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Aapravasi Ghat

Mauritius
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • Commercial development
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Urban development (issue resolved)
  • Restoration works (issue resolved)
  • Visitor pressure (issue resolved)
  • Commercial development
  • Transport infrastructure
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2019
Requests approved: 1 (from 2014-2014)
Total amount approved : 29,500 USD
Missions to the property until 2019**

March 2012: ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; May 2018: Joint UNESCO/ICOMOS Advisory mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

A joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission visited the property in May 2018 (mission report available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1227/documents/). Subsequently, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 31 January 2019, which is available at the above-mentioned web address, and provides information on the following:

  • The proposed Immigration Square Urban Terminal (Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport) is a redevelopment of an open space in the city as new multi-functional transport, commercial and services centre. Immigration Square is currently in use as a bus terminal. In February 2019, the State Party submitted additional information reporting that a project proposal has been selected. The State Party has set up a “High Level Technical Committee”, chaired by the Minister of Arts and Culture to monitor this project’s implementation;
  • A request for proposals has been developed for the Port Louis Waterfront Phase 2, Cultural Heritage District (Landscope Mauritius Ltd) that highlights the project aims: the preservation, enhancement and adaptive reuse of heritage buildings located in the development area. This project still awaits the in-principle approval of the government;
  • The Light Rail project and an end station at Immigration Square (Metro Express Project Ltd) have been adapted in response to the 2018 mission recommendations. The construction of the line and station in the buffer zone of the property is planned for 2019-2020 after review of the final plans by the Advisory Bodies;
  • A technical team chaired by the National Heritage Fund is further developing the project for the Intercontinental Slavery Museum (Ministry of Arts and Culture), in line with the 2018 mission recommendations;
  • An overarching Master Plan is being developed for the buffer zone by the Ministry of Housing and Lands, under the auspices of a high-level committee chaired by the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, which will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies once completed.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2019

According to the 2018 mission report, the property is very well curated; its state of conservation is good and its interpretative facilities located adjacent to the property are of high standard.

The property is located in a dense and dynamic urban environment and previous Committee decisions have addressed the issue of urban development having a potential negative impact on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). The State Party subsequently elaborated and adopted a planning policy, the Planning Policy Guideline 6 (PPG 6), which addressed those concerns. The PPG 6 requires Heritage and Visual Impact Assessments to be carried out for major development projects. It is advised Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) are carried out in line with the ICOMOS Guidelines on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage properties (2011), with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the project on the OUV of the property. As the four proposed redevelopment projects lie in the same geographic area and will alter the physical setting of the property, the 2018 mission recommended that an overarching Master Plan for the development precinct be commissioned in line with the existing legal policy for the buffer zone. The 2018 mission also reported a lack of well-defined and mandatory stakeholder participation processes, which creates misunderstandings and lack of unanimity on proposed projects.

The 2018 mission reviewed several projects and recommended the following:

  • Immigration Square Urban Terminal: the prescripts of PPG 6, which provides for these development projects, should be followed, including all impact assessment requirements, height restrictions and view-line restrictions. The quality of the architectural design is crucial as it will have a large long-term impact on the setting of the OUV of the property;
  • Port Louis Waterfront Project Phase 2, Cultural Heritage District: Any intervention cannot be undertaken before a detailed investigation on the buildings-archaeological and archival researches, as well as a broad stakeholder consultation is done.
  • Light Rail project and an end station at Immigration Square: the location of the Light Rail end station and bridge were problematic. The State Party has subsequently relocated these. Great care needs to be taken to limit the visual and aural impact of the Light Rail system on the property and in the design of the infrastructure and urban landscape of the Light Rail in the area of the property. None of the sidewalk adjacent to the property should be sacrificed to construct the Light Rail system or its infrastructure;
  • Intercontinental Slavery Museum: Before any intervention is undertaken, a detailed investigation on the buildings-archaeological and archival researches, as well as a broad stakeholder consultation should be done. The State Party reports that it has already implemented technical recommendations of the 2018 mission on the development projects. However, there is concern regarding the timeframes for the implementation of the four proposed projects. The State Party should be cautioned that the completion of an agreed Master Plan should take place before HIAs for the proposed projects are carried out and before mitigation of impacts and implementation of projects can be undertaken. The Master Plan itself should first be tested through an independent impact assessment process before adoption.

In addition, the 2018 mission reported that the 2013–2018 Management Plan was under review for extension. The status of this Plan is not addressed in the State Party’s report.

The possible presence of archaeological attributes in the Parc à Boulets, which lies adjacent to the property, has not yet been explored.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
43 COM 7B.108
Aapravasi Ghat (Mauritius) (C 1227)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.98, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Notes the State Party’s notification of large development and infrastructural projects in the buffer zone of the property;
  4. Acknowledges the State Party’s commendable implementation of the recommendations of the 2018 Advisory mission in relation to four development projects, and requests the State Party to implement the remaining recommendations;
  5. Also requests the State Party to:
    1. Develop a Master Plan on the precinct level, integrating all these development projects, assess this Plan through independent Heritage Impact and Visual Impact Assessment processes, and submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies,
    2. Subsequently assess the individual development projects, taking into account their collective cumulative impacts, through independent Heritage Impact and Visual Impact Assessments, and submit these for review by the Advisory Bodies before implementation of the reported development projects;
  6. Further requests the State Party to
    1. Ensure that the review of the 2013-2018 Management Plan is completed with urgency and that an updated Management Plan is submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies,
    2. Develop and implement well-defined and mandatory stakeholder participation processes for the property and its buffer zone when developing projects and other activities that could affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property,
    3. Undertake archival and archaeological investigation in the Parc à Boulets to ascertain if this area contains attributes that have significance in relation to the OUV of the property;
  7. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.
Draft Decision: 43 COM 7B.108

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.98, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Notes the State Party’s notification of large development and infrastructural projects in the buffer zone of the property;
  4. Acknowledges the State Party’s commendable implementation of the recommendations of the 2018 Advisory mission in relation to four development projects, and requests the State Party to implement the remaining recommendations;
  5. Also requests the State Party to:
    1. Develop a Master Plan on the precinct level, integrating all these development projects, assess this Plan through independent Heritage Impact and Visual Impact Assessment processes, and submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies,
    2. Subsequently assess the individual development projects, taking into account their collective cumulative impacts, through independent Heritage Impact and Visual Impact Assessments, and submit these for review by the Advisory Bodies before implementation of the reported development projects;
  6. Further requests the State Party to
    1. Ensure that the review of the 2013-2018 Management Plan is completed with urgency and that an updated Management Plan is submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies,
    2. Develop and implement well-defined and mandatory stakeholder participation processes for the property and its buffer zone when developing projects and other activities that could affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property,
    3. Undertake archival and archaeological investigation in the Parc à Boulets to ascertain if this area contains attributes that have significance in relation to the OUV of the property;
  7. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.
Report year: 2019
Mauritius
Date of Inscription: 2006
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2019) .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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