In October 2001, initiated by UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, with the support of the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement, a workshop focused on Global Strategy raising awareness of the heritage of the Islands of the southwest Indian Ocean brought together representatives of 5 States Parties (Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros and France (Reunion)) in Madagascar. The workshop aimed to promote awareness and knowledge of the 1972 World Heritage Convention to the region, to reinforce its impact and mobilize national and local officials.
Following the 2001 meeting, an international workshop was organized in Mauritius, in April 2003 with the same goal of raising awareness of the 1972 World Heritage Convention. The rich and passionate debates reflected the difficulty to agree on a definition of the island’s own heritage. In the beginning of the 21st century, the history of the colonial periods of the previous three centuries raised a lot of reluctance. The legacy of this long period marked by many tragic events is sensitively recognized as a component of the national cultural identity. In parallel with the 2003 workshop, technical support was provided to the State Party to advise on adapting the heritage legislation to current standards and consider issues of pluralism and cultural diversity.
The Black River Georges National Park was inscribed on the Tentative Lists in 2006, and Le Morne Cultural Landscape (Mauritius) was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008.