On 20 September Mr Frédéric Mitterrand, Minister of Culture and Communication, Ms Chantal Jouanno, Secretary of State for Ecology and Mr Yves Dauge, President of the Association of French World Heritage Sites signed a Charter of Commitment for the Management of World Heritage sites in France.

The ceremony took place at the Ministry of Culture and Communication with Dr Mechtild Rössler, Chief of the Europe and North America section of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Junaid Sorosh-Wali, focal point for Western Europe, the Nordic states, southeast Mediterranean and the Baltic countries in attendance. Managers of the French World Heritage sites were also present.

The charter of commitment between the state and local authorities aims to clarify the respective commitments of the state and local governments, to address the situation of sites inscribed on the World Heritage List early on that do not yet have a management plan, unlike sites inscribed more recently.

The UNESCO World Heritage Centre is extremely pleased with France's initiative which aims at exemplary site management improved conservation of inscribed sites with regard to their outstanding universal value. The result of five years of efforts following the first Periodic Reporting Cycle in Europe, this initiative will bring together local and national synergies and linking heritage and planning, strengthening the consideration of heritage values in development. The spirit of this charter could serve as inspiration for other States Parties to the World Heritage Convention.

To date, there are 35 French sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, with 31 cultural, 3 natural and 1 mixed.   

More information on the charter can be found on the French Ministry for Culture and Communication website.