The World Heritage Centre received in early 2007 a report from the Secretary of State for Culture, National Directorate for Cultural Heritage of the Dominican Republic prepared for the World Heritage Committee/ UNESCO entitled “Report of development 2002-2006, Colonial Town of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic”, dated January 2007. The report touches on developments carried out in the period 2002-2006 for:
a) Institutional co-ordination between the different agencies of the Dominican Republic in relation to works of restoration and rehabilitation in the Colonial Town of Santo Domingo.
The report notes that the National Directorate for Cultural Heritage has established a system of communication involving for example the Department of Aqueducts and Sewers, the Secretary of State for Tourism, the Department of Electrical Enterprises, and above all, the Office of the Mayor of the National District.
b) Integrated Revitalisation Plan and related actions.
The report notes that the Inter-American Development Bank supported development of a « Strategic Plan for the Integrated Revitalisation of the Colonial Town of Santo Domingo » prepared by a conservation consultant (Lombardi Associates), which has subsequently guided thinking about the development of a programme of follow-up actions and interventions. In essence, the main outcome has been an agreement between the Technical Secretariat of the Presidency, the Secretary of State for Culture and the Office of the Mayor of the National District to create the Steering Commission of the Colonial Town (CRCC). The functions of the CRCC have been set out to define, formulate, regulate and foresee financial support of policies, programmes, plans, projects for the development and conservation of the Colonial Town of Santo Domingo. The report also mentions a number of private sector development projects supported in this context.
c) Management of the property.
The State Party report describes the many actions taken in the past four years to strengthen its professional credibility, the professionalism of its specialist divisions and the procedures for the review of technical requirements in reviewing projects.
d) Law for the protection and defence of cultural heritage
The State Party report describes efforts over a period of four years (2000-2004) to develop a draft law for the protection and defence of the Immovable Heritage of the Dominican Republic. The State Party also describes current efforts to finalise the proposed new law with the aid of an experienced consultant, as well as interim measures to limit noise, use of fireworks, and the hours of alcoholic consumption.
e) Risk management Plan for the Colonial Town.
The State Party report describes the many initiatives taken since Hurricane George focussed local attention on risk preparedness in 1998. In 2002, a first risk plan of the Dominican Republic for the Colonial Town of Santo Domingo was presented to the National Risk Commission. These efforts have led to the articulation of a law (147-02) intended to improve management of risks and also to the creation of a Risk Commission for the Colonial Town, integrating the efforts of all concerned local agencies, and with financial support from the national budget.
f) Establishment of a buffer zone.
According to Paragraph 107 of the Operational Guidelines, the State Party should formally submit any proposed modifications to the buffer zone for approval by the World Heritage Committee. The State Party should submit the appropriate cartography as well as the legal framework.