1.         Pitons Management Area (Saint Lucia) (N 1161)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2004

Criteria  (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/1161/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2002-2002)
Total amount approved: USD 19,950
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1161/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

March 2010: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Development pressures associated with tourism and housing

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1161/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

On 31 January 2011 the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property. This report provides an overview of the State Party’s progress in enforcing a moratorium on all residential and hotel developments within the Pitons Management Area (PMA), as requested in the World Heritage Committee Decisions 32 COM 7B.40, 33 COM 7B.39, 34 COM 7B.37, until effective mechanisms are put in place to ensure that future land use within the property is compatible with its Outstanding Universal Value.

a) Development pressures associated with tourism and housing

The State Party reports that it remains committed to preserving the Outstanding Universal Value of the Pitons Management Area, and is continuing to implement Cabinet Conclusion No.645 of 31 October 2010 which enforced a “moratorium on all development activities within the PMA…”, until the findings of a Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) study are adopted and implemented in the review of the area’s land use plan and planning control guidelines. The State Party also notes that it is working with the IUCN Regional Office for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean to secure technical assistance for the PMA, and is also in the process of reviewing a study on the recommended legal and institutional framework for the property. The World Heritage Centre has received a letter from the State Party in this regard and has suggested it apply for support under the International Assistance window.

While the World Heritage Centre and IUCN commend the State Party for its progress in enforcing a moratorium, drafting the terms of reference for the LAC study, and its commitment to reviewing land use plans and planning control guidelines, they noted an ambiguity in the State Party’s report regarding the application of the development moratorium. Section 2.2 of the report implies that the State Party continues to review some development applications within the PMA, on the basis of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP), which is the land use plan for the area. A moratorium is clearly incompatible with reviewing development applications within the PMA. The World Heritage Centre requested further clarification on this point and the State Party responded in a letter dated 12 April 2011, indicating that indeed, a strict moratorium on development was in place throughout the property, citing a Saint Lucia Cabinet Ministers decision dated 10 July 2010 in this regard. 

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN emphasize that open and transparent dialogue with stakeholders, and in particular private landowners within the property, will be crucial to securing a lasting resolution to the development pressures facing the Pitons Management Area. The assistance provided to St Lucia by IUCN’s Caribbean Initiative is intended to facilitate this dialogue, as outlined in the terms of reference annexed to the State Party’s report.

b) Hurricane impacts on the property

The State Party reports that St Lucia was devastated by Hurricane Tomas on 30 October 2010. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN extend their deepest sympathies to the people of St Lucia, and to the families of those who lost their lives in the wake of Hurricane Tomas. The property suffered several landslides from heavy rain, which affected forest cover in some areas and also severely affected the fragile reefs of the marine component of the property by clogging them with washed-out soil and debris. Rehabilitation works are planned, but the State Party does not provide further details. IUCN notes that the impacts of the hurricane appear to have been less significant within the PMA, than in Soufrière and the surrounding coastal zone. However, the fact that several of the larger landslides occurred at the Jalousie and other resorts is an indication of the fragility of the property’s soils and the importance of ensuring that future land use is compatible with its Outstanding Universal Value.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The State Party has clearly committed to a moratorium on develoment applications until such time as the Limits of Acceptable Change study has been completed and ratified by the Cabinet of Ministers of St Lucia, as requested by the World Heritage Committee.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recommend that the World Heritage Committee welcome the State Party’s intention to undertake a Limits of Acceptable Change study on the levels of land use that would be compatible with the property’s Outstanding Universal Value, and recommend that the study take into account the World Heritage Committee’s clear position that development within the PMA should be strictly circumscribed in order to avoid any deterioration of its integrity (Decision 34 COM 7B.37). They also recommend that the World Heritage Committee also encourage the State Party to consider completing the process of acquiring additional private lands within the property, as recommended by the World Heritage Committee at the time of inscription, in order to facilitate the conservation and management of its Outstanding Universal Value.

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7B.35

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.37, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Extends its deepest sympathies to the people of St Lucia, and to the families of those who lost their lives in the wake of Hurricane Tomas;

4. Notes the State Party's progress in enforcing a moratorium on residential and hotel developments within the property;

5. Welcomes the State Party's intention to undertake a Limits of Acceptable Change study, as well as a review of land use plans and development control guidelines, and reiterates its clear position that development within the property should be strictly circumscribed in order to avoid any deterioration of its Outstanding Universal Value;

6. Considers that open and transparent dialogue with all stakeholders, and in particular private landowners within the property, will be crucial to securing a lasting resolution of the development pressures it faces;

7. Invites the State Party to submit a request for International Assistance to the World Heritage Committee to support the preparation of the Limits of Acceptable Change study;

8. Requests to the State Party to finalize the draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, which should be submitted within the framework of the Latin America and the Caribbean Periodic Reporting exercise;

9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, a report on the state of conservation of the property, including progress updates on the Limits of Acceptable Change study, revisions to land use plans and development control guidelines, and a list of all development applications and approved developments within the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.