The procedure for classifying the Canal du Midi as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO required an application document to be drawn up. This document, prefaced by François Bordry, President of Voies Navigables de France (French Waterways), was sent to UNESCO, and signed by the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Culture and the Minister of Regional Planning, Public Works and Transport, dated 27 September, 1995.

On 7 December, 1996, the UNESCO committee approved the inclusion of the Canal du Midi in the list of World Heritage, as a cultural and cultural landscape site. The French State is therefore today responsible, before the international community, for the future of this heritage site.


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This listing requires a double obligation of results:

  • To ensure the conservation of the site itself,
  • To ensure that the developments which concern it or located in the vicinity do not affect its integrity and its universal value.


The Canal du Midi is a prestigious and doubly classified site, dotted with works that are classified as " Historical monuments ". The inclusion of the Canal du Midi on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites has led the French government to implement national initiatives to protect and promote this exceptional masterpiece.

Personalized regulatory protection measures have been set up under "Sites" (law of 2 May, 1930) and under "Historical Monuments" (law of 31 December, 1913).

Subject to these texts, any project involving works or buildings in the public fluvial domain (DPF) of the Canal du Midi must be approved by the French State.

Depending on the significance of the project and in particular its impact on the structure and its environment, this approval may be given by the Commission Départementak des Sites, or at the national level, by ministerial decision.