforts little progress seems to be made in identifying and implementing an alternative solution for the Festival de Gavarnie. In addition, it is difficult to evaluate progress made in transboundary cooperation, since the State Party letter of 23 March 2006 does not address this issue at all. The State Party of France is in the process of adopting new national parks legislation. It is hoped that, under the new legislation, Pyrénées National Park will benefit from the improvement of management and zoning of French national parks, and the improved recognition of the national and international values of the cultural, natural and landscape heritage of French national parks. It seems that within five years after the adoption of the new legislation, new management plans are required for all French national parks. In the interim, transitory management plans will be in place, from about 2006-2010. It is hoped that the transitory management plan for the Pyrénées National Park will be the first step, within the spirit of the new national parks legislation, towards an improved integration of the property’s World Heritage values in the conservation objectives, policy and management of the Pyrénées National Park.

IUCN, ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre regret that the State Party had been unable to accede to the Committee’s request for 2006.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies

N/A

Decision Adopted: 30 COM 7B.33

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document W3C-06/30.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decisions 28 COM 15B.36 and 29 COM 7B.31, adopted at its 28th (Suzhou, 2004) and 29th (Durban, 2005) sessions respectively,

3. Regrets that the report provided by the State Party of France did not address the situation of transboundary cooperation;

4. Notes with concern that nine years after the inscription of the property, the issue of the relocation of the Festival de Gavarnie has still not been solved satisfactorily;

5. Requests the State Party of France to permanently relocate the Festival de Gavarnie as initially announced at the time of inscription of the property;

6. Encourages the State Party of France to prepare and implement a management plan for the French side of this transboundary World Heritage property in line with the new national parks legislation;

7. Urges the States Parties of France and Spain to strengthen their transboundary cooperation in the conservation and management of this property;

8. Also requests both States Parties to keep the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and IUCN informed of progress made in transboundary cooperation and of any important changes in the state of conservation of the property;

9. Further requests the State Party of France to provide the World Heritage Centre with a specific progress report on the state of conservation and factors affecting the outstanding universal value of the property by 1 February 2007, and taking into consideration the situation of the Festival de Gavarnie and transboundary cooperation for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007.