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 implemention of the action plan, including the Safeguarding and Enhancement Plan (SEP), and establishment of a Maison du Patrimoine;

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 2009

The World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008) noted that it considered the World Heritage property to be seriously threatened and encouraged the State Party to ensure that contemporary interventions would not affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The World Heritage Committee further urged the State Party to improve site management by implementing the recently adopted Safeguarding and Enhancement Plan, by urgently appointing a site manager for the property and also by coordinating the support of international partners around World Heritage Committee recommendations. Finally the Committee requested the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, to develop a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.

 

The State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the World Heritage property on 30 January 2009. The report notes the need for an interim Committee of Management (Safeguarding Committee) while waiting for the management mechanisms requested by the World Heritage Committee in its previous sessions and which require significant operating and budget support. The State Party report noted that it remained in favour of the organisation of an international donors meeting in co-operation with UNESCO, an initiative which awaited the signature of an agreement between the World Heritage Centre and the Department of Culture. The State Party also reports on three very significant projects which constitute significant advances in conservation of the property (including the rehabilitation of the Faidherbe Bridge, improvements to the mouth of the Senegal River, and of the Rognat South building). The State Party report also notes that in spite of the improvement of the situation, the soon-to-be-created Safeguarding Committee will be confronted by some serious challenges including the continuing appearance of new structures incompatible with the property’s Outstanding Universal Value, and which will need demolition or rectification, and that a list of such properties will be provided to the World Heritage Centre. And finally, the State Party report notes that it awaits Periodic Reporting Exercise modalities to be defined by the 33rd session, in relation to preparation of Statements of Outstanding Universal Value.

 

A joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission was carried out from 14-20 February 2009 to the World Heritage property. The mission listed a number of successful rehabilitation workshops taking place in relation to restoration projects. These are being supported through significant levels of international co-operation involving Spain, Wallonia-Brussels, and France. The mission report also regretted that modern constructions ignoring prevailing material use and architectural typologies continue to appear, and to affect the integrity of the property.

 

The mission also noted that the State Party had not responded to requests made by the Committee at its 32nd session to improve site management: the Safeguarding and Enhancement Plan had still not been implemented, and the designation of a site manager had not taken place. The mission further noted that the conservation and management plan requested by the World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM mission of 2006 had not been implemented, and the administrative and physical conditions necessary to establish the Maison du Patrimoine had not been provided. The mission noted that this continuing legal and management void was responsible for the lack of control exercised on the issuing of building permits for rehabilitation, restoration and new construction.

 

On the positive side, the mission noted the signature of a Decree on 20 February 2009 establishing a Safeguarding Committee for Saint-Louis, linking representatives of the State, the municipality, and key public leaders, to assistin implementing the Safeguarding and Enhancement Plan.

 

The mission report made the following recommendations:

- The Safeguarding and Enhancement Plan must be urgently implemented, and harmonized with the Plan for Urban Development, particularly in relation to the buffer zone;

- The recently established Safeguarding Committee should begin to function while waiting for appointment of a site manager;

- The site manager must be appointed urgently to work under the direction of the safeguarding Committee, and to implement the decisions of the World Heritage Committee, and to direct the activities of the Maison du Patrimoine;

- The process of elaborating a conservation and management plan, as an indispensable complement to the Safeguarding and Enhancement Plan, must be begun urgently in order to co-ordinate effectively interventions on site. This plan will help anticipate conservation problems and regulate land use including re-use of many large pieces of land both private and belonging to the Ministry of Defense;

- It is important to find ways to give more visibility to excellent examples of restoration work, including use of heritage plaques and awards;

- The idea of a donor’s meeting for 2010-2011 should be re-launched;

- Efforts for enhancement and sustainable tourism should be supported and encouraged in Saint-Louis and the region.

 

The mission, in evaluating the state of danger of the property noted an improvement in the overall state of conservation of the property, linked to the strong mobilization of all the concerned actors. It also noted however the urgent need to implement the various management mechanisms mentioned above, and to take further efforts to create a synergy among all efforts directed to implementing the requests of the World Heritage Committee, notably in terms of reinforcing the heritage craftsmanship and skills which are lacking. The mission concluded by noting that there are no ascertained and potential dangers, and therefore no need at present to continue consider the possibility of inscribing the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are concerned that the State Party has not been able to fully respond to the requests made by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session to improve site management, including implementation of the Safeguarding and Enhancement Plan, and the designation of a site manager, and that preparation of a conservation and management plan has not begun, and further that in the management void identified by the mission, illegal and inappropriate constructions which threaten the integrity of the property and its Outstanding Universal Value continue to take place.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that in the absence of progress made in improving the state of conservation of the property in 2010, in particular on issues related to improving site management and implementing the Safeguarding and Enhancement Plan, a new joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM monitoring mission will have to be undertaken to examine possible and ascertained or potential threats (as defined by Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines) and to assist in setting up an appropriate mechanism for the sustainable conservation of the property,for review by the World Heritage Committee.

 

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 33 COM 7B.47

The World Heritage Committee,                            

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7B.53, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Takes note with appreciation of the actions taken by the State Party to improve the state of conservation of the property, including the establishment of a Safeguarding Committee for the property to bridge site management until full development of planned management mechanisms;

4. Reiterates its request to the State Party to:

a) Implement the recently adopted Safeguarding and Enhancement Plan,

b) Urgently appoint a site manager for the property,

c) Launch preparation of the conservation and management plan first foreseen in the joint World Heritage Centre/ICCROM/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission report of 2006;

5. Encourages the State Party to improve coordination of international co-operation partners while ensuring their contributions strengthen the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre to plan a future international donor's conference in 2010 or 2011;

6. Considers that the property continues to be threatened by the State Party's inability to implement the management initiatives requested by the World Heritage Committee, and by modern interventions which do not respect the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage property;

7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2010, a report on the progress made to improve the property's state of conservation, and in responding to the World Heritage Committee's requests, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010.