1.         Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco (Mexico) (C 412)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1987

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)(v)

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/412/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1999-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 5,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/412/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Pressure from Urban Development;

b) Natural disasters (seismic instability and continued sinking of the city caused by the depletion of the aquifer);

c) Water and environmental pollution. 

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/412/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

On 1 February 2007, the World Heritage Centre received the state of conservation report on the property of Xochimilco through the Permanent Delegation of Mexico to UNESCO.

Concerning problems linked to water management, the management plan foresaw activities which focused on the creation of new treatment plants for solid waste, for topographical, geodesic and photogrammetric studies to design a system to maintain a stable water level in the channels, and on several types of infrastructure to regulate the circulation of water and to control the contaminating substance level. The Management Plan has since been finalized. The process of consultation and public participation as well as the criteria to improve the conservation of the site was published by the UNESCO Office in Mexico, with the Title of: Xochimilco, un proceso de gestión participativa. This report can be found at the following web address: http://www.unescomexico.org/xochimilco/docs/Publicacion_Intro.pdf

The Comisión Interdependencial, created with an agreement of the Government of the Federal District of Mexico in February 2004, for the conservation of the cultural and natural heritage of Tlahuac, Milpa Alta and Xochimilco, approved the Management Plan jointly elaborated with the UNESCO-Xochimilco Project of 11 August 2006. The document clearly establishes the guidelines for action, the new protection area for the site and the system of monitoring. In terms of awareness-raising, the publication of a management plan summary document is foreseen by the end of March 2007.

In the framework of the Management Plan, the following revised boundaries for the Xochimilco part of the property have been suggested following a wide public consultation:

a) Core zones, as containing outstanding universal value, as well as other areas that could contribute to the support of these values in the future;

b) Areas suitable for potential recovery, which comprised some parts in the buffer zone, which were affected by reversible damages;

c) Buffer areas, which include important elements of the overall system but not attributes of outstanding universal value;

d) Areas of influence, not directly affected by the Management Plan, but taken into account as potential threats, which could affect the values of the core zone.

During the meeting on the follow up of the Periodic Reporting Exercise in Central America and Mexico (3-5 November 2006), a working visit was organized to Xochimilco. The participants had the opportunity to witness the participatory process built into the Management Plan and the constant effort to involve not only political and administrative bodies, but also the local population, which has always expressed interest and commitment. This was of major importance in this process. The participative approach of the management plan has been continued through the work implemented by the six technical working committees, in which experts, decision makers and civil society are equally represented to address issues of: (i) water management; (ii) historic centre and integral heritage; (iii) chinampas (floating gardens); (iv) productive activities related to heritage; (v) illegal occupation of public spaces; (vi) communication, promotion and education.

The composition of the Comisión Interdependencial was restructured in January 2007, following the presidential elections in December 2006, with the change in Government. The UNESCO Mexico Office has established bridges between the former and new officials through the induction workshops to avoid interruptions in communication and in institutional memory.

Over the last ten months, actions have been undertaken by public institutions, mainly focused on the cleaning of the channels, the consolidation of the banks of the chinanpas and improvements in the credit system to help farmers achieve better conditions through subsidies.

New studies have started, within the framework of specific agreements signed with national universities to monitor fauna and flora species in the protected areas, especially migratory birds. Other agreements have been signed to complete the inventory and catalogue of the Chinanpas by the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Xochimilco.

The urgency of setting up a management unit, for the implementation of the approved management plan, has been agreed by local, regional and national authorities. The UNESCO Office in Xochimilco finalized its mandate for the realization and submission of the Management Plan by March 2007. The Management Plan has been submitted to ICOMOS for its review and comments.

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.128

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.       Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.96, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3.       Notes the impressive efforts the State Party has made for the completion of the Management Plan for the property, which helps to address key issues for its conservation and management, through a participatory process;

4.       Also notes with satisfaction the role played by the UNESCO Office in Mexico as the facilitator of negotiations among the various stakeholders as a catalytic tool for the harmonious momentum and the agreement reached;

5.       Urges the State Party to create a Management Unit in Xochimilco to implement the Management Plan by 1 November 2007 and requests the UNESCO Mexico Office to continue facilitating the exchange of advice and providing continuity for the participatory process until this new unit is set up;

6.       Requests the State Party to increase collaboration with the Advisory Bodies of the Convention within the framework of the implementation of the studies undertaken by Mexican universities;

7.       Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2009, a progress report from the State Party on the implementation of the Management Plan for examination at its 33rd session in 2009.