1.         Coro and its Port (Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)) (C 658)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1993

Criteria  (iv)(v)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger   2005-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted, See page http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/449

Corrective measures identified

Adopted, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1603

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

See page http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1603 

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/658/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/658/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 20,000 (Spanish Funds-in-Trust for World Heritage) for the planning, implementation and subsequent publications of participatory workshops and meetings with artisans and civil society in Coro and La Vela.

Previous monitoring missions

December 2003: Roundtable in conservation and management; September 2006: World Heritage Centre evaluation mission; July-August 2002, April 2005, May 2008 and February 2011: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring missions.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Serious deterioration of materials and structures;

b) Deterioration of the architectural and urban coherence and integrity of the property;

c) Lack of adequate management, planning and conservation mechanisms;

d) Absence of detailed and technical information on the state of conservation of the property since 2007;

e) Flooding and water damage.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/658/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012

A report on the state of conservation of the property was submitted by the State Party on 16 February 2012. It contains information on the following measures:

a) Finalize approval process for the creation of the Office for Management Commitment and provide adequate resources for its full operation

The report indicates that the ‘Management Commitment’ developed for the planning and sustainable conservation of the protected area is awaiting the official authorization of the Executive Vice-President of the Republic. This instrument has already been signed by the community councils of Coro and La Vela, the Institute of Cultural Heritage, Local Government, the Government of the State of Falcon and the Municipalities of Coro and La Vela: and has established strategies for the protection, preservation and revitalization of areas declared heritage by defining aims, performance indicators, organizational conditions, benefits and obligations, as well as defined the execution and commitments of the Institute of Culture, and the organizational and financial structure for the implementation of the Management Plan. No additional information was submitted relating to the implementation of actions in this respect.

b) Develop the Management Plan for the property, including programmes for conservation, public use and risk management

The Management Unit created by the Management Commitment continues to implement priority actions that were determined technically by PLINCODE. Actions such as drainage and service networks, emergency attention, purchase of historical houses and monuments, projects and works of restoration of the monuments are reported on. It is recalled that PLINCODE was not officially approved and was deemed to be inadequate to deal with the requirements of the property, therefore the exact relationship between PLINCODE and the Management Commitment requires clarification. The report also indicates that the Management Unit is defining new priority actions and a new regulatory framework for the conservation of the values of the property, however no information is provided on the status of the Management Plan and or the development of a comprehensive conservation programme.

c) Finalize the delimitation of the property and the buffer zone for the inscribed components, including the corresponding regulatory measures

The report indicates that new areas and their buffer zones are presently being considered. These areas were not part of the original nomination but will contribute to the property’s Outstanding Universal Value. The State Party indicated that this information will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2013. Graphic information has been provided with the report relating to the proposed boundary areas for Coro.

d) Update on corrective measures implemented as outlined in previous monitoring missions

The State Party’s report provides an update regarding actions implemented in response to recommendations made. These are: the re-opening of the Technical Management Office under the direction of the Vice President of ICOMOS-Venezuela, with half of the staff being technicians with responsibility to design and implement the conservation and intervention plan for the property; the design of the heritage database to include the tangible and intangible heritage and to be operational in 2012; funding from the Institute of Culture (USD 1,162,791) for restoration work undertaken by the community councils under the supervision of the Technical Management Office; the provision of funding (USD 1,046,512) for the construction of a storage centre for traditional building materials. The Central Government has also contributed USD 20,465,116 towards the rescue of the historical centres of Coro and La Vela following the emergency conditions created by heavy rainfall. The report also states that the Technical Council meets fortnightly to assess the progress of work. The Housing Policy Act has been modified to allow loans for the rehabilitation of traditional houses. Legal proceedings have also been initiated against those in breach of the Law on the Protection and Defence of the Cultural Heritage, with derived fines being invested in the built heritage. Dissemination and promotion activities have also been implemented geared towards the protection of cultural heritage.

No information was received regarding the recommended technical school of earthen architecture, the alternative proposals for the drainage system of Coro, nor the proposed traffic restrictions for Coro, in particular Zamora Street. It is also important to note that although conservation work is being implemented at the property, there needs to be a clearly defined conservation programme that outlines priorities for the short, medium and long term, and that also considers an adequate action plan for emergency situations.

e) Possible restorations or alterations and/or new construction envisaged in the protected area pursuant to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines

The report states that no new constructions that could potentially impact the property’s Outstanding Universal Value have been scheduled. Restoration projects continue for national monuments such as the Casa de las Ventanas de Hierro, Casa del Sol, Casa del Tesero and the Old Convent of San Francisco. No technical documentation was submitted relating to these restoration projects.

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the progress made in the improvement of the state of conservation of the property and in particular the various interventions being implemented to ensure this continuation. They note that technical documentation related to the above mentioned projects should have been submitted for appropriate assessment prior to their implementation. They commend the participatory nature of the proposed Management Commitment, but wish to recommend that the World Heritage Committee insist on the finalization of the Management Plan with an established programme for conservation, a plan of action and clear objectives for emergency situations, which has been pending. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies would also like the Committee to request the State Party to clarify the relationship between PLINCODE and the Management Commitment, in view of continued references to the implementation of plans in accordance to PLINCODE, which was not officially approved. The State Party has made important progress in the implementation of recommended actions of the 2011 reactive monitoring mission; however corrective measures for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger remain to be updated as well as the timeframe for their implementation.

Decision Adopted: 36 COM 7A.35

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 35 COM 7A.34, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3. Recognizes the efforts being made by the State Party for the conservation of the property, and encourages it to continue such efforts in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

4. Also encourages the State Party to continue with the implementation of the recommendations of the 2011 reactive monitoring mission, to ensure the protection of the property, with a special focus on:

a)  The development of a conservation programme with short, medium and long term priorities, and a plan of action for emergency situations,

b)  The finalization of a database to include historical and archaeological information, plans, a detailed photographic record, as well as a detailed description and state of conservation of all buildings and priority actions for each, and a linked inventory to previous records,

c)  An alternative proposal for the drainage system of Coro,

d)  The regulation of traffic in Coro, with particular emphasis on Zamora Street;

5.    Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies by 1 February 2013, a copy of the Management Plan for the property, and its approval by the Management Commitment;

6.    Urges the State Party to finalize the delimitation of the property and its buffer zone, to include new components that will contribute to the property’s Outstanding Universal Value, and to submit them to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies within the framework of the Retrospective Inventory by 1 February 2013;

7.    Reiterates its request to the State Party to update, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, the Desired state of conservation and the corrective measures for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, as well as a revised timeframe, and to submit them to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2013 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013;

8.    Invites the State Party to consider submitting a request for international assistance from the World Heritage Fund for technical support;

9.    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 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013;

10. Decides to retain Coro and its Port (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 36 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Following the examination of the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-12/36.COM/7A and WHC-12/36.COM/7A.Add),

2.   Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: