1.         Island of Saint-Louis (Senegal) (C 956bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2000

Criteria  (ii)(iv)

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/956/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1997-1997)
Total amount approved: USD 11,500
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/956/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 192,697.13 from the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement

Previous monitoring missions

March-April 2004: Joint World Heritage Centre/ France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement mission; April 2006: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM mission; 2007: France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement mission; February 2009: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission; March 2014 Joint World Heritage Centre/ ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission with participation of an expert from the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/956/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

A joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission visited the property in March 2014 (mission report available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/956/documents).The State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 28 January 2014, which is also available athttps://whc.unesco.org/en/list/956/documents.

The State Party report indicates that management arrangements for the property have been enhanced with the legal establishment of the Committee for Safeguarding of Saint Louis, with the participation of different public and private organizations. It is expected that this entity, along with other management structures, will ensure larger coordination among different stakeholders and stronger processes for the conservation and management of the property. The Committee for Safeguarding, which will be responsible for the implementation of the management plan and the Technical Committee for the Programme for Tourism Development funded by the Agence Française de Développement (French Agency for Development - AFD), has met and assessed current progress in the implementation of activities and identified future actions to implement for the property, as well as specific responsibilities for their undertaking.

The March 2014 mission considered that the overall state of conservation of the property is adequate and that main attributes that convey the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) are preserved as decay has been controlled through interventions at these areas. Notwithstanding, the mission underscored that not all sectors of the property are in adequate conditions and that many important issues remain unaddressed regarding the management of the property, changes in architectural unity, lack of maintenance and monitoring, and the potential impact from foreseen development projects, among others. It particularly highlighted a new housing development that was taking place south of the island and not far from the Comptoir du Fleuve area, and recommended that this development be immediately halted and that corrective measures to mitigate impacts be identified. The mission also noted that these existing issues of concern could be further exacerbated if community engagement in sustained conservation action is not achieved or if adequate resources are not secured for the full operation of existing management structures.

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

The information provided by the State Party does not provide sufficient details to be able to gauge progress made in the implementation of the Committee’s requests or on the existing situation at the property. The findings of the mission regarding the state of heritage buildings show the urgent need to implement sustained and comprehensive conservation actions, as well as to secure resources, to ensure that the conditions of authenticity and integrity, as well as the attributes that convey OUV, do not erode further to a degree that would compromise the OUV.

The State Party has made some efforts in putting in place adequate management structures but stronger coordination between heritage authorities, the Direction du patrimoine culturel (the Direction of Cultural Heritage-DPC) and the municipality is needed. This situation might be resolved with the effective operation of the Committee for Safeguarding Saint-Louis, which would also need to ensure that a single coherent mechanism is in place to guide decision-making. In this respect, the development of the management and conservation plan is crucial and needs to set out provisions for collaboration among stakeholders, integration of existing regulatory measures and a clear action plan that integrates all on-going initiatives, including the Tourism Development Plan. The management plan should also set out mechanisms regarding review of proposed projects at the property for modification or new construction and adequate monitoring processes during implementation to ensure that no impacts occur. Also, for effective and full implementation of the management plan, strengthening of capacities at different levels will be required as well as adequate financial resources.

In terms of conservation, the mission identified the urgent need to define a clear conservation policy, to carry out interventions at buildings in vulnerable conditions and to ensure that regular maintenance is undertaken. A comprehensive condition assessment and survey is needed to define an action plan for conservation and maintenance interventions, as well as a regular monitoring programme at the property. These should not only assess historic buildings but also address improvement and needs of current housing conditions.

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.54

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.42 adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Acknowledges the legal establishment of the Committee for the Safeguarding of Saint-Louis;
  4. Takes note of the findings of the 2014 reactive monitoring mission to the property and urges the State Party to fully implement its recommendations with particular attention to the following;
    1. Develop, within a participatory and inclusive approach, the conservation and management plan for the property, which should include specific provisions for management and decision-making arrangements, including means for enhancing collaboration, the integration of existing regulatory measures and a clear and costed action plan for implementation. The developed management plan should be articulated with the Programme for Tourism Development, funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), and with a conservation and maintenance plan for the property,
    2. Based on the management plan, define mechanisms for the review and approval of proposed projects for modification or new construction and for their monitoring during implementation,
    3. Strengthen existing conservation and management capacities at different levels and secure the necessary technical, material and financial resources for the implementation of conservation and management actions sustained undertaking,
    4. Carry-out a comprehensive condition survey and assessment to develop a conservation and maintenance action plan, which should include a clear conservation policy and a road map of actions to address vulnerable heritage components and improvement of current housing conditions,
    5. Halt the housing development that is taking place south of the island and not far from the Comptoir du Fleuve and identify measures to mitigate impacts on this sector;
    6. Enhance outreach and awareness raising regarding the conservation and protection of the property and promote adequate dissemination and consultation on proposed projects;
  5. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, in accordance to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines , technical details and specifications, as well as Heritage Impact Assessments, on large scale projects foreseen at the property for review prior to making any commitments to their implementation;
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.