UNESCO The application

The application

The local council of the Puy-de-Dôme, along with the universities of Clermont-Ferrand and the Regional Natural Park of the Auvergne Volcanoes, and with help from the State Government in the Region, the Regional council of the Auvergne and Clermont Town council, has been working on the Chaîne des Puys-Limagne fault application for the World Heritage List since 2007.


On 23 June, 2014, at the 38th World Heritage Committee session in Doha, the majority of the Committee members recognised the potential of the Chaîne des Puy’s geological value while requesting complementary information, justifying the referral of the application for further examination. This decision was taken in the light of the IUCN report which had been widely contested by the international scientific community, giving rise to numerous debates at the Doha meeting. Faced with the scale of these fundamental differences, the referral decision was accompanied, unusually, by a second field visit, this time independent of the IUCN, to arbitrate the differences.
Following the recommendations of the members of the World Heritage Committee, the application has entered a new phase of in-depth discussion with the IUCN and international experts, with the joint objectives of strengthening the site’s management and resolving the scientific divergences.

A group of independent experts comprising three international scientists (José Brilha from Portugal, Peter Bitschene from Germany, and Setsuya Nakada from Japan) thus came to the site from 5 – 8 October, 2015 for a field visit and discussions with the main people involved in the debate: the project’s scientific team and an IUCN representative.

Their report was submitted to the State and to the IUCN at the end of November, and provided arbitration on the relevant scientific questions.
The Chaîne des Puys-Limagne Fault dossier will be re-examined by the World Heritage Committee when it meets in Istambul from 10 – 20 July, 2016.

Who makes the final decision ?The World Heritage Committee. It comprises 21 members, out of a total of 191 States Parties belonging to the World Heritage Convention, and they serve 4-year terms. It meets annually, primarily to announce the sites to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.The committee was partially renewed during the Annual General Meeting in Paris in December 2015, at the UNESCO General Conference. Nine new members were elected and they join the twelve members elected in 2013 who remain on the committee for this summer.

The nine new members are: Angola, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Cuba, Indonesia, Kuwait, Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

The twelve remaining members are: Croatia, Finland, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, Vietnam.

They will be on the 2016 Committee when the Chaîne des Puys-Limagne Fault application is re-presented.