1.         Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores (Portugal) (C 206)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (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/206/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1984-1988)
Total amount approved: USD 25,290
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/206/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

October 1998: ICOMOS mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/206/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1998

The World Heritage Centre has been informed about a new waterfront, which has been constructed in the Centre d'Ancra do Heroismo. The Centre expressed its concern about the possible impact of the project on the World Heritage values of the site and has requested the State Party to provide more information about the project. The Centre has also requested ICOMOS advice on this matter.

Action Required

The Bureau, based on information that may be available at the time of the twenty-second session of the Bureau, may recommend appropriate actions to the consideration of the State Party and the Committee.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1998

The Bureau of the World Heritage Committee, at its twenty-second ordinary session, was informed about a marina project that seriously threatens the characteristic features of the waterfront of the World Heritage site. Following a letter sent by the Chairperson asking the Portuguese authorities for information on the project, extensive information consisting of an environmental impact study, a legislation decree and information on the project was received by the World Heritage Centre and transmitted to ICOMOS.

ICOMOS undertook a mission to the site in October 1998 and reported to the Bureau that its expert the economic need for a marina, but that ICOMOS opposes this particular project for the negative impact it would have on the World Heritage values of the site. It recommended that an alternative location be sought for the marina.

The Observer of Portugal informed that an expert Portugal would be present at the Committee session for detailed information on the project, particular the matter of the underwater heritage in the Bay of Angra de Heroismo.

The Bureau endorsed the concerns expressed by ICOMOS, but decided to transmit the case to the Committee for examination so that the expert from Portugal can provide complementary information.

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 22 BUR V.B.57

The Secretariat informed the Bureau that it had not received a response from the State Party to its request to provide information on the new development proposal for a marina in the Bay of Angra. The Director of the Cultural Heritage Division of UNESCO pointed out that a mission to the site was recently carried out by an expert, the Co-ordinator of the UNEP Action Plan for the Mediterranean, at the invitation of the Mayor and Municipality of Angra do Heroismo, who are responsible for the approval of the project. The expert has transmitted a report to the Secretariat.

ICOMOS informed the Bureau that the marina project that was initiated in 1995, was now under construction, but that it had been brought to the attention of the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS only recently. ICOMOS expressed its serious concern about the impact of the project on the World Heritage values of the Town as well as on the submarine heritage of the Bay, which is full of historic shipwrecks.

In addition to the construction of the marina, the reconstruction of the waterfront of the city is also taking place. ICOMOS expressed its concern that, as a result, many of the characteristic features of the waterfront are going to be destroyed.

The Bureau requested the Chairperson to send a letter to the Portuguese authorities expressing the serious concern of the Bureau about the new construction and requesting full information about the project by 15 September 1998. It also requested ICOMOS to undertake an assessment mission and to submit its findings to the twenty-second extraordinary session of the Bureau.

Decision Adopted: 22 COM VII.39

VII.39 Central Zone of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores (Portugal)

The Bureau of the World Heritage Committee, at its twentysecond ordinary session, was informed about a marina project that seriously threatened the characteristic features of the waterfront of the World Heritage site. ICOMOS undertook a mission to the site in October 1998 and concluded that, although there is the economic need for a marina, it opposed this particular project for the negative impact it would have on the World Heritage values of the site. It recommended that an alternative location be sought for the marina.

The Observer of Portugal stressed the need for a marina in Angra do Heroismo and that this marina would not affect the values of the site. He also informed about the actions taken with respect to the underwater heritage in the Bay of Angra de Heroismo. ICOMOS confirmed that this had been done according to the highest standards.

The Committee expressed concerns and preoccupation about the location and impact of the marina on the World Heritage values of the site. While recognizing the economic need for a marina, it was of the opinion that this should be considered in the context of an overall conservation plan for the site. It encouraged the State Party to continue its dialogue with ICOMOS and the World Heritage Committee in order to find the best solution. It requested that the Committee be kept informed periodically on further developments in this matter.