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National History Park – Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers

Haiti
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Earthquake
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Management systems/ management plan (lack of conservation, management and risk preparedness plans)
  • Water damage (issue resolved)
  • Vandalism (issue resolved)
  • Earthquake (vulnerability)
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2021

Total amount granted: USD 14,780 for the July 2010 Technical Mission partially funded by the Spanish Funds-in-Trust for World Heritage

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 7 (from 1982-2010)
Total amount approved : 246,110 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

September 2006: UNESCO Havana Office Technical Visit; July 2010: Joint Expert Technical mission; March 2011: UNESCO Preparatory mission for Haiti Donor’s Conference; January 2012: World Heritage Centre Technical mission; March 2012: Multidisciplinary Technical mission; May 2013: ICOMOS mission; May 2013: Multidisciplinary Technical mission; July 2013: Technical Assistance mission World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS; February 2015: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Technical Assistance mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 15 March 2019, the State Party submitted documentation on the improvement of the section of the RN003 road that crosses through the Park, including a review of an alternative route outside the Park, as well as the Terms of Reference of an Environmental and Heritage Impact Assessment (EIAs and HIAs) of the upgrading of the existing road. Subsequently, on 30 March 2020, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/180/documents/ and responds to Decision 42 COM 7B.39 as follows:

  • The definition of the buffer zone and the finalization of the conservation and management plans are the subject of technical assistance to be provided by the UNESCO Office in Port-au-Prince in the framework of a World Bank-funded project. UNESCO is presently in the process of recruiting the consultants. A mission to the Park was foreseen in March 2020 and the documents were to have been finalized by August 2020 (Note: documents not yet finalized);
  • The Provisional Management Authority (l’Autorité Gestion Provisoire du Parc National Historique Citadelle Sans Souci Ramiers AGP) has established an operational structure in the Park with adequate staffing;
  • A programme of conservation activities was carried out during 2018-2019 including the emergency repair of damage caused by a hurricane in August 2019;
  • Regarding the improvement of the RN003 road, the State Party has studied only one alternative and concluded that the only viable option is the upgrading of the existing road through the Park that constitutes the property. This 5.8 kilometre section of the road will be defined as a “Park Road” and new Terms of Reference have been drawn up;
  • In September 2019, the State Party invited an Advisory mission composed of representatives of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS, the European Union and State Party institutions to assess alternatives and advise on the Terms of Reference of the road upgrading. This mission ultimately had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • The State Party also requested in this report the advice of the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS on how the upgrading of the road across the park, with two lanes of 3.5 metres each, 2 metres of verges and water drainage infrastructure, could be executed according to established norms and respect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  • Regarding the improvement of the secondary road that leads from the RN003 road to the Choiseul parking area, the State Party reports that this would provide a second access for cars, horses and pedestrians similar to the road from Milot to Choiseul. The Institute for the Preservation of National Heritage (ISPAN) is in the process of preparing a technical dossier on this matter.

On 12 April 2020, a fire broke out at the Church of the Milot. An emergency mission implemented by ISPAN visited the property the next day and a report was submitted to the World Heritage Centre. The Heritage Emergency Fund of UNESCO financed the production of key architectural documentation of the Milot Church prior to the fire, including raw pictures and 3D model screenshots, to help the national authorities to analyze the extent of the damage and to inform and guide the future rehabilitation process.

On 4 March 2021, the State Party submitted the final report of the EIA and the HIA of the section of the RN003 through the property. Their main conclusion is that rehabilitation of the section of the RN003 through the park constitutes a particular environmental/landscaping challenge for the property but at the same time an opportunity to re-define the development model and the strategic vision that should guide the management plan of the property.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

The report of the ISPAN emergency mission to the Church of the Milot provides a rapid assessment of the damage and of the immediate and urgent measures to be undertaken to secure the surviving structures of the church. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit updated documentation on the implementation of the measures included in the report and on whether tests have been carried out to verify the structural stability of the surviving structures, particularly of the upper parts of the perimeter walls and of the pediment of the façade, which appears blackened and might have suffered from mechanical stress due to the high temperature.

Following persistent requests by the Committee over the years, it is noted that arrangements are being made for the definition of the buffer zone and the finalization of the conservation and management plans, though these appear to have been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide these documents to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies as soon as they become available.

The urgent need for improved management instruments becomes even more evident in the light of the proposed upgrading of the secondary road from the RN003 road to the Choiseul parking area. This could open a new access to the Citadel that would have an impact on tourist flows and related infrastructure. It is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party not to undertake any works on this road until detailed documentation, including an analysis of its potential impact on the OUV of the property, has been submitted to the World Heritage Centre and reviewed by the Advisory Bodies.

The deviation of the RN003 road to outside the Park has also been the subject of concern by the Committee since its 34th session in 2010, when, in its Decision 34 COM 7B.110, it requested the State Party “to halt the construction of Route RN003 within the limits of the property pending the development of other alternatives to be evaluated, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines”. The State Party has still not complied with this request, nor with other decisions adopted by the Committee or with the recommendations of past missions and technical reviews.

