July 2014

If favorable opinion … Decision to include the Chaîne des Puys World Heritage of Humanity by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in Algiers.

Who makes the final decision?

This is the World Heritage Committee. It is composed of 21 members, elected from among the representatives of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention (States Parties are 190 countries that have ratified the World Heritage Convention). It meets once a year to decide on the sites he listed World Heritage of Humanity.
Members of the World Heritage Committee are currently representatives of the following countries: South Africa, Algeria, Cambodia, Colombia, United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Ethiopia, Russia, France, India, Iraq, Japan, Malaysia , Mali, Mexico, Qatar, Senegal, Serbia, Switzerland, thailand.
Half of them (including France) expire this year. The full list of 21 members of the World Heritage Committee, which will be based in Algiers in 2014, will be known by the end of the year.

Autumn 2013 – Spring 2014

Evaluation by international experts of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

May 2013

Distribution by the World Heritage Centre of the list of sites selected for review by international experts. This list contains a maximum of 45 sites worldwide.

January 24, 2013

The chaine des puys – limagne fault is an official french
candidate for unesco’s world heritage list

An announcement was made on Thursday 24 January by Aurélie Filippetti and Delphine Batho, the ministers for Culture and the Environment, of the two applications to be put forward to the World Heritage Centre by France in 2013:
the Chaîne des Puys – Limagne Fault and the Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc

Delphine Batho visited the site on 11 January, and her strong support gave rise to great hopes. The government has just confirmed these by opting to follow the recommendations of the National Committee for French World Heritage Sites, which for the second year proposed forwarding the following sites to the World Heritage Centre:
The Grotte Chauvet – Pont d’Arc, cultural site
The Chaîne des Puys – Limagne Fault, natural site

The Chaîne des Puys – Limagne Fault is a key site of international importance in terms of volcanology and tectonics. This renowned geological site gained national status in 2000 for its aesthetic value, through classification under the national natural monuments and sites act. By gathering together in one area all the main elements of continental tectonics, it provides an impressive example of the range of volcanism and the various geological processes which have formed our planet Earth.

An application borne along by widespread support
This national decision, which marks the beginning of a long process to gain international recognition, is nevertheless crucial. Jean-Yves Gouttebel, the President of the Conseil Général of the Puy-de-Dôme, who initiated the project 5 years ago, and has overseen it since then, wanted “to thank the local people and the 41, 000 backers who signed the supporters list, as well as the scientists and politicians involved, and of course the Auvergne businesses which have committed themselves so fully to this major regional project through a foundation which was set up for the preservation and promotion of the site.” The Conseil Général of the Puy-de-Dôme and all those who have taken part in this application, notably the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park and the Universities of Clermont-Ferrand, are delighted by this recognition of the significant scientific work, the well-planned management, and the collective mobilisation behind this large-scale project, which unites 467 of the 470 communes in the Puy-de-Dôme department.

Long-term prospects for the whole region
From the outset of this application, the Conseil Général and its institutional partners (the Auvergne Regional Council, the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park, the representative State bodies in the Region) have anticipated a range of effects related to the protection of the site : increased profile for the region, local development, and scientific outreach. In concrete terms this encompasses:
establishing a coordinated management plan for the natural site ; while its existing national status has meant that it has been protected by regulations, these were not applied and managed from a comprehensive, multi-partner point of view;
preserving the clear profiles of the landscape through raising awareness of their importance, and supporting traditional activities such as summer pasturing to keep down the vegetation and maintain the quality of the land forms; anticipating the consequences of increased tourism, which must be managed to allow for sustainable and well-planned development to benefit the whole department, and further afield ;
ongoing research on the geology of the area, and the dissemination of this information to the general public.

