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Historic Town of Grand-Bassam

Côte d'Ivoire
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • Erosion and siltation/ deposition
  • Financial resources
  • Housing
  • Human resources
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water (rain/water table)
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Clarify the property’s limits for the land parts following the cadastral boundaries
  • Enlarge the property’s unified buffer zone to the Petit Paris neighbourhood and the lighthouse
  • Clarify the land ownership situation (N’zima village, land lots with no property deed)
  • Inscribe all the “buildings of heritage interest” in the property on the National Cultural Heritage List
  • Define operational monitoring indicators which correspond to precise, periodic and quantified monitoring actions
  • Strengthen and give details of the permanent human resources of the Local Committee and/or of the Cultural Heritage House
  • Confirm the suspensive role of the Cultural Heritage House's views in the functioning of the Building Permits Commission of Grand-Bassam for conservation purposes
  • Reinforce the practical and operational dimension of the Plan for the Conservation and Management of the property
  • Confirm the measures to provide encouragement for the restoration and conservation of the privately owned buildings
  • Need to strengthen financial resources
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2017

Total amount granted: USD 57,734 from the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 1 (from 2015-2015)
Total amount approved : 5,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2017**
2013 and 2014: Technical assistance missions in the framework of the Convention France-UNESCO for management in 2013 and restoration of the ancient Palace of Justice in 2014 ; Technical Assistance mission for the AfriCAP2016 project financed by the European Union in the framework of the ACP Cultures+ Programme
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 29 November 2016, the State Party sent a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1322/documents/. This report indicates the progress made on a certain number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions:

  • Urban conservation, planning and integrated urban development, taking into account the historical urban landscape and archival documentation:
-         Initiation of an inventory taking into account the architecture, landscape environment and the urban fabric, and design of an interactive database management software,
-         Establishment of the land ownership of the property with recourse to all the cadastral data,
-         Identification of the roads to be restored and definition of a methodology and a pluriannual plan, based on consultations with all the parties concerned with the management of the property,

-         Realization of a Sanitation Master Plan (SMP);

-         Capitalization on the traditional know-how of fishermen to address the issue of sanitation and salubrity at the property;

  • Training and capacity building in architectural, urban and landscape conservation at local and national level:
  • Organization of two capacity-building workshops in the field of architectural, urban and landscape conservation in the framework of the AfriCAP2016 project;

-         Training and tools for sustainable management of the property through two internships in France;

  • Strengthening the financial resources and technical and administrative capacities of the Cultural Heritage House (CHH) to raise funds and implement activities:
  • Establishment of a Committee of Ambassadors and Patrons of the Historic Town of Grand-Bassam (HTGB), and mobilization of the local communities and public-private partnerships;
  • Establishment of a revenue management system within the CHH;
  • Acquisition of public funding for the restoration of the CHH and equipment of the offices, and private funding for the rehabilitation and equipment of the Information Centre;
  • Revision and updating of the texts governing the functioning of the Building Permits Commission and the Local Management Committee of the HTGB, clarifying the levels of competences and improving work conditions;
  • Application of emergency measures and restoration in conformity with the ancient Palace of Justice: In view of the inadequate expertise available for this restoration, the State Party has received technical assistance in the framework of international cooperation.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

The State Party’s report provides concrete information on the actions taken since 2015, in particular with regard to ongoing and future restoration projects, building inventories, capacity building, mobilization of funds, and also initiatives for the sanitation and salubrity of the site. The report reaffirms the State Party’s commitment to the conservation and enhancement of the property.

The extensive documentation annexed to the report provides a more detailed description of the restoration projects for the CHH and the Palace of Justice, the redevelopment of the Boulevard Treich-Laplène, as well as the inventory work carried out on the land status of the property.

It is commendable that the measures initiated following the inscription of the property have been pursued and continue to benefit from assistance for the restoration and conservation of the public and privately-owned buildings in the framework of international cooperation and programmes such as AfriCAP2016, enabling support for training programmes. It is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to continue these programmes, ensuring the sustainability and capitalization on these measures.

The work carried out on the land ownership situation through inventory and documentary research, involving several national and international partner universities, as well as the methodology established to formulate restoration priorities, are also appreciated.  Documentary research on the property should be carried out more thoroughly to ensure that the inventory is kept up to date, and to regularly verify the applicability of the regulatory texts for the conservation and sustainable and efficient management of the property.