The 2013 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission recommended that the State Party explore three alternative routes outside the Park and keep the “Park Road” as a strictly local road.

ICOMOS undertook technical reviews of the Terms of Reference for studies of the route crossing the park in October 2012, March 2018 and August 2019, the latter two of which reiterated the 2013 mission’s recommendations. ICOMOS also noted that the studies that would be required for an objective analysis and comparison of these alternatives had not been submitted to the World Heritage Centre, only an incomplete and superficial study of one alternative.

The Committee, in its decision 42 COM 7B.39, again expressed its deep concern that the matter of the RN003 road had not been resolved satisfactorily and requested the State Party to confirm that the future route of the RN003 road would not pass through the property. It is regrettable that this assurance has not been given and instead the State Party indicates that the upgrading of the existing road through the Park, albeit in the form of a “Park Road”, is the only viable solution. It appears that the State Party’s proposal to upgrade the existing route through the Park is a decision mainly based on economic and technical considerations rather than on its potential impact on the OUV of the property, as illustrated in the 2013 mission report.

It is regrettable that the Advisory mission that was planned for March 2020 to focus on the upgrading/deviation of the RN003 road had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, consultations online with representatives of the State Party, the Delegation of the European Union to Haiti and the World Heritage Centre took place in January 2021. After that, ICOMOS undertook a technical review of the impact assessment studies of the project of the RN003 route crossing the Park that were submitted in March 2021. Noting the high quality of the studies, ICOMOS underlined their conclusions that the construction of the route would have a significantly adverse impact on the OUV of the World Heritage property.

The study places particular emphasis on the specificity of this property, a large and complex site which integrates landmark monuments, natural and cultural resources, and which is a territory of memory, but also a territory of life and agricultural production, all of these dimensions being closely dependent on each other in the definition of the property's OUV and its exposure to the impacts of any project developing within its perimeter. The potential impacts resulting from this project include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Uncontrolled urban expansion and urban sprawl (already taking place to the west of the park), which will constitute a major risk to the preservation of the property’s OUV;
  • The risk of fragmentation and loss of integrity of the landscape;
  • Lack of road safety (the road is the main public space in the park) and increase in noise pollution;
  • Deforestation;
  • Hardening of the lines of the landscape, in particular due to works relating to water regulation and drainage;
  • Risk of “touristification” and of setting a precedent for further infrastructure works within the Park, such as the above-mentioned secondary road from the RN003 road to the Choiseul parking area.

Proposed mitigation measures are presented in a separate document. These include the preservation and restoration of the landscape, safeguarding socio-cultural relations, and the installation of devices to control speed limits and protect inhabitants. These measures are immediately linked to the upgrading of the road, but have not been integrated into the technical project documentation. Furthermore, implementation of these measures would first require the undertaking of extremely meticulous and detailed studies. But perhaps more significantly, it is by no means clear that they could mitigate the negative impacts that have been identified.

Further proposed mitigation measures relate to the control of urban sprawl, including reforestation, promotion of sustainable tourism and preservation of traditional agriculture. These come under existing regulatory and management mechanisms and it is not clear that these would be strong enough to stop adverse impacts as they rely on mechanisms not yet in place, despite repeated requests for improvements to these mechanisms from the Committee since 2010.

Finally, in order to mitigate impacts relating to traffic, it is suggested that the road be kept as a scenic route, reserved mainly for local and tourist traffic. This is in total contradiction with the purpose of the project, which intends to create an alternative axis to connect two main centres of the country.

In summary, it is considered that the proposed mitigation measures cannot be seen to mitigate the adverse impacts arising from the rehabilitation of the RN003 road that have been reflected in decisions of the World Heritage Committee since 2010 and confirmed in the recent EIA and HIA studies that the rehabilitation of the RN003 road and would pose an imminent danger to the OUV of the property.

