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Island of Saint-Louis

Senegal
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • Housing
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water (rain/water table)
  • Other Threats:

    Extremely poor state of conservation of numerous derelict buildings endangering occupants

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Lack of a site manager (Issue resolved)
  • Lack of monitoring and control mechanism
  • Lack of a conservation and management plan (existence of a Safeguarding and Enhancement Plan serving as a Conservation and Management Plan)
  • New constructions, architectural modifications and urban projects affecting authenticity and integrity
  • Inappropriate housing restoration
  • Environmental disorder due to the modification of the mouth of the Senegal River
  • Extremely poor state of conservation of numerous derelict buildings endangering occupants
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2019

Total amount granted: USD 192,697.13 from the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2019
Requests approved: 1 (from 1997-2007)
Total amount approved : 11,500 USD
Missions to the property until 2019**

March-April 2004: Joint World Heritage Centre/France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement mission; April 2006: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM mission; 2007: France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement mission; February 2009: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission; March 2014: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission with participation of an expert from the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement; May 2017: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission with the participation of an expert from the European Space Agency (ESA)

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

On 17 January 2019, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/956/documents/.  Progress on a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:

  • A new decree of October 2018 replacing that of 2017, extends the powers of the Regional Commission (created in 2017) to review building, rehabilitation, modification and conformity certificates, and to ensure the consistency of the State Party's actions with those of the private partners;
  • An inventory of buildings at risk, dated November 2018, will be completed in 2019, particularly for private heritage, by the Saint-Louis Tourism Development Programme (TDP), financed by the French Development Agency (FDA). For this, an architect-urban planner specialized in the architectural heritage of Saint-Louis has been recruited;
  • In follow up to the inventory, a 2018-2020 Triennial Priority Rehabilitation Action Plan was developed. The TDP has made available a substantial budget to support the study phase of this action plan;
  • An Emergency Fund for the Safeguarding of the Architectural Heritage of Saint-Louis, regrouping the financial contributions of the State and the private sector, was set up in 2018 and included in the draft budget of the 2019-2023 Priority Actions Programme (PAP) of the State;
  • The Agency for the Promotion of the Investments and Major Projects (APIX) has been designated Project Manager for the TDP-FDA programme to carry out the activities until the end of 2020. It has premises at the Gouvernance of Saint- Louis to facilitate collaboration with the Regional Commission;
  • Major rehabilitation works are underway, notably on the Cathedral and the Grand Mosque, as well as for the protection of the coastline; a tender dossier has been finalized for the Heritage House. Rehabilitation work on Place Faidherbe was launched (December 2018), and most of the diagnostic studies on buildings, public spaces and wharves have resumed;
  • Communication will be strengthened in 2019 through the reissue and distribution of earlier good practice brochures for owners and investors with the support of neighborhood councils, neighborhood awareness-raising sessions and local radio programmes;
  • An integrated Senegalese coastal management programme has been created, which includes the implementation of a plan to monitor the geomorphological evolution of the mouth of the Senegal River in order to assess potential future threats, and for the conservation of the physical integrity of the soil supporting the property. A firm has been commissioned to carry out the feasibility study;
  • Impact studies have been initiated in the framework of World Bank and FDA projects to combat coastal erosion and protect the Langue de Barbarie.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2019

Following the reactive monitoring mission in May 2017, the Committee had commended the State Party's initiatives for better governance and conservation of the property, while making recommendations to address the continued vulnerability of the property. The latest report submitted by the State Party appears to confirm this positive trend in the efforts made as a result of these recommendations.

Compared to previous years, it is commendable that the State Party has focused its efforts on improving the governance of the property, aiming in particular at reducing the multiplicity of participants in its management, by harmonizing it through the creation of the Regional Commission and the development of a Triennial Priority Rehabilitation Action Plan for Saint-Louis. The allocation of premises to APIX within the Gouvernance, favouring collaboration with the Regional Commission, is welcomed. It is also significant that this Commission, supported by a dedicated gendarmerie brigade, has already been able to intervene in 2018 on a number of cases, with the help of several summonses as part of regular checks.

An inventory of the buildings in danger, continued in 2019, which made it possible to set up a three-year Priority Rehabilitation Action Plan, is also welcome, but would benefit from having quantified data on financial needs to guide rehabilitation actions.

The establishment of an Emergency Fund for the Safeguarding of the Architectural Heritage of Saint-Louis is appreciated. However, the State Party does not provide information on the allocation of this Fund, and it is recommended that the State Party develop a fundraising strategy and give it greater visibility.

In addition, the State Party does not provide information on the development of a permanent support team for the architect-urbanist, or on the development and implementation of a monitoring system to record the conditions of the buildings over time, as requested by the Committee in 2017.

Overall, a recovery in the dynamics for the conservation and management of the property is noted, including major projects for its various major components or for the protection of the coast.

Nevertheless, these different actions are today only at the planning stage or at the beginning of operationalization. This does not yet make it possible to measure their impact over time. Thus, the inventory of buildings is still incomplete, and the PAP proposes only preliminary measures, such as consultations, studies and calls for tenders, with no action formulated after August 2019. Similarly, a follow-up plan for the geomorphological evolution of the mouth of the Senegal River is not yet established, and the State Party only provides a pre-report of a feasibility study of the Senegalese Integrated Coastal Management Programme, dating from December 2018, with a view to combating coastal erosion. In the same way, the strengthening of the communication is at its beginnings, with the APIX.

