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Decision : 36 COM 7B.102
Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobello-San Lorenzo (Panama) (C 135)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B,

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.129, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2010),

3.   Notes the limited implementation of activities being carried out by the State Party with regards to the fragile state of conservation of the property;

4.   Reiterates 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 its Outstanding Universal Value, and the lack of significant progress made in addressing the decay conditions of the property;

5.   Urges the State Party to finalize the processes related to the establishment of boundaries, buffer zones and the related regulations of the two components of the inscribed property, and to submit them within the Retrospective Inventory process of the Periodic Reporting exercise in the Latin America and the Caribbean region;

6. Considers that the State Party has not complied with all the requests expressed by previous World Heritage Committee Decisions, and that therefore the property is in danger in conformity with Chapter IV.B of the Operational Guidelines and decides to inscribe the Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Panama) on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

7.   Adopts the following Desired state of conservation for the property, for its future removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger:

a)  The approval and full implementation of an emergency plan, a comprehensive assessment of structural and mechanical risks, preventative conservation strategy and maintenance measures at San Lorenzo and Portobelo,

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;

8.   Also adopts the following corrective measures and the timeframe for their implementation:

a)  To be carried out immediately (by September 2012-March 2013)

(i)  Risk assessment completed for all structures and built materials, and an 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 (by September 2013)

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

(iv) Development of a Management Plan begun,

(v)  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 (by September 2014):

          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 (by September 2015):

(i)   Implementation of the Emergency Plan completed,

(ii)  Operational management arrangements and budgets for the continued implementation of the approved Management Plan secured;

9.   Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a financial estimation of the costs associated with the implementation of each of the corrective measures, and invites the State Party to consider a request for international assistance from the World Heritage Fund for technical support ;

10.  Also urges the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, as well as other relevant bodies, to cooperate with the State Party to implement the adopted corrective measures;

11.   Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013. 

 Decisions Report
Context of Decision
Themes: Budget, Credibility of the World Heritage List, Conservation, Reports, List of World Heritage in Danger, Reinforced Monitoring
States Parties: Panama
Year: 2012
Decision Code: 36 COM 7B.102