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


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

In the Periodic Report submitted by the State Party in 2006 :

a) Development pressures

b) Environmental constraints

c) Natural disasters (earthquakes, wind storms (1987 and 1999), earth slides)

d) Tourism/ visitor pressure (including the intensification of fish/shell industries and pasture in the bay)

e) Problems related to the presentation of the site: Car parking at the foot of the Mount, sign posts 

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010

Further to concerns raised by French associations, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 23 December 2009. This included a copy of a letter from the Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea that provided details of wind farm projects around the bay of Mont Saint Michel. On 18 March, the Director of the World Heritage Centre wrote to the State Party informing them that the property would be the subject of a state of conservation report and asking if they wished to supplement the information already provided. No supplementary information was received. 

The report from the State Party provided brief details of windfarms already approved, in the course of construction, and those that have been refused, in the departments of la Manche and l’Ille et Vilaine. It set out their location and the number of turbines. No maps were provided nor details given on the heights of the turbines.

In La Manche a Departmental scheme for wind farms was published in 2007. This set out two zones within the landscape protection area for Mount Saint Michel, one of which was considered compatible with wind farms and the other not. In l’Ille et Vilaine a Wind Farm Charter was published in 2005 that indentified environmental constraints and unfavourable sites. Further a regional study is being carried out to consider the limitations on zone of wind farm development. Development Zones for Wind farms (ZDE) are being investigated in both departments.

Nine schemes are listed, three in La Manche and six in Ille et Vilaine. These are between 17 and 50 km from Mont St Michel and consist of between 3 and 8 turbines. Of these, three have been refused, three have been approved and not yet constructed. It is stated that only one scheme has been authorised in the protected landscape area of Mont St Michel. This project, not yet constructed, is for three 100m high turbines. It is said to have been given permission as it did not impact on views from Mont St Michel. In the Ille-et-Vilaine Department, two requests for permits are being considered of which one for five turbines would be visible from the west of Mont Saint Michel.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are concerned at the potential impact of wind turbines on the extensive landscape setting of Mont Saint Michel and its Bay. The information provided does not allow a full understanding of the potential impact of the one project that has been approved, nor of future projects that might be constructed in the ZDE zones. They consider that there is a need for impact assessments to be carried out for all potential wind turbine projects for their impact on the cultural attributes of the property that contribute to Outstanding Universal Value. 

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


Decision Adopted: 34 COM 7B.83

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Expresses its concern at the potential impact of wind turbines on the landscape setting of the property;

3. Requests the State Party to provide full details, including heights and location of turbines, of the approved projects and those pending approval, and of the delineation of the Zones for Wind Farm Development (ZDE), to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;

4. Also requests the State Party to provide details of the impact assessments that have been carried out on wind farm proposals in terms of impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

5. Further 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.