1.         Island of Saint-Louis (Senegal) (C 956bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2000

Criteria  (ii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/956/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1997-1997)
Total amount approved: USD 11,500
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/956/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 139,000 (France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement) 

Previous monitoring missions

2006: Joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS / ICCROM mission; 2007: France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Lack of implementation of the Action Plan, including the Safeguarding and Enhancement Plan (SEP), and establishment of a heritage bureau;

b) The lack of a management and conservation plan;

c) New construction and Architectural modification and urban projects affecting authenticity and integrity;

d) Inappropriate housing restoration;

e) Environmental disorder due to the modification of the mouth of the Senegal River;

f) Extremely poor state of conservation of numerous derelict buildings endangering occupants. 

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/956/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008

On 15 January 2008, the World Heritage Centre sent a letter to the State Party requesting an update on the state of implementation of Decision 30 COM 7B.37. The same letter requested also clarification on a series uncontrolled rehabilitation and new construction being conducted which were noted by the missions undertaken in 2007. As a response to the letter, the State Party submitted on 29 January 2008 a report on the state of conservation of the property from the State Party. This report contains the following information:

a) Approval of the SEP is still in process, after scrutiny by the relevant technical services, and is awaiting the necessary legislative implementation;

b) The boundaries of the property had been revised and approved by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007) as defined in the SEP;

c) The appointment of a site manager presented some difficulties, since posts of this type were not provided for in Senegalese legislation. However, a ministerial decree had been promulgated which created the required post. A second problem was that of defining the appropriate professional profile. Several officials were at present undergoing appropriate professional training; pending their completing their training, collaboration with the Regional Directorate of Planning was supplying the necessary expertise to cover most aspects of the eventual appointment.

d) Efforts are being made to enhance conservation practice through a craft training programme linked to a rehabilitation project for the “Assemblée territoriale du fleuve” building.

e) Work on the Action Plan had been delayed while efforts were concentrated on completion of an agreement on objectives with UNESCO. This document, seen as a “road map” for the preservation and conservation of Saint-Louis, had recently been approved by the two parties and is to be signed, when it would then constitute the reference document for the SEP.


The World Heritage Centre was also informed that the action plan 2006-2012 drafted in December 2006 at a Heritage seminar in Saint-Louis is still to be implemented through an Agreement between the State Party and UNESCO. This agreement which foresees the implementation of the SEP, the establishment of a management and conservation mechanism and the coordination of the bilateral cooperation is in the process to be signed by both parties. The World Heritage Centre was also informed of a number of existing cooperation projects with authorities at various levels in Belgium, France and Spain.  

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are concerned that, in spite of specific restoration projects, there is a lack of coordination and a lack of progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2006 joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS / ICCROM mission. Indeed, apart from the issue of boundaries, the other recommendations of Decision 30 COM 7B.37 have not been implemented. Furthermore the World Heritage Centre has received further information on continued and serious uncontrolled new construction and inappropriate rehabilitation that are seriously affecting the outstanding universal value of the property. Although submitting a report on the state of conservation of the property, the State Party has not addressed this important issue.


It should be noted that although efforts have been made in preparing an inventory of the architectural heritage of the property and drafting the SEP, the lack of human institutional and financial resources, as well as the lack of a coordinated approach to conservation and management noted in the previous reports, are likely to have a negative impact on the outstanding universal value. It becomes urgent to recruit a professional expertise to implement the SEP.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 32 COM 7B.53

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.37, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3. Takes note of the actions taken by the State Party to improve the state of conservation of the property;

4. Takes note of the advancement achieved in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2006 World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS / ICCROM mission as set out in Decision 30 COM 7B.37;

5. Considers that the property continues to be seriously threatened and encourages the State Party to ensure that no rehabilitation or other interventions affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

6. Urges the State Party to implement the management plan (Safeguarding and Enhancement Plan) which has just been adopted as a Presidential decree;

7. Encourages the State Party to coordinate the support of international partners in order to address the key recommendations of the World Heritage Committee;

8. Requests the State Party to urgently appoint a site manager for the property;

9. Also requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, to develop a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

10. Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS / ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to examine the state of conservation of the property, to develop capacity building and determine if it is under ascertained or potential threats, as defined by Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines;

11. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2009, a report on the progress made to improve the property's state of conservation, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.