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Decision : 35 COM 7B.129
Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Panama) (C 135)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.112, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Notes the efforts undertaken by the State Party to address the state of conservation of the property;

4. Expresses its deep concern regarding the state of conservation of the property, in particular the significant and accelerated degradation of the historic fabric which directly impacts on its Outstanding Universal Value;

5. Also notes the progress made by the State Party to implement previous Committee decisions;

6. Takes note of commitments of the State Party regarding:

a) The Emergency plan, a preventative conservation strategy and maintenance measures at San Lorenzo and Portobelo approved and implemented,

b) National laws and policies for the conservation of built heritage at San Lorenzo and Portobelo defined and in place,

c) Long-term consolidation and conservation through annual plans for the components of the inscribed property ensured,

d) The Operational and participatory management system, including its related public use plan, approved and implemented,

e) The Management plan fully integrated within territorial and urban development plans,

f) Encroachments and urban pressure adequately controlled,

g) The boundaries and buffer zone of all component parts of the World Heritage property precisely clarified,

h) Budgets for the preparation, implementation and follow-up of the management structures and conservation measures secured;

7. Requests the State Party to implement the following measures within the defined timeframe:

a) To be carried out immediately (September 2011-March 2012)

i) Emergency plan for all the components of the property in coherence with the recommendations of the reactive monitoring mission and defined timeframe and phasing for their implementation finalized,

ii) Operational management arrangements and budgets for its implementation ensured,

iii) Budgets for the implementation of the emergency plan (first stage) secured,

iv) Encroachments and urban pressure adequately controlled and reforestation undertaken,

v) Technical Office in Portobelo to secure the implementation of the conservation measures and management arrangements set up and functioning:

b) To be carried out within one year (until September 2012)

First phase of the Emergency Plan implemented:


i) Boundaries and buffer zones for each of the component parts of the property defined,

ii) Regulatory measures for the established buffer zones for controlling development and addressing existing threats finalized and approved,

iii) Monitoring indicators as a tool to assess the state of conservation of the fortified built heritage put in place;

Management and Planning

i) Development of a management plan begun,

ii) Awareness raising activities within the local communities to identify opportunities for eco and cultural tourism to contribute to the improvement of living conditions of the surrounding communities undertaken in full coherence with the conservation measures for the property.

c) To be carried out within two years (until September 2013):

Second phase of the Emergency Plan implemented


i) National laws and policies for the conservation of built heritage at San Lorenzo and Portobelo developed,

Management and planning

i) Management plan for the property, including scheduled and costed provisions for conservation, preventative conservation and maintenance of built heritage, public use, and risk management finalized, approved and adopted,

ii) Management, territorial and urban development plans integrated,

iii) Annual conservation plans for each of the components of the inscribed property developed and in place;

d) To be carried out within two-three years (until September 2014):

i) Implementation of the Emergency Plan completed,

ii) Operational management arrangements and budgets for the continued implementation of the approved management plan secured;

8. Reiterates its request to the State Party to finalize, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies, a draft statement of Outstanding Universal Value, which should be submitted within the framework of the Latin America and the Caribbean Periodic Reporting exercise;

9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the steps taken to implement the recommendations set out above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012, with a view to considering, in the case of confirmation of ascertained or potential danger to the Outstanding Universal Value, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

 Decisions Report
Context of Decision
Themes: Conservation
States Parties: Panama
Year: 2011
Decision Code: 35 COM 7B.129