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Pyrénées - Mont Perdu

France, Spain
Factors affecting the property in 2007*
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Impacts of the Gavarnie Festival and request for its permanent transfer;

b) Insufficient transboundary cooperation.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2007
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

Following reminders from the World Heritage Centre, the French State Party transmitted a report dated 23 February 2007.

In a letter dated 12 June 2006 addressed to the World Heritage Centre, the Mayor of Gavarnie expressed willingness to receive an expert mission to evaluate the proposal for an alternative location to the current one for the Gavarnie Festival. In its letter of 24 August 2006 to the Permanent Delegation, the World Heritage Centre proposed to explore the possibility of such a mission to the competent national authorities and to initiate an invitation as soon as possible. Furthermore, in a second letter dated 24 July 2006, the Mayor of Gavarnie informed that an alternative solution for the holding of the Festival had been approved by the Gavarnie Municipal Council on 29 June 2006.

In a letter dated 23 February 2007, the Deputy Permanent Delegate of France to UNESCO confirmed that a mission had been carried out in November 2006 by the Inspection Services of the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development. This mission examined two alternative sites to the current location of the Festival. The first one was not retained as, according to the State Party, it presented major inconveniences incompatible with the conservation of the property. The second, at Part Ber, could be envisaged following a feasibility study concerning the nature and cost of the necessary installations.

The Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development further supported the dispatch of an international expert mission led jointly by ICOMOS and IUCN. This mission would examine the present location of the Festival as well as the alternative sites, and would moreover permit an evaluation of the overall and transboundary management of the property.

The Permanent Delegation further confirmed the wish of the French authorities to achieve a consensual and sustainable management of this outstanding property and respond to the justifiable expectations of the World Heritage Committee in this regard.

Despite the fact that the French authorities had promised to hold the Festival at La Courade for the last time in 2006, the World Heritage Centre has received information indicating that the Departmental authorities have once again authorized this event for 2007 and that it will last longer than usual.

In the absence of tangible proof provided by the State Party, it is difficult to evaluate progress achieved in the preparation and implementation of the management plan for the French part of this transboundary property, as well as regards transboundary cooperation. However, the French World Heritage Mont Perdu Association, in collaboration with the Boltana authorities, organized an associative meeting on 24 March 2007 in Boltana, Aragon (Spain) on the theme of transboundary cooperation and management of the property. An IUCN expert was also invited. However, the national authorities and the Directions of the National Parks did not participate.

Furthermore, the Deputy and the Vice-President of the General Council for the Hautes-Pyrénées informed the World Heritage Centre by letter of 28 March 2007, that a report on the state of conservation of the site had been prepared by the Director of the Pyrénées National Park. This report makes special mention of development perspectives for the French part of the property, as well as transboundary management. However, to date this report has not been transmitted for evaluation to the World Heritage Centre. The letter also informed of the creation of a mixed syndicate, associating territorial communities, the Midi-Pyrénées Regional Council and the Hautes-Pyrénées General Council, as an interlocutor with the World Heritage Centre.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2007
31 COM 7B.44
Pyrénées – Mont Perdu (France / Spain)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.       Recalling Decisions 28 COM 15B.36, 29 COM 7B.31 and 30 COM 7B.33 adopted respectively during its 28th (Suzhou, 2004), 29th (Durban, 2005) and 30th (Vilnius, 2006) sessions,

3.       Regrets that the last report provided by the French State Party did not give information on the progress achieved with regard to transboundary cooperation, or on the preparation and implementation of the management plan for the French part of this transbounday property, in conformity with the legislation of National Parks and of the need identified during the analysis of the Periodic Reporting for Europe;

4.       Notes with concern that ten years after inscription of the property, the issue of the transfer of the Gavarnie Festival has not yet been resolved and that this event has once again been authorized  for 2007 while 2006 should have been the last year ;

5.       Notes with satisfaction the proposal made by the French State Party for an alternative site for the Gavarnie Festival and for the invitation of an international expert mission to evaluate this new location and the overall management of the property;

6.       Requests the French State Party to receive the World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN mission to examine the current site of the Festival as well as the proposed alternative site in view of a final transfer of the Gavarnie Festival, as was initially announced at the time of the inscription of the property;

7.       Urges the States Parties of France and Spain to strengthen their transboundary cooperation to ensure the conservation and management of this property;

8.       Further requests the French State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with a progress report before 1 February 2008 specifically on the transfer of the Gavarnie Festival, transboundary cooperation and the preparation and implementation of the management plan for the French part of the property for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.

Draft Decision : 31 COM 7B.44

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decisions 28 COM 15B.36, 29 COM 7B.31 and 30 COM 7B.33 adopted respectively during its 28th (Suzhou, 2004), 29th (Durban, 2005) and 30th (Vilnius, 2006) sessions,

3. Notes with satisfaction the proposal made by the French State Party for an alternative site for the Gavarnie Festival and for the dispatch of an international expert mission to evaluate this new location and the overall management of the property;

4. Regrets that the last report provided by the French State Party did not give information on the progress achieved with regard to transboundary cooperation, or on the preparation and implementation of the management plan for the French part of this transbounday property, in conformity with the legislation of National Parks and of the need identified during the analysis of the Periodic Reporting for Europe;

5. Notes with concern that ten years after inscription of the property, the issue of the transfer of the Gavarnie Festival has not yet been resolved and that this event has once again been authorized for 2007 while 2006 should have been the last year ;

6. Urges the States Parties of France and Spain to strengthen their transboundary cooperation to ensure the conservation and management of this property;

7. Requests the French State Party to invite a World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN mission to examine the current site of the Festival as well as the proposed alternative site in view of a final transfer of the Gavarnie Festival, as was initially announced at the time of the inscription of the property;

8. Further requests the French State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with a progress report before 1 February 2008 specifically on the transfer of the Gavarnie Festival, transboundary cooperation and the preparation and implementation of the management plan for the French part of the property for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.

 

Report year: 2007
Spain France
Date of Inscription: 1997
Category: Mixed
Criteria: (iii)(iv)(v)(vii)(viii)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 31COM (2007)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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