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Le Morne Cultural Landscape

Mauritius
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Housing
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Development project including 6 hotels 
  • Incomplete implementation of parts of the Management Plan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 1 (from 2004-2004)
Total amount approved : 17,487 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

February 2016: Joint World Heritage Centre /ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; November 2016: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 30 November 2017, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report. A joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission visited the property in November 2016 to advise on the implementation of Decision 40 COM 7B.14. Both reports are available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1259/documents/.  The State Party report includes the following:

  • The Management Plans (and sub-plans on Land Management, Lagoon Management and Local Economic Development) were finalized in 2017 to address the concerns and recommendations made by the February and November 2016 missions. The strengthened Management Plan (2017-2021) includes a plan of action to realize the Plans’ strategic objectives. Government approval is expected soon. A Risk Management Plan has been developed as well as a Visitor Management Plan for the mountain access;
  • The Le Morne Heritage Trust Fund (LMHTF) has developed a 3-year Strategic Plan (2016-2019) which incorporates the Management Plans. This recommended a twinning agreement between Le Morne Cultural Landscape and Robben Island Museum (South Africa), which was signed in March 2017;
  • The opening of access to Le Morne Brabant Mountain – a high priority for the property – became effective in July 2016. Visitors’ amenities were put in place and visitors are generating income for the LMHTF;
  • The Société du Morne Brabant has allowed access for further archaeological research on maroonage at the Makak settlement site. Research has also been started on maritime archaeology;
  • The report also emphasizes the problem of invasive alien species due to gradual change in the forest ecosystem, effect of climate change and disruption of ecosystem. Considerable efforts are being made to train staff and mobilize funding to maintain the biodiversity;
  • Pertaining to any new constructions, the State Party recalls its commitment to ensure appropriate management of the property through its existing legal documents and management plans which are adequate and effective. All development projects are measured against the property’s OUV and judged accordingly.

Concerning the legal challenge associated with the proposed development in the property by Le Morne Brabant IRS Co Ltd (LMB), which is before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, complementary information received by the World Heritage Centre on 22 February 2018 explained that the case is still in mediation and arguments are scheduled to be heard before the Supreme Court of Mauritius on 5 July 2018.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

The State Party should be congratulated for the achievement of gaining access for visitors to Le Morne Brabant Mountain.

The revised Management Plans, and sub plans, including a plan of action to attain the strategic objectives, are welcomed. The development of a Risk Management Plan and a Visitor Management Plan, in which the historical and cultural identity of the Creole community are included and highlighted, are well noted. Some of the recommendations of the Visitor Management Plan have been put in place while others remain very challenging (security and safety, lack of staff in LMHTF and trained guides). 

The twinning agreement signed with the Robben Island Museum is commendable and the links should be further encouraged.

It is noted that there is still lack of resolution over legal challenges related to proposed development in the property by Le Morne Brabant IRS Co Ltd (LMB).  It is to be reiterated that it is most important that the impasse between the State Party and the plaintiff is resolved in a definitive and harmonious manner.

Concerning the additional information brought forward by the State Party, the efforts to manage changes in the ecosystem and address the problem of invasive alien species are well noted.

Finally, the strong commitment of the State Party to comply with the Operational Guidelines and ensure that the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is maintained in relation to development projects is to be welcomed.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7B.46
Le Morne Cultural Landscape (Mauritius) (C 1259bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.14, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Commends the State Party for gaining access for visitors to Le Morne Brabant Mountain;
  4. Noting the implementation of the revised Management Plans and sub plans including a plan of action, welcomes the elaboration of the Risk Management Plan and the Visitor Management Plan and encourages the efforts made by the State Party to resolve the challenges in implementing these plans;
  5. Also commends the signature of a twinning agreement between the property and Robben Island Museum (South Africa);
  6. Notes that the legal challenge linked to the proposed development by Le Morne Brabant IRS Co Ltd still lacks resolution, and stresses the need for this case to be resolved in a definitive and harmonious manner;
  7. Also notes the challenges the property is facing regarding invasive alien species, and also encourages the State Party to pursue its effort to maintain the biological diversity of the property;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above.
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7B.46

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.14, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Commends the State Party for gaining access for visitors to Le Morne Brabant Mountain;
  4. Noting the implementation of the revised Management Plans and sub plans including a plan of action, welcomes the elaboration of the Risk Management Plan and the Visitor Management Plan and encourages the efforts made by the State Party to resolve the challenges in implementing these plans;
  5. Also commends the signature of a twinning agreement between the property and Robben Island Museum (South Africa);
  6. Notes that the legal challenge linked to the proposed development by Le Morne Brabant IRS Co Ltd still lacks resolution, and stresses the need for this case to be resolved in a definitive and harmonious manner;
  7. Also notes the challenges the property is facing regarding invasive alien species, and also encourages the State Party to pursue its effort to maintain the biological diversity of the property;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above.
Report year: 2018
Mauritius
Date of Inscription: 2008
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2017) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 42COM (2018)
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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