State of Conservation (SOC)
Coro and its Port (2004)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:0USD
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Lack of management mechanism (including legislation); Lack of institution coordination; Floods.
Current conservation issues
The Secretariat received a progress report from the State Party, drafted by the Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural (IPC), the national agency responsible for cultural heritage in Venezuela, on 19 February 2004. The report contained information structured in three main sections:
a) Actions to be taken by the Venezuelan authorities concerning the Management Plan of Coro and its Port that is shown in an accompanying document Ideas para los lineamientos de un plan integral de Conservación e Desarrollo para Coro, el Puerto de la Vela y sus Areas de Influencia (Ideas for an outline of an integral plan for the Conservation and Development of Coro, its Port La Vela and its Areas of Influence). This document, presented in a draft version, illustrated the strategic approach at the base of the management plan. This approach consists of a revision of current legislation, creation of integrated and interdisciplinary management, participatory process, and coordination of liaisons between sociological and economical factors affecting the site.
b) Creation of a Presidential Commission for the protection of Coro and its surrounding area. This section addressed the issues related to how this Commission intends to operate with regard to the decision-making process, involvement and integration of civil society, institutions and all relevant stakeholders.
c) Mechanism to strengthen the influence of the Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural (IPC) at the site via a participatory process, educational programmes and coordination between the concerned authorities.
The Secretariat notes that the report of the Government of Venezuela lacks substantial information. No information is provided on the Presidential Commission's structure, there is no mention on definition of responsibilities or on how it intends to protect and manage the site, to strengthen the presence of the Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural (IPC) or to raise awareness on the values of the site. No information is provided on the deterioration of the architectural and urban coherence and integrity of the property and no efforts or interest are shown to consolidate and protect the earthen constructions.
On 8 and 9 December 2003 the Comision Nacional para Cooperacion con UNESCO (CNCU), with support from the Netherlands Funds-in-Trust at UNESCO, organized a roundtable discussion on the Conservation and Management of the World Heritage site of Coro and its Port, held in Coro, Venezuela. A total of 14 Venezuelan resource persons participated in the roundtable discussion, which included representatives from the Ministry of Planning and Regional Development, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment, the Municipality of Miranda, the State of Falcón, the University of Francisco de Miranda, the National Commission for UNESCO, and the World Heritage Centre. Unfortunately, little time was devoted to discuss the bad state of conservation and ways and means for improvement; instead only some broad outlines for economic and social development on a regional and national level were proposed by IPC, similar to the information in the progress report.
The mission concluded that the current political situation, with increasing polarization of Venezuelan society into groups supporting or opposing the plans for national restructuring, is paralyzing any constructive discussion with regard to improved conservation and management of Coro and its Port. While it remains questionable whether the Venezuelan authorities will be able to develop an effective short-term plan of action that will reverse the situation, on the other hand, the overall situation in the country is of such nature that a careful approach seems necessary, to not force or polarize things further. Even though Danger listing has to be regarded as a positive, pro-active approach, allowing for increased international assistance, it seems that perhaps more time is needed for the political process to unfold, for the national Government to determine its strategies and priorities, and for the municipalities and conservation agencies to develop effective means for cooperation and coordination.
ICOMOS examined the progress report of the State Party as well as the World Heritage Centre mission report of December 2003 and, while it recognized the complexity and seriousness of the situation, commented that it supports the viewpoints of the Secretariat. It recommended that the Secretariat prepare several short-term programmes in order to enable the State Party to address the serious problems of Coro and its Port.
Link to the decision
The World Heritage Committee, 1. Taking note of the progress report transmitted by the State Party (Decision 27 COM 7B.102), 2. Expressing its serious concerns about the state of conservation of the property and lack of adequate management, planning and conservation mechanisms, 3. Urges the State Party, once again, to consider and implement the recommendations of the 2002 World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS mission and to submit a request for International Assistance under the World Heritage Fund to this end; 4. Requests the World Heritage Centre to develop, in close consultation with ICOMOS and the Venezuelan authorities, a programme of action, including assistance in changing the current political scope into a more technical one, in creating awareness of the cultural-historic importance of the property, in establishing a community-based participatory conservation process, and in seeking additional funding for conservation activities, and to undertake, in cooperation with the State Party, a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the site to assess whether the property meets the criteria for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger; 5. Requests the State Party to submit, by 1 February 2005, a report on the progress made in the implementation of recommendations, which together with the joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring report will be considered by the Committee at its 29th session in 2005.
Draft Decision: 28 COM 15B.106
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Taking note of the progress report transmitted by the State Party,
2. Expressing its serious concerns about the state of conservation of the property and lack of adequate management, planning and conservation mechanisms,
3. Urges the State Party, once again, to consider and implement the recommendations of the 2002 UNESCO/ICOMOS mission and to submit a request for International Assistance under the World Heritage Fund to this end;
4. Requests the Secretariat to develop, in close consultation with ICOMOS and the Venezuelan authorities, a programme of action, including assistance in changing the current political scope into a more technical one, in creating awareness of the cultural-historic importance of the property, in establishing a community-based participatory conservation process, and in seeking additional funding for conservation activities;
5. Requests the State Party to submit, by 1 February 2005, a report on the progress made in the implementation of recommendations for consideration by the Committee at its 29th session in 2005.
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
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Deterioration of the architectural and urban coherence and integrity of the property
Inscription on the Danger ListYear: 2005
Threats to the Site:
Heavy rains between November 2004 and February 2005 caused severe damage to a great number of structures. The situation is aggravated by the deteriorated condition of numerous historic structures, as well as the construction of inappropriate walls and fences. In addition, the construction of a new monument, a beach walkway and an entrance gate to the city is planned in Colina (the port of La Vela). These are located along the beach in the buffer zone of the World Heritage site, and in their present form could have a considerable impact on the values of the site and disrupt the relation of the port city with the water.
The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).