1.         Historic Town of Grand-Bassam (Côte d'Ivoire) (C 1322rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2012

Criteria  (iii)(iv)

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/1322/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1322/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 32,634 from the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement

Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Decision 36 COM 8B.17 had identified the following points and asked the State Party to: 

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1322/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

The report of January 2013 sent by the State Party responds to Decision 36 COM 8B.17. It informs of progress accomplished in the definition, protection and management of the property, as well as the residual difficulties (See page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1322/documents/).

a)  Property boundaries and buffer zone

Clarifications have been made with regard to the boundaries of the property and extension of the buffer zone (Decree No 490 of 7 June 2012), but the cartographical documentation  provided must be completed by a global map showing the property boundaries and its new buffer zone.

b)  Establishment of a management mechanism

Decree No. 46/MCF-CAB of 8 May 2012 creates and organizes the local Management Committee; it was initiated in May 2012. Decree No. 552 of 13 June 2012 strengthens the competences of the Heritage Centre and Order No. 53/MCF/CAB of 18 May 2012 appoints its director. But with regard to staff and competences delegated to the Heritage Centre and the local Management and Conservation Committee of the Historic Town of Grand-Bassam, it is not possible to extract them from the global statistics at State Party level.

c)  Protection, prerogatives of the Building Permits Commission

The prerogatives of the Building Permits Commission have been reinforced by Ministerial Order No.47/MCF-CAB of 8 May 2012 and the new Commission established on 17 May 2012; however, it is not evident whether the views of the Heritage Centre and/or the Management Committee for the property are suspensive and non-consultative  as set out in some documents provided at the time of inscription of the property. The State Party, however, indicates that the present practices of the Commission  give satisfactory results with regard to the respect of procedures for the conservation of the property and the capacity of the Commission to halt non-authorized work or work not in confirmity with the provisions.

d)  Monitoring of the conservation of the property

The State Party has achieved institutional progress in the management of the property in 2012. It also underlines the implementation of a public investment programme, over four years, for the conservation of the property, for USD 1.3M for the restoration programme for four public buildings, improved collection of urban waste, the control of architectural provisions, etc. Work is also expected to becarried out on the repair of facades and fencing but posponed for the time being, awaiting a partnership undertaking as concerns the privte properties.

An indicator table proposes general objectives and their periodic evaluation. Overall, the objectives have been accomplished except for the improvement of vegetation.  However, monitoring of the salubrity of the property must be reinforced. The announced monitoring of the architectural conservation appears to be more a verification of the implementation of the restoration programme for the monuments, within the Management Plan, rather than precise indicators for the monitoring of all the constitutive components of the property, with the notable exception of N’zima village.

e)  Environmental threats

Several leading environmental questions are rightly raised by the State Party: water quality of the lagoon and tendency towards the increase of invasive species, obstruction of the maritime mouth of the lagoon, coastal erosion, important effects of tempests on coastal homes. A risk management action in the form of a project has been undertaken for the reopening of the lagoon and the establishment of a monitoring policy for natural risks. These efforts must be continued. 

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that the general state of conservation of the property is fairly satisfactory, notably as regards the public buildings, but it is more unequal and fragile for the privately owned buildings, in particular in the zone of the ancient European commercial village. More broadly, the property continues to be threatened by a series of human factors (work not in conformity with provisions, unauthorized habitation, pollution, etc.) and natural factors (state of the lagoon, coastal erosion, etc.) The State Party provides a fairly extensive analysis of the situation, whilst informing of the institutional and practical progress in the management of the property. These efforts must be continued, encouraged and, on several points, strengthened and developed.

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 7B.37

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 8B.17 adopted at the 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Takes note of the information provided by the State Party, in particular the boundaries of the property and its buffer zone;

4.  Notes with satisfaction the inscription of all the outstanding monuments and sites of the property on the National Heritage List, the establishment of the local Management Committee, the institutionalisation of the Heritage Centre, an improved functioning of the Building Permits Commission and the implementation of different restoration programmes for the outstanding monuments and houses of the property;

5.  Encourages the State Party to pursue its efforts for the improved knowledge of the property (cadastral inventory) and further to continue its efforts to strengthen the protection of the property through the Building Permits Commission, the conservation of the property and its monitoring as concerns the privately owned buildings and tree-lined areas, daily management (illegal habitations, waste and pollution) and the surveillance of natural threats (closure of the lagoon and its consequences, coastal erosion);

6.  Requests the State Party to:

a)  Provide a global map showing the boundary of the property and its new buffer zone,

b)  Indicate the human resources of the local Management Committee and the Heritage Centre responsible for the management of the property,

c)  Confirm that the notifications of the Heritage Centre and/or the local Management Committee of the property, for the attention of the Building Permits Commission are, in fact, suspensive and not simply consultative, as indicated in some of the documents provided at the time of inscription,

d)  Implement a policy to assist in the conservation of private immovable property at both the technical level (practical conservation guide) and financial (combined public/private assistance),

e)  Implement a plantation and green spaces programme that respects the authenticity of the property in this domain, and carry out the necessary prior studies,

f)   Define more diversified and precise monitoring indicators for conservation, to be applied to both monuments and houses, public squares and plantations.  They must cover all the constitutive components of the property, both public and private;

7.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2015 , a report on the state of conservation of the property providing information on the implementation of the above-mentioned points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015.