1.         Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (France) (C 80ter)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (i)(iii)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/80/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/80/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/80/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1990

The Bureau's concerns were brought to the attention of the French authorities by letter dated 25 July 1990. Also, the Secretary for the natural part of the Convention, at the invitation of the French authorities, participated in the first meeting of the Conseil de la Baie (Bay Council), which brought together all the partners concerned by the protection and development of the site. The meeting took note of the Bureau's recommendations concerning the siltation of the Bay and the re-definion of the limits of the inscribed area, in order to avoid projects such as the construction of pig farms and large-scale amusement parks.

The French authorities have not yet officially replied to the Secretariat's letter but have indicated that an oral report on all of these problems will be presented to the Committee at Banff.

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


Decision Adopted: 14 BUR IV.A.19-21

19. The IUCN Regional Councilor for Europe informed the Bureau that the series of measures to prevent the increasing siltation of the Bay, as announced by President Mitterrand in 1983, had not yet been taken. The salt marshes were currently encroaching upon the Bay at a rate of 30 ha per year which, according to previous studies, could mean that Mont Saint Michel would no longer be an island by the end of 1991, thereby degrading the natural setting of the cultural monuments of Mont Saint Michel. In addition, the authorities responsible for the development of the region, namely the two departments and the townships on the coastline, which were not all included in the area included in the List, did not always perceive the natural and cultural values of this site. In consequence, there were increasing threats of activities which were incompatible with the maintenance of its integrity such as the construction of pig farms and large-scale amusement parks.

20. The Bureau accordingly requested the Secretariat to contact the French authorities in order to remind them of their national obligation under the Convention to ensure the protection of the natural and cultural values of the site, which included not only the Mount but also the Bay.

21. In particular, the Bureau expressed the wish that the necessary technical measures to halt siltation be taken to maintain the insularity of the site and furthermore recommended that the boundaries of the inscribed area be re-examined to include the townships along the coastline in order to create a peripheral area where only activities compatible with the world heritage state of the site would be permitted. Finally, the Bureau noted with satisfaction the invitation extended to Unesco, ICOMOS and IUCN by the observer from France to participate in a round-table meeting on 26 June 1990 at which all the partners concerned with the conservation of Mont Saint Michel and its Bay would be present to study the various technical operations required to safeguard the site. The Bureau expressed the wish that this complex matter be also studied by international experts and requested the French authorities to report back to the Committee on the results of that meeting and on all the measures that had been planned to meet its concerns.

Decision Adopted: 14 COM IX

26. As the Bureau requested during its last session, the French representative reported on the siltation problems at Mont St. Michel and its Bay. The Committee noted with satisfaction the planned siltation control works, including the demolition of the dike providing access to Mont St. Michel and its present parking facilities and the replacement of this dike with a bridge that will reestablish water circulation. The Committee wished to encourage the French authorities to implement these projects as soon as possible.