The report again raises the issue of sanitation and salubrity at the property, notably emphasizing recourse to the traditional know-how of the fishermen of the village of N'zima to prevent the rooting of aquatic plants. It also highlights initiatives that mobilize the local community around projects through public-private partnerships. This approach is commendable, and it is necessary to strengthen the promotion, valorization and awareness of the local community for a greater appropriation of the conservation of the property by the community. In this sense, the creation of a revenue management system within the CHH is a positive measure and indicative of the community involvement by ensuring both the mobilization and management of funds, as well as artistic events and cultural activities to promote the property.

Concerning the project to reopen the mouth of the Comoé River, previous reports have already referred to the expected benefits of such a measure on the ecosystem as well as the important socio-economic impact, in particular enabling the return of the fishing activity in the lagoon. The report confirms that this project is still relevant and it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to keep it informed of its implementation and impact.

The efforts undertaken for the promotion of the property through the installation of information panels in the town, and the awareness-raising and promotion campaigns to increase attractiveness for tourists are appreciated.

The State Party is aware of persistent anthropogenic and natural constraints such as sand extraction, illegal construction, coastal erosion, high humidity, and other factors that affect the property in the medium and long term. It is important that these factors are taken into account in the planning of conservation actions, and in particular, it is necessary to develop further measures to combat coastal erosion.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7B.67
Historic Town of Grand-Bassam (Côte d'Ivoire) (C 1322rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 36 COM 8B.17, 37 COM 7B.37 and 39 COM 7B.38, adopted at its 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012), 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) and 39th (Bonn, 2015) sessions respectively,
  3. Commends the State Party for the implementation of the conservation and valorization measures in response to the points raised by the Committee in its previous decisions, notably Decision 39 COM 7B.38;
  4. Takes note with satisfaction of the continuation of international partnerships, in particular for training in conservation and management, as well as the involvement and mobilization of local communities and efforts to promote the property;
  5. Encourages the State Party to continue to implement the specific actions requested by the Committee in its previous decisions and reflected in the Action Plan aimed at strengthening the protection and conservation of the property, further the documentary research on the property, keep the inventory up to date, and regularly verify the applicability of the reglementary texts for a sustainable and efficient conservation and management of the property;
  6. Requests the State Party to keep the Committee informed of the implementation of major projects, namely the restoration in conformity with the ancient Palace of Justice, restoration of the Grand Bassam Cultural Heritage House, the development of the road network for the property, operational projects in the framework of the application of the Sanitation Master Plan, and the reopening of the river mouth, and reminds the State Party of the need to inform the Committee, through the World Heritage Centre, of any future projects likely to affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, including its authenticity or integrity, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before hard-to-reverse decisions are taken;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above-mentioned points.
Draft decision: 41 COM 7B.67

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 36 COM 8B.17, 37 COM 7B.37 and 39 COM 7B.38, adopted at its 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012), 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) and 39th (Bonn, 2015) sessions respectively,
  3. Commends the State Party for the implementation of the conservation and valorization measures in response to the points raised by the Committee in its previous decisions, notably Decision 39 COM 7B.38;
  4. Takes note with satisfaction of the continuation of international partnerships, in particular for training in conservation and management, as well as the involvement and mobilization of local communities and efforts to promote the property;
  5. Encourages the State Party to continue to implement the specific actions requested by the Committee in its previous decisions and reflected in the Action Plan aimed at strengthening the protection and conservation of the property, further the documentary research on the property, keep the inventory up to date, and regularly verify the applicability of the reglementary texts for a sustainable and efficient conservation and management of the property;
  6. Requests the State Party to keep the Committee informed of the implementation of major projects, namely the restoration in conformity with the ancient Palace of Justice, restoration of the Grand Bassam Cultural Heritage House, the development of the road network for the property, operational projects in the framework of the application of the Sanitation Master Plan, and the reopening of the river mouth, and reminds the State Party of the need to inform the Committee, through the World Heritage Centre, of any future projects likely to affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, including its authenticity or integrity, in accordance with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before hard-to-reverse decisions are taken;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above-mentioned points.
Report year: 2017
Côte d'Ivoire
Date of Inscription: 2012
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2016) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 41COM (2017)
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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