1.         Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (France) (C 80ter)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (i)(iii)(vi)

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/80/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/80/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

November 2012: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/80/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 30 January 2014, The State Party submitted a detailed state of conservation report, available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/80/documents. This report addresses the recommendations of the 2011 Reactive Monitoring Mission and current conservation issues.

-  The Amended Protection Area (Périmètre de Protection Modifié or PPM), based on the principle of co-visibility, defines the area from which the Mount is seen and which is visible from the Mount.

-  Consultations have started on a revised definition and delimitation of the protection area.

-  Reconsider pedestrian distances between the car park and shuttle access point: This has been revised.

-  Prepare an urban plan for the Barracks area: A draft spatial planning charter will continue to be developed, subject to an agreement upon new submersion heights.

-  Develop a planting plan for the Cloisters that evokes a medieval garden: Given the lack of records for the mediaeval garden, it has been decided to restore the "neo-medieval” garden designed by Yves-Marie Froidevaux in 1965.

Raising Awareness of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV): A symposium was held in April 2013 and an exhibition of photographs commissioned. A 3-year support post has also been created.

Other conservation issues:

Weakening of the Ramparts: The ramparts have been the subject of a long-term conservation plan, which will soon be completed. Since 2011, sea erosion has increased at the foot of walls and this could affect the stability of the monument. An impact assessment is being carried out. Stabilising works would include protecting the base of the walls by surrounding them with sediment-covered rocks.

Safety Pathway on the side of the rock: The State Party report responds to earlier inquiries by the World Heritage Centre regarding the ongoing excavation of an 18m by 1.4m passage in the rock face, part of an additional security pathway. The State Party report indicates that measures to mitigate the visual impacts of the passage are foreseen.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

As the result of a multi-disciplinary approach involving additional protective measures and new tools, the recommendations of the mission relating to the visual protection of the immediate and wider setting of the property are being achieved, with the exception of the height of the Ford (gué), set at 7.30m for security reasons, against the recommendation of the 2011 Reactive Monitoring Mission.  All the remaining recommendations of the mission relating to the Pathway Bridge (pont-passerelle), car park, the development plan for the Barracks, and the planting plans for the Cloisters have been addressed, although it was impossible to re-create a mediaeval garden in the Cloisters.

It should also be noted that the terrain modelling methods used for assessing visual impact of wind turbines have already been adopted in Brittany and Lower Normandy and could serve as an example of good practice for World Heritage properties facing similar issues.

In terms of improving management and promoting better awareness of the OUV of the property, it is noted that a Management Plan is being developed, and that extra staff resources have been allocated for the implementation of this Plan and to strengthen the dialogue with local prefects.

It is recommended that the Committee request further information to be provided by the State Party on ongoing projects, notably the construction of the Security Pathway, and to refrain from further alterations that may impact the property.

Finally, the increase in sea erosion since 2011 is a cause for concern, but it is noted that there has been an immediate response consisting of surveys as well as the development of a project to strengthen the foundations of the ramparts.

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.26

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 35 COM 7B.91 and 36 COM 7B.74, adopted at its 35th (UNESCO, 2011) and 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) sessions respectively,
  3. Commends the State Party on the progress made in defining and strengthening the protection of the immediate and wider setting of the property, and, in particular, in developing specific visual modelling tools for addressing the impact of wind turbines, which could serve as an example of good practice for World Heritage properties facing similar issues;
  4. Notes with satisfaction that most recommendations of the 2011 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission related to the Pathway Bridge (pont-passerelle), car park, urban plan for the Barracks, and planting plans for the Cloisters have now been addressed and modifications made to projects and schemes, where possible;
  5. Regrets however the decision to maintain the height of the Ford (gué) at 7.30m, instead of the 6.80m proposed by the 2011 Reactive Monitoring Mission;
  6. Also notes that a Management Plan for the property is being developed with input from ICOMOS, and that a Coordinator has been appointed for its implementation, which will include the establishment of a Coordinating Committee; and requests that the State Party submit the completed Management Plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Urges the State Party to consider how the Security Pathway recently excavated in the rock face may have had an impact on the integrity of the property, and to implement the necessary mitigation measures.