1.         Colonial City of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) (C 526)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1990

Criteria  (ii)(iv)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/526/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1990-2000)
Total amount approved: USD 82,207
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/526/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

Monitoring missions in 1993, 1995, 1998, 2002

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

General threats:

a) Urban development pressure including inadequate land use control;

b) Tourism pressures;

c) Lack of capacity in conservation techniques;

d) Lack of integrated management mechanisms (including legislation and service infrastructure);

e) Lack of means for presentation and interpretation of the site;

f) Ever present risk of earthquakes and hurricanes

g) Deterioration of structures caused by natural and human hazards (includingenvironmental pollution and lack of sensitisation of local residents)

Specific threats:

h) Need to clearly define and control development in buffer zones associated with the inscribed World Heritage property

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/526/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

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. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

N/A

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.125

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.       Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.94, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3.       Notes the progress in the development of a fully integrated approach to risk management;

4.       Requests the State Party to formally submit any proposed modifications to the buffer zone for approval by the World Heritage Committee. Such submission should include appropriate cartography as well as the legal framework;

5.       Invites the State Party to provide the current draft of the new law for the protection of immovable heritage for consideration by the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS;

6.       Requests the State Party provide a progress report to the World Heritage Centre on the details of development control for the new buffer zone by 1 February 2009, for examination by the Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.