Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Le Morne Cultural Landscape

Mauritius
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Housing
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Factor identified in the ICOMOS evaluation for the nomination of the property in 2008:

  • Development pressures
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 1 (from 2004-2004)
Total amount approved : 17,487 USD
Missions to the property until 2015**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 3 April 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation rma,neport, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1259/documents/, in response to concerns raised by UNESCO relating to proposed major developments in the buffer zone of the property. The report also provides detailed information on on-going conservation initiatives and on protection and management.

  • Trochetia Development

The site of the Trochetia development project, partly in the property and partly in the buffer zone, lies at the foot of Le Morne mountain, in the former village of Makak. In 2007, preliminary archaeological research works undertaken at the site revealed the major archaeological potential of the area and the opportunity to document further the significance of Le Morne.

The development project was proposed in 2007, a year before inscription. The State Party halted the proposals in the light of its impact on the spiritual, cultural and historical values of the landscape and for the way it would jeopardize the integrity and authenticity of the property.  The State Party has continued to maintain its objection to the project.

The United Kingdom-based investors have now taken the matter to the Supreme Court, claiming their investments have been expropriated and demanding compensation. Matters of law relating to the case are due to be heard on 16 July 2015.

While the legal issues are being considered, the developers have refused to allow access to the development site, which in turn means that access cannot be gained to the mountain. This has become a major obstacle in relation to the implementation of parts of the Management Plan, and in the implementation of conservation projects on the summit, of archaeological surveys, and of the development of small scale visitor facilities.

  • Legislative and managerial frameworks:

The report details the legislative and managerial frameworks that are in place and managed by the Le Morne Heritage Trust Fund (LMHTF) institution, under the aegis of the Ministry of Arts and Culture, as well as the detailed planning framework which has, so far, proved effective in ensuring that only projects that support the spirit of Le Morne, and which are in line with the legislative tools, are approved. In the last 8 years, 47 development applications were received and 27 were approved, including six hotels.

The Management Plan was reviewed in 2013 and 2014 and the revised version will soon be adopted. This reflects the management of the property and the buffer zone as one entity.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

The potential impact of the proposed Trochetia development, partly in the property and partly in the buffer zone, on the Outstanding Universal value (OUV) of the property is noted. The matter is to be considered by the Supreme Court in July 2015 with regard to a challenge by the developers. It is recalled that, at the time of inscription, the Committee requested the State Party to refrain from approving any developments in the property (Quebec City, 2008) (Decision 32 COM 8B.18).

It is also noted that this dispute is constraining access to Le Morne Mountain and having a negative impact on the ability of Le Morne World Heritage Trust to undertake its conservation and other work on the mountain.

In response to the request of the Committee at the time of inscription, the legislative and planning mechanism has been enforced in relation to no-development in the property and proposed development in the buffer zone. Nevertheless, the approved developments in the buffer zone include six hotels, for which no details have been forwarded to the World Heritage Centre for review.

It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee request the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to assess development pressures on the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7B.42
Le Morne Cultural Landscape (Mauritius) (C 1259bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 8B.18, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),
  3. Notes the efforts made by the State Party to enforce the various legislative and planning frameworks, as requested by the Committee at the time of inscription, and reminds the State Party to ensure that new development projects that might impact on Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review, as set out in Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, together with Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs);
  4. Acknowledges the efforts made by the State Party to revise the Management Plan and requests it to provide this revised Management Plan and all its annexes to the World Heritage Centre, once approved;
  5. Also notes the legal challenges that have been filed for the proposed Trochetia development, which could have a negative impact on the OUV, and that matters of law in relation to these challenges will be heard by the Supreme Court in July 2015, and also requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre on the outcome of this hearing;
  6. Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, as soon as possible, to assess the development pressures and the overall conservation of the property;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.
Draft Decision: 39 COM 7B.42

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 8B.18, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),
  3. Notes the efforts made by the State Party to enforce the various legislative and planning frameworks, as requested by the Committee at the time of inscription, and reminds the State Party to ensure that new development projects that might impact on Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review, as set out in Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, together with Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs);
  4. Acknowledges the efforts made by the State Party to revise the Management Plan and requests it to provide this revised Management Plan and all its annexes to the World Heritage Centre, once approved;
  5. Also notes the legal challenges that have been filed for the proposed Trochetia development, which could have a negative impact on the OUV, and that matters of law in relation to these challenges will be heard by the Supreme Court in July 2015, and also requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre on the outcome of this hearing;
  6. Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, as soon as possible, to assess the development pressures and the overall conservation of the property;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.
Report year: 2015
Mauritius
Date of Inscription: 2008
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 39COM (2015)
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.


top