Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 2006
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/1227/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1227/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
Illustrative material see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1227/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010
In January 2010, the World Heritage Centre was informed of repetitive demolition of historic buildings within the buffer zone. Amongst the most important buildings were the Merchant Navy Club buildings, one of the oldest buildings, built in 1850.
On 9 April 2010, the World Heritage Centre wrote to the State Party expressing its concerns and requesting a state of conservation report of the property, which had not been received at the time of drafting of this report.
Since the inscription of the property on the World Heritage List in 2006, 16 buildings were demolished in the buffer zone - nearly 7% of the total number. These included 6 Grade 1 (10%); 1 Grade 2; and 9 non-graded. The demolitions were mostly located in the immediate surroundings of the Immigration Depot with strong physical and architectural links to the property. In addition, 4 graded buildings had been subjected to major interventions and 6 to minor interventions, with 10 other minor interventions to non-graded structures.
Information was also received that a Planning Policy Guidance is under preparation and should be submitted soon to the Ministry of Housing and Lands for consideration and approval. This document aims to address the negative changes created by development impacting on the visual and historical links of the property. It is urgent that the Guidance be officially enacted, and that a number of financial incentives be examined by the Government to encourage the retention of heritage buildings in the property and its buffer zone.
The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are concerned that the potential threat in the buffer zone identified at the time of inscription has in part been realized in terms of demolition of monuments of national value and that furthermore, no information has been received to indicate that the buffer zone has legal protection or is regulated by the Planning and Development Act.
The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are also concerned that this repetitive demolition could threaten the attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value. They recall that criterion (vi) stresses the tangible links with traditions of outstanding universal significance.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
Decision Adopted: 34 COM 7B.49
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add,
2. Recalling Decision 30 COM 8B.33, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),
3. Notes with concern the recent high degree of loss of historic buildings within the buffer zone through demolitions, the apparent lack of legal protection of the buffer zone and lack of planning policies;
4. Urges the State Party to halt any demolitions in the buffer zone until adequate planning and legal policies are in place;
5. Also notes the development of the Aapravasi Ghat Planning Policy Guidance document, and encourages its official adoption at the earliest opportunity;
6. Reiterates its request to the State Party to complete the management plan for the property to include the development and conservation of the buffer zone, and archaeological and tourism strategies, and to regulate restoration work undertaken to date;
7. Also reiterates its recommendation that the State Party undertake research on indentured labour to consider the extent, scope and impact of the indentured labour diaspora around the world and that the detailed archives connected with the property be considered to be put forward for UNESCO's Memory of the World Register;
8. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, a report on the state of conservation of the property, and in particular on actions taken to halt demolitions within the buffer zone, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011.