Le Morne was proclaimed a National Heritage on 24th January 2006 due to its growing importance at the national level that is allied with a common sense of belonging. It enjoys a high degree of statutory protection under the National Heritage Fund Act 2003 and the Le Morne Heritage Trust Fund Act 2004. Through the latter Act, the Le Morne Heritage Trust Fund which operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Arts and Culture was established on 28th May 2004 to :
- to promote Le Morne as a national, regional and international memorial site
- to preserve and promote the historical, cultural, environmental and ecological aspects of Le Morne
- to set up a museum and create public awareness in the history of Le Morne
- to encourage research and support projects and publications related to slavery and marronage
- to collect, publish and disseminate information pertaining to the history of slavery and marronage
- to establish links with appropriate international organisations in line with the objects of the Act
The Le Morne Cultural Landscape
The Le Morne, following its inscription on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage List on 10th July 2008, is now known as the Le Morne Cultural Landscape.
The Le Morne Cultural Landscape is located on the South Western tip of the island of Mauritius and is more commonly referred to as "the wild South". For conservation purposes the landscape possesses both a Core and a Buffer zone. The Area is a rallying point for Mauritian from all walks of life who are deeply concerned about the country's heritage in terms of its history, culture as well as the natural environment.
The Le Morne Cultural Landscape and Monument of Nature
The Le Morne Cultural landscape represents the combined works of nature and humans.
With its physical attributes of a natural fortress, the Le Morne Brabant Mountain has become a natural monument when during the 17 th and 18 th centuries; groups of slaves escaped the control of their masters to seek refuge on the mountain. The landscape is also illustrative of the days of slavery in Mauritius and the quest for freedom that was ever present since human beings were "enslaved" as from the 17th, 18th and early 19th Centuries in Colonial Mauritius.
To serve as a focal point for current and future generations to celebrate resistance against oppression anywhere in the world as well as commemorate the suffering of humans through slavery and other systems of exploitation. It should be a living example of oppressed people achieving freedom, independence, dignity and respect for their values and cultures. It will do so by becoming a centre of excellence in terms of research, in particular the history of maroons in the wider context of slavery, and by playing a prominent role in unlocking cultural and economic opportunities for those who have suffered most under the system of slavery.
- To preserve and manage the Cultural Landscape of Le Morne so that it can be used in a wise and sustainable manner that is fully cognisant of its Statement of Universal Value, and without compromising its Authenticity and Integrity
- To develop Le Morne as a focal point for celebrating resistance to slavery by furthering high quality research on slavery in general that will not only be made available to the public but in which the latter can also participate
- To utilise Le Morne as a tool for local economic development and capacity building so that opportunities will open up for Mauritius as a whole, and in particular for those who have been left behind in terms of economic empowerment
- To cherish Le Morne as a symbol of reconciliation and forgiveness, not only nationally but also on a global scale, so that humanity will combine forces to resist exploitation of one human by another
- To rally around Le Morne in support of those who continue to be oppressed and exploited by other human beings, so that it is not only a symbol of the past but a living reminder for the present
- To use Le Morne as an exemplary place to strengthen the sense of environmental justice and support sustainable development by involving the local community for better quality of life
Heritage Legislations :
- The Le Morne Heritage Trust Fund Act of 2004
- The National Heritage Act of 2003
Management Tools :
- Le Morne Cultural Landscape Management Plan 2008
An overarching document that guides the day to day management of the Le Morne Cultural Landscape.
- Planning Policy Guidance 2 - Le Morne Cultural Landscape (2007)
A statutory document from the Ministry of Housing and Lands that provides guidance to direct and control development in and around the Core Zone and Buffer Zone of the Le Morne Cultural Landscape in order to protect and sustain its Outstanding Universal Value.
A copy of the Le Morne Heritage Trust Fund Act 2004, Management Plan 2008 and Planning Policy Guidance 2 can be downloaded on our download center.
Management of the Landscape
The Le Morne Cultural Landscape is managed by the Le Morne Heritage Trust Fund Board.
The Le Morne Heritage Trust Fund Site Office is managed by the following staff :
- Mrs. M. Sinatambou - Officer in Charge
- Mr. J. F. Lafleur - Site Manager
- Ms J. Laviolette - Administrative Secretary
- Ms K. Soobroydoo - Research Officer
- Mrs. N. Matai - Accounts Officer
- Mr. A. Seegolam - Conservation Officer
- Mrs. M. R. L. Seetaram - Clerk / Word Processing Operator
- Mrs. J. Louis - Clerk Assistant
- Mr. T. Unuth - Driver / Office Attendant
- Mrs. M. Verloppe - Handy Worker
- Mr. S. Duc - Handy Worker
- Mr. I. Veeren - Handy Worker