1.         Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) (Italy) (C 826)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1997

Criteria  (ii)(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/826/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/826/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/826/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012

On 8 February 2012, a report on the state of conservation of the World Heritage property “Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)” was submitted by the State Party.

a) Damages caused by floods of 26 October 2011

The state of conservation report specifically addressed the impact of severe flash flooding at the property on 26 October 2011. The report stated that cloudbursts around the towns of Monterosso and Vernazza had been followed by landslides that had engulfed the settlements with water. No information has been provided as to damage to the landscape around the settlements.

Despite the damage suffered, the villages hit by the deluge are said to be still recognizable in terms of their buildings and urban layout. A first examination has shown limited damage to the old paving and to some buildings. The local authorities have already undertaken a general survey of the state of conservation and vulnerability of the historic buildings, and for each the cost of necessary recovery work has been estimated.

The report also states that further surveys are underway to obtain more details regarding the state of conservation of the property. Meanwhile, the Liguria region has taken steps to safeguard the areas affected by the floods through putting in place a ban on new building and on work to existing buildings that goes beyond mere conservation work. The Liguria region also intends to re-draw the maps of hydrogeological risk.

Three people in Vernazza and one person in Monterosso lost their lives in the floods. The press reported that streets in Vernazza and Monterosso were filled with rocks, mud and debris up to 5 metres deep after the disaster.

On 12 March 2012, the State Party invited an advisory mission to assess the overall state of conservation of the property and to provide technical advice on remedial measures and risk preparedness.

b) Others

On 31 January 2012, the State Party submitted a retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value to the World Heritage Centre. The statement is currently under review.

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that further information will be necessary to assess the state of conservation of the property after the natural disaster of 26 October 2011. They understand that repairing the damages will require time and the support of the local community.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies would like to express their readiness to offer what support and advice may be within their means.

Decision Adopted: 36 COM 7B.77

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.   Extends its sympathy to the victims of the floods of October 2011 and their families;

3.   Takes note of the emergency response provided by the State Party and encourages the State Party to conduct a detailed survey in order to obtain further information on the state of conservation of the property;

4.   Commends the steps undertaken by the regional authorities for the safeguarding of the property;

5.   Notes that the State Party has invited an advisory mission to assess the overall state of conservation of the property and to provide technical advice on remedial measures and risk preparedness;

6.   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 and the implementation of the above.