Consequently, in view of the potential danger to the property's OUV, it is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to take urgent action for the implementation of the recommendations of past Committee Decisions, by identifying an alternative solution that deviates the road outside of the boundaries of the park and by not taking any decision on the upgrading of the RN003 road or undertaking any physical works on the section of the RN003 road within the limits of the property, until all alternative solutions have been duly studied and a mission has been undertaken as soon as circumstances allow. It is further recommended that in the absence of significant progress in the implementation of these recommendations, the Committee consider the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its next session in 2022, in accordance with Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.68
National History Park – Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers (Haiti) (C 180)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 34 COM 7B.110, 35 COM 7B.125, 36 COM 99, 37 COM 98, 38 COM 7B.44, 40 COM 7B.6 and 42 COM 7B.39, adopted at its 34th (Brasilia, 2010), 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 36th (Saint Petersburg, 2012), 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013), 38th (Doha, 2014), 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 42nd (Manama, 2018) sessions respectively,
  3. Also recalling the numerous reports of the Advisory and Reactive Monitoring missions and their recommendations to the State Party on the conservation and management of the property;
  4. Notes that the implementation of essential tools for the good management and conservation of the property, such as the definition of the buffer zone and the finalization of the conservation and management plans, that were supposed to have been undertaken in 2020 still remain to be completed, and requests the State Party to submit these documents to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, as soon as they become available;
  5. Takes note of the reinforcement of management staff on the property, and urges the State Party to consolidate the management structure and its staff in the context of the proposed Management Plan;
  6. Notes with great concern that the question of the deviation of the RN003 road is still not satisfactorily resolved, that the State Party is still concentrating on the upgrade of the existing road through the Park, and that the environmental and heritage impact assessments that the State Party has undertaken on the rehabilitation of the road through the Park confirm the serious impacts the road would have on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and that the proposed mitigation measures cannot be considered to mitigate the damage that would be caused;
  7. Considers that the rehabilitation of the road through the Park poses a potential danger to the OUV of the property and reiterates its extreme concern that the State Party has not undertaken the studies that are necessary for an objective analysis and comparison of alternative routes outside the Park;
  8. Reiterating Decision 34 COM 7B.110, that requested the State Party to "halt the construction of the RN003 within the limits of the property pending the development of other alternatives to be evaluated, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines", also requests the State Party to confirm that the future route of the RN003 will not pass through the property because it would seriously affect its integrity, and impact adversely on OUV, and to inform the Committee as soon as possible if and when the necessary studies for defining deviation outside the property will be made;
  9. Notes with concern that the delays in the finalization of these actions and tools could ultimately constitute a potential danger to the OUV of the property, in accordance with Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines;
  10. Deeply regrets the fire, which destroyed the Church of Milot in April 2020 and further requests the State Party to submit updated documentation on the implementation of the measures included in the Institute for the Preservation of National Heritage (ISPAN) emergency mission report and on whether tests have been carried out to verify the structural stability of the surviving structures;
  11. Also urges the State Party to submit detailed documentation on the proposed upgrading of the secondary road from the RN003 to the Choiseul parking area, including an analysis of its potential impacts on the OUV of the property, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies as soon as possible;
  12. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, 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, with a view to considering, in the absence of significant progress in the implementation of these recommendations, and in the case of confirmation of the ascertained danger to OUV, the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.68

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 34 COM 7B.110, 35 COM 7B.125, 36 COM 99, 37 COM 98, 38 COM 7B.44, 40 COM 7B.6 and 42 COM 7B.39, adopted at its 34th (Brasilia, 2010), 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 36th (Saint Petersburg, 2012), 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013), 38th (Doha, 2014), 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 42nd (Manama, 2018) sessions respectively,
  3. Also recalling the numerous reports of the Advisory and Reactive Monitoring missions and their recommendations to the State Party on the conservation and management of the property;
  4. Notes that the implementation of essential tools for the good management and conservation of the property, such as the definition of the buffer zone and the finalization of the conservation and management plans, that were supposed to have been undertaken in 2020 still remain to be completed, and requests the State Party to submit these documents to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, as soon as they become available;
  5. Takes note of the reinforcement of management staff on the property, and urges the State Party to consolidate the management structure and its staff in the context of the proposed Management Plan;
  6. Notes with great concern that the question of the deviation of the RN003 road is still not satisfactorily resolved, that the State Party is still concentrating on the upgrade of the existing road through the Park, and that the environmental and heritage impact assessments that the State Party has undertaken on the rehabilitation of the road through the Park confirm the serious impacts the road would have on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and that the proposed mitigation measures cannot be considered to mitigate the damage that would be caused;
  7. Considers that the rehabilitation of the road through the Park poses a potential danger to the OUV of the property and reiterates its extreme concern that the State Party has not undertaken the studies that are necessary for an objective analysis and comparison of alternative routes outside the Park;
  8. Reiterating Decision 34 COM 7B.110, that requested the State Party to "halt the construction of the RN003 within the limits of the property pending the development of other alternatives to be evaluated, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines", also requests the State Party to confirm that the future route of the RN003 will not pass through the property because it would seriously affect its integrity, and impact adversely on OUV, and to inform the Committee as soon as possible if and when the necessary studies for defining deviation outside the property will be made;
  9. Notes with concern that the delays in the finalization of these actions and tools could ultimately constitute a potential danger to the OUV of the property, in accordance with Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines;
  10. Deeply regrets the fire, which destroyed the Church of Milot in April 2020 and further requests the State Party to submit updated documentation on the implementation of the measures included in the Institute for the Preservation of National Heritage (ISPAN) emergency mission report and on whether tests have been carried out to verify the structural stability of the surviving structures;
  11. Also urges the State Party to submit detailed documentation on the proposed upgrading of the secondary road from the RN003 to the Choiseul parking area, including an analysis of its potential impacts on the OUV of the property, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies as soon as possible;
  12. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, 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 2022, with a view to considering, in the absence of significant progress in the implementation of these recommendations, and in the case of confirmation of the ascertained danger to OUV, the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2021
Haiti
Date of Inscription: 1982
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2020) .pdf
Initialy proposed for examination in 2020
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
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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