1.         Historic Town of Grand-Bassam (Côte d'Ivoire) (C 1322rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2012

Criteria  (iii)(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/1322/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2015-2015)
Total amount approved: USD 5,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1322/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 57,734 from the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement

Previous monitoring missions

2013 and 2014: Technical assistance missions in the framework of the Convention France-UNESCO for management in 2013 and restoration of the ancient Palace of Justice in 2014 ; Technical Assistance mission for the AfriCAP2016 project financed by the European Union in the framework of the ACP Cultures+ Programme

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1322/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 29 November 2016, the State Party sent a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1322/documents/. This report indicates the progress made on a certain number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions:

-         Initiation of an inventory taking into account the architecture, landscape environment and the urban fabric, and design of an interactive database management software,
-         Establishment of the land ownership of the property with recourse to all the cadastral data,
-         Identification of the roads to be restored and definition of a methodology and a pluriannual plan, based on consultations with all the parties concerned with the management of the property,

-         Realization of a Sanitation Master Plan (SMP);

-         Capitalization on the traditional know-how of fishermen to address the issue of sanitation and salubrity at the property;

-         Training and tools for sustainable management of the property through two internships in France;

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

The State Party’s report provides concrete information on the actions taken since 2015, in particular with regard to ongoing and future restoration projects, building inventories, capacity building, mobilization of funds, and also initiatives for the sanitation and salubrity of the site. The report reaffirms the State Party’s commitment to the conservation and enhancement of the property.

The extensive documentation annexed to the report provides a more detailed description of the restoration projects for the CHH and the Palace of Justice, the redevelopment of the Boulevard Treich-Laplène, as well as the inventory work carried out on the land status of the property.

It is commendable that the measures initiated following the inscription of the property have been pursued and continue to benefit from assistance for the restoration and conservation of the public and privately-owned buildings in the framework of international cooperation and programmes such as AfriCAP2016, enabling support for training programmes. It is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to continue these programmes, ensuring the sustainability and capitalization on these measures.

The work carried out on the land ownership situation through inventory and documentary research, involving several national and international partner universities, as well as the methodology established to formulate restoration priorities, are also appreciated.  Documentary research on the property should be carried out more thoroughly to ensure that the inventory is kept up to date, and to regularly verify the applicability of the regulatory texts for the conservation and sustainable and efficient management of the property.

The report again raises the issue of sanitation and salubrity at the property, notably emphasizing recourse to the traditional know-how of the fishermen of the village of N'zima to prevent the rooting of aquatic plants. It also highlights initiatives that mobilize the local community around projects through public-private partnerships. This approach is commendable, and it is necessary to strengthen the promotion, valorization and awareness of the local community for a greater appropriation of the conservation of the property by the community. In this sense, the creation of a revenue management system within the CHH is a positive measure and indicative of the community involvement by ensuring both the mobilization and management of funds, as well as artistic events and cultural activities to promote the property.

Concerning the project to reopen the mouth of the Comoé River, previous reports have already referred to the expected benefits of such a measure on the ecosystem as well as the important socio-economic impact, in particular enabling the return of the fishing activity in the lagoon. The report confirms that this project is still relevant and it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to keep it informed of its implementation and impact.

The efforts undertaken for the promotion of the property through the installation of information panels in the town, and the awareness-raising and promotion campaigns to increase attractiveness for tourists are appreciated.

The State Party is aware of persistent anthropogenic and natural constraints such as sand extraction, illegal construction, coastal erosion, high humidity, and other factors that affect the property in the medium and long term. It is important that these factors are taken into account in the planning of conservation actions, and in particular, it is necessary to develop further measures to combat coastal erosion.

Decision Adopted: 41 COM 7B.67

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 36 COM 8B.17, 37 COM 7B.37 and 39 COM 7B.38, adopted at its 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012), 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) and 39th (Bonn, 2015) sessions respectively,
  3. Commends the State Party for the implementation of the conservation and valorization measures in response to the points raised by the Committee in its previous decisions, notably Decision 39 COM 7B.38;
  4. Takes note with satisfaction of the continuation of international partnerships, in particular for training in conservation and management, as well as the involvement and mobilization of local communities and efforts to promote the property;
  5. Encourages the State Party to continue to implement the specific actions requested by the Committee in its previous decisions and reflected in the Action Plan aimed at strengthening the protection and conservation of the property, further the documentary research on the property, keep the inventory up to date, and regularly verify the applicability of the reglementary texts for a sustainable and efficient conservation and management of the property;
  6. Requests the State Party to keep the Committee informed of the implementation of major projects, namely the restoration in conformity with the ancient Palace of Justice, restoration of the Grand Bassam Cultural Heritage House, the development of the road network for the property, operational projects in the framework of the application of the Sanitation Master Plan, and the reopening of the river mouth, and reminds the State Party of the need to inform the Committee, through the World Heritage Centre, of any future projects likely to affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, including its authenticity or integrity, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before hard-to-reverse decisions are taken;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above-mentioned points.