Also of concern are the large-scale projects planned by the State Party and the TDP-FDA project, notably the development of the Grand Mosque, the rehabilitation of the Cathedral, or the requalification and redevelopment of the Places Faidherbe and Pointe-à-Pitre, wharves and embankments.  Indeed, the information provided is insufficient to provide an adequate overview, and it is recommended that the Committee remind the State Party of the urgency to submit all available documentation on these projects, in accordance with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines and recommendations of the 2017 mission.

Concerning the development of the Great Mosque, the World Heritage Centre sent a letter to the State Party on 9 February 2019, in accordance with paragraph 174 of the Operational Guidelines, following information received from third parties on the progress of the project. In its response of 22 February 2019, the State Party informed of the maintenance of only one minaret, after suppression of work on a second, which was originally planned. This does not lessen the concerns of the 2017 mission with regard to the construction of new imposing minarets and its recommendation to adjust the architectural project to comply with the current regulations set out in the Safeguarding and Enhancement Plan of Saint-Louis (PSMV).

Concerning the long-term management of the property, in spite of significant actions in particular for the follow-up and monitoring of the interventions on the buildings, the Heritage House must again become operational, provided with a manager and a unit dedicated to all the aspects of management, as well as sufficient resources for its mission.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
43 COM 7B.110
Island of Saint-Louis (Senegal) (C 956bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.71, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Notes with satisfaction the efforts made by the State Party to implement the Committee's previous recommendations and the 2017 Reactive Monitoring mission, in particular for:
    1. The improvement of governance and management of the property,
    2. The creation of a inventory of buildings at risk, which will continue in 2019 for the private heritage,
    3. The elaboration of a Triennial Priority Rehabilitation Action Plan for the emergency safeguarding of Saint-Louis,
    4. The establishment of an Emergency Fund for the Safeguarding of the Architectural Heritage of Saint-Louis,
    5. The creation of an integrated coastal management programme for Senegal;
  4. Notes, nevertheless, that the measures presented by the State Party are now only at the planning stage or at the beginning of their operationalization and urges the State Party to accelerate their implementation;
  5. Reminds the State Party to develop a permanent support team for the architect-urbanist and to implement a monitoring system to record building conditions over time;
  6. Also reminds the State Party of the importance of submitting documentation on all major projects as soon as possible, and invites it to inform the Committee, through the World Heritage Centre, of any major restoration projects or new construction projects that could affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, including in particular the Grand Mosque development, the rehabilitation of the Cathedral and the requalification and redevelopment of the Places Faidherbe and Pointe-à-Pitre, wharves and embankments, and in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before making any decision that would be difficult to reverse;
  7. Recommends that the State Party develop a fund-raising strategy incorporating financial needs data as part of the inventory of buildings at risk, to ensure the effective functioning of the Emergency Fund for the Safeguarding of the Architectural Heritage of Saint-Louis, and give greater visibility to this Fund in order to attract contributions from the public and private sectors;
  8. Requests the State Party to strengthen the management of the property in the long term through the operationalization of the Heritage House with a manager and a unit dedicated to all aspects of management;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, a progress report, and by 1 December 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above-mentioned points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.
Decision: 43 COM 7B.110

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.71, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Notes with satisfaction the efforts made by the State Party to implement the Committee's previous recommendations and the 2017 Reactive Monitoring mission, in particular for:
    1. The mprovement of governance and management of the property,
    2. The creation of an inventory of buildings at risk, which will continue in 2019 for the private heritage,
    3. The elaboration of a Triennial Priority Rehabilitation Action Plan for the emergency safeguarding of Saint-Louis,
    4. The establishment of an Emergency Fund for the Safeguarding of the Architectural Heritage of Saint-Louis,
    5. The creation of an integrated coastal management programme for Senegal;
  4. Notes, nevertheless, that the measures presented by the State Party are now only at the planning stage or at the beginning of their operationalization and urges the State Party to accelerate their implementation;
  5. Reminds the State Party to develop a permanent support team for the architect-urbanist and to implement a monitoring system to record building conditions over time;
  6. Also reminds the State Party of the importance of submitting documentation on all major projects as soon as possible, and invites it to inform the Committee, through the World Heritage Centre, of any major restoration projects or new construction projects that could affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, including in particular the Grand Mosque development, the rehabilitation of the Cathedral and the requalification and redevelopment of the Places Faidherbe and Pointe-à-Pitre, wharves and embankments, and in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before making any decision that would be difficult to reverse;
  7. Recommends that the State Party develop a fund-raising strategy incorporating financial needs data as part of the inventory of buildings at risk, to ensure the effective functioning of the Emergency Fund for the Safeguarding of the Architectural Heritage of Saint-Louis, and give greater visibility to this Fund in order to attract contributions from the public and private sectors;
  8. Requests the State Party to strengthen the management of the property in the long term through the operationalization of the Heritage House with a manager and a unit dedicated to all aspects of management;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, a progress report, and by 1 December 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above-mentioned points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.
Report year: 2019
Senegal
Date of Inscription: 2000
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2018) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 43COM (2019)
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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