Causses and Cévennes

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UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Causses and the Cévennes, Mediterranean agro-pastoral Cultural Landscape
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Cevennes Florac Mimente depuis Causse Mejean.jpg
Florac and the Cévennes National Park seen from Causse Méjean

Type Cultural
Criteria (iii), (v)
Reference 1153
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 2011 (35th Session)

The Causses and the Cévennes, Mediterranean agro-pastoral Cultural Landscape (French: Les Causses et Les Cévennes, paysage culturel de l'agro-pastoralisme méditerranéen) is a UNESCO World Heritage site[1] located in the southern part of central France with over three millennia of agro-pastoral history.

The region is mountainous with numerous narrow valleys, making conditions poorly suited to host cities, but well-suited for pastoralism. Consequently, the landscape of Causses and Cévennes evolved over time to reflect all types of Mediterranean agro-pastoral systems. The Causses and the Cévennes retain numerous testimonies of this evolution of pastoralism over time. Mont Lozère is one of the last places where summer transhumance is still practiced in the traditional way.[2]

Inscription criteria[edit]

The site was inscribed on the list in 2011 by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in Paris, France. The site was inscribed on the basis of Criterion (iii), "bearing unique testimony to a cultural tradition",[3] as it is an outstanding example of Mediterranean agro-pastoralism, and Criterion (v), "an outstanding example of human interaction with the environment",[3] as the landscape demonstrates the way the system has developed over millennia.[2]

Inscription history[edit]

The site was originally added to France's Tentative List in 2002 and was considered for inscription by the Committee at its 30th session in Vilnius, Lithuania under criteria (v) and (vi).[4] ICOMOS recommending deferring inscription. France framed Criterion (v) for the site as being the "last bastion of the agropastoral system in Western Europe"[5] while ICOMOS considered this to not be the case. Criterion (vi) was framed as the site "keeps alive the memory of episodes related to the diffusion of French Protestantism, fights with the Catholic Church, and the development of ideas of liberty and freedom".[5] ICOMOS considered that this element was not of universal significance, but of national significance only as sites elsewhere in Europe also testify to the persecution of Protestants and the impact thereof on national history. In 2009, ICOMOS also requested that France justify the boundary of the property and provide a basis for managing and sustaining the site's agro-pastoral traditions.[6] When France resubmitted its nomination file, focus was laid on the historic aspect of pastoralism and its impact to the site's cultural development, while reference to the site's testament to historical events, Criterion (vi), was dropped.[7] The site successfully inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2011.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°13′13″N 3°28′23″E / 44.2203°N 3.4731°E / 44.2203; 3.4731