What next ?
There are 18 months of international evaluation before the World Heritage Committee announces its decision in the summer of 2014. This intervening period will see the implementation of the coordinated management plan, and presentation at numerous public meetings to raise awareness for the site, in addition to ongoing scientific work on an international scale.
A delegation of experts commissioned by UNESCO will visit the site in the autumn of 2013 to evaluate the application. In the same context, an international conference will take place from 11 – 13 September 2013 in Clermont-Ferrand, on the management of inhabited natural heritage sites, organised by the Conseil Général of the Puy-de-Dôme in conjunction with the Centre for Research and Higher Education.
The Chaîne des Puys – Limagne Fault could become the first natural site from mainland France to be registered on the World Heritage List, since the other three existing French sites are all islands (Lagoons of New Caledonia, Gulf of Porto in Corsica, and Pitons, Cirques and Remparts of Reunion Island).

The project can be followed via :
The project internet site www.chainedespuys-failledelimagne.com ;
The Facebook page Pour que la Chaîne des Puys soit reconnue patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO ;
Twitter : @chainedespuys
and in various media in the Puy-de-Dôme which are dedicated to the protection and promotion of the natural heritage.

November 2012

Second presentation of the application to the Environment ministry.

January 21, 2012

Results of the national selection for 2012.

The French Committee chose two projects:

These applications will undergo international evaluation over a period of 18 months before a decision is given by the World Heritage Committee.


A message for all those who are following our candidature

For a year now, you have followed and encouraged the Chaîne des Puys and Limagne fault candidature to become a UNESCO World Heritage site, firstly through the Local Council of the Puy-de-Dôme’s internet site, then on our Facebook page, and, from autumn 2011, on our candidature web site. This level of support is a mark of the success of this large scale and ambitious project and it demonstrates both the degree of commitment to this exceptional geological site by the local population, and the amount of support it can generate.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that the scientific and technical qualities of the project were unanimously praised, the Chaîne des Puys and Limagne fault application was not one of the two French sites chosen by the state to be put forward to the World Heritage Committee. Instead two cultural sites were chosen -the Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc and The ‘Climats’ of the Vineyards of Burgundy. This in no way diminishes the drive or the motivation of the Local Council and its partners, notably the Auvergne Volcano Regional Park and the Universities of Clermont, to have the universal value of this exceptional tectono-volcanic site recognised.

Therefore the application will be resubmitted to the French Committee for World Heritage Sites in November 2012. Meanwhile the work on raising awareness about the site, which began in 2010, will be continued, alongside the implementation of the management plan.

We know that we can continue to count on your collective support, which is at the heart of our project, during this ongoing process. Let us all keep working together for the development and protection of our natural heritage.


Document from the French government

“… Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transports and Housing, and Fréderic Mitterand, Minister of Culture and Communication … would like to highlight the quality of the Chaîne des Puys – Limagne fault proposal, submitted under the heading of natural sites, and it should be resubmitted for consideration as soon as possible… » (excerpt from the press release below)

Press release from the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transports and Housing, January 2012 (PDF, 148 KB)

November 18, 2011

Oral presentation of the application to the French Committee for World Heritage sites.

Final national step for the Chaîne des Puys and Limagne fault candidature.

A delegation from the Puy-de-Dôme, led by the Conseil général, went to present the application to the French Committee for World Heritage Sites in Paris. Based on this presentation and a preliminary opinion of the Committee, the final decision was given by the state in January 2012. The chosen projects then go on to represent France in the international selection made by the International World Heritage Selection Committee in 2013.

September 27, 2011

Official submission of the application to the Environment ministry prior to a hearing by the French Committee for World Heritage sites.

November 2010 – September 2011

Writing of the candidature application in the format defined by UNESCO.

Putting together of a candidature application in the format defined by UNESCO, and drawing up of a management plan in collaboration with the different interested parties of the region.

January 2011

Formal support by the Auvergne region for the putting together and management of the candidature.

Setting up of a support committee and a Facebook page specifically for the project, which allows the progress of the candidature to be followed, as well as publicising the latest happenings associated with the project.