The management and development of the Val de Loire as a World Heritage site is based on an innovative system set up in 2002.
Involvement of the key players
Inclusion on the list does not entail any new or additional supranational constraints in relation to the legislation and regulations in force in the country concerned, which remain solely applicable. France already has a considerable number of regulations regarding monumental heritage, sites and natural areas.
Although UNESCO does not, in principle, finance projects in "world heritage" areas, listing can be a major argument for attracting other potential funding sources.
On the other hand, inclusion means that all the key players involved in the management of the Val de Loire will have to take their share of responsibility. The national governments who signed the Convention on World Heritage are obliged to report regularly to UNESCO about the conditions under which the site is being managed and how the criteria for which the site was included are being met.
It is through the Loire Valley world heritage charter of commitment that all the key players in the Loire area can make a public commitment to the values implied by inclusion on the list of World Heritage sites. The aim of this is to keep in mind the basis for inclusion and its implications. The charter provides details of the management and development system that has been set up, and could in some sense be called a code of conduct.
The commitments are as follows:
- Contribute to the development and promotion of the site, while respecting the integrity of the landscape
- Increase the appeal of the site and brand
- Use the UNESCO quality label, with the support of the Mission Val de Loire
- Consult the various institutional partners to set up an ongoing exchange of information
- Take part in joint initiatives with local government authorities from the other listed sites
- Develop programmes of activities which highlight the importance of the natural environment and built heritage, in order to educate and raise awareness among schoolchildren, and to provide information to the general public
Management system for the world heritage site
This system was put in place by the Centre and Pays de la Loire regions, at the request of the national government and UNESCO.
This management system is centred on three constituent bodies:
- The Territorial Conference, the guidance body
- The Development Committee, the consultative body
- The Mission Val de Loire, the operational body
The Territorial Conference
The Territorial Conference is a guidance body led by the Préfet (prefect) of the Centre region, which also co-ordinates the Plan Loire Grandeur Nature (an environmental management plan for the river). It meets twice a year.
The Territorial Conference defines the broad directions of the Val de Loire Mission and validates the annual programme of activities.
It unites, around the central government representatives, the Val de Loire authorities involved and responsible for contracting works:
- The Prefect of the Centre region , who coordinates the Plan Loire Grandeur Nature
- The presidents of the regional councils of the Centre and Pays de la Loire regions
- The presidents of the councils for the departments concerned ( Loiret , Loir-et-Cher , Indre-et-Loire , Maine-et-Loire ,
- The mayors of Orléans , Blois , Tours , Amboise , Chinon and Saumur
- The presidents of the conurbations of Orléans , Tours , Angers , Blois and Saumur
- The president of the Etablissement public Loire (a public body that oversees the management of the Loire and its tributaries)
- The president of the Loire - Anjou - Touraine Regional Natural Park
- Four representatives from municipalities within the site appointed by the SICALA (Intermunicipal Syndicate for the Development of the Loire and its Tributaries)
The Development Committee
The development committee is a consultative body open to all the participants concerned, in particular those involved in the economy, tourism, the environment, heritage, culture and education.
The purpose of the Development Committee is to play a consultative role, and, alongside the Territorial Conference, it provides a forum for discussion and a place where proposals can be considered.
It works through a framework of periodic meetings, the Rendez-vous du Val de Loire , which take place every 18 months, and through themed working groups set up on the basis of the priorities established by the Territorial Conference.
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