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 provided to the property: USD 139,000 (France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement) 

Previous monitoring missions

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

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Lack of monitoring and control mechanism;

b) The lack of a Conservation and Management Plan;

c) New construction and architectural modification and urban projects affecting authenticity and integrity;

d) Inappropriate housing restoration;

e) Environmental disorder due to the modification of the mouth of the Senegal River;

f) Extremely poor state of conservation of numerous derelict buildings endangering occupants;

g) Lack of a site manager. 

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010

The State Party submitted the state of conservation report on 30 January 2010. The report provides a succinct response to the recommendations provided by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009).

a) Implementation of the Safeguarding and enhancement plan

The State Party reports that the official installation of the Safeguarding Committee was foreseen within the launching of the periodic reporting cycle for Africa in January 2010 in Dakar but could not take place. Notwithstanding, it notes that collaboration has continued among the new municipal authorities, ICOMOS Senegal and the Directorate of Cultural Heritage.

b) Appointment of a site manager for the property

The State Party reports that a site manager has been appointed to oversee the implementation of the Safeguarding and Enhancement Plan, in collaboration with the Committee aforementioned and other parties to secure the conservation of the property.

c) Preparation of the conservation and management plan

The State Party reports that it currently is implementing the conservation action plan and that several actions are in course. Among these, capacity building workshops have been undertaken to create a larger group of technicians capable of addressing conservation needs at the property. In addition, the State party also reports on three major rehabilitation projects to be implemented at the Assemblée Territoriale du Fleuve, the Rognât Sud and the Faidherbe Bridge. These projects receive international support from the Spanish Cooperation Agency, the Walloon Region and from France. Also, through cooperation with the French Development Agency, a large infrastructure, economic development, rehabilitation, tourism and capacity building programme totalling two million Euro is foreseen.

In addition, the Senegal Chief of State has decided to implement a general rehabilitation programme for Saint-Louis, which considers a first phase of interventions for 13 units in grave danger. The programme will be financed by the State of Senegal and implementation overseen by the Foundation of Cultural Heritage.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are concerned about the proper coordination amongst the ongoing development and conservation projects implemented at the property and about involving the local communities who are the major actors and beneficiaries of the implemented activities.

d) Coordination of international co-operation partners

The State Party reports that it wishes to organize a coordination meeting for international partners and is negotiating with France UNESCO Cooperation Agreement for possible support.

e) Threats to the property derived from lack of implementation of management initiatives and from modern interventions, which do not respect the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage property

The State Party reports that the situation has been stabilized. The Cultural Heritage Direction, the Municipality and ICOMOS Senegal are overseeing different initiatives to avoid further detrimental interventions. The installation of the Safeguarding Committee will also contribute to strengthen this action and to the eventual reversal of inappropriate construction, which is detrimental to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies remain concerned about the pace of implementation to systematically address threats to the attributes that sustain the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and the need to regulate the granting of construction and restoration permits within the property.

In conclusion, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the steps that the State Party has taken to address the threats and conditions highlighted in past decisions by the World Heritage Committee. While this indicates that some progress has been made, they remain concerned about the effective implementation of the measures undertaken and their sustainability in light of the limited resources.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies have recently received information on a proposed mineral port in the context of the “Organisation pour la Mise en Valeur du fleuve Sénégal” (O.M.V.S.; Organisation for the enhancement of the Senegal River). The World Heritage Centre has requested information on this project from the State Party by a letter dated 18 March 2010 but the State Party did not yet reply to this letter. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are concerned about this project’s potential direct and indirect impact on the property. They consider that the State Party needs to provide information on this project and an appropriate environmental impact assessment study on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property for review prior to any commitment being made.

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


Decision Adopted: 34 COM 7B.51

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.47, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Notes the efforts made by the State Party in implementing measures to improve the state of conservation of the property;

4. Urges it to continue the implementation of the recommendations made by the reactive monitoring mission in 2009, particularly:

a) Developing and consolidating the conservation and management arrangements,

b) Securing resources for effective operation of the Safeguarding Committee and for the office of the site manager,

c) Implementing building control and building permits mechanisms,

d) Coordination amongst initiatives being developed at the property;

5. Also urges the State Party to prepare the management plan as requested by the World Heritage Committee taking into account conservation decisions, tourism plans, and the local communities who are the major actors and beneficiaries of the implemented actions;

6. Invites the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with detailed information including an Environmental Impact Assessment on any project that could affect the property's integrity, such as the potential construction of a port receiving minerals at the south mouth of the Senegal River, for review by the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;

7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011.