Churches of Chiloé (Chile) (C 971)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 2000
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/971/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 50,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/971/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
December 2013: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Insufficient delimitation of boundaries
- Construction of a shopping mall in the vicinity of the Castro Church
Illustrative material see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/971/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014
A World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission visited the property in December 2013. Subsequently, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report in February 2014. Both reports are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/971/documents. Implementation of actions is reported as follows:
- Definition of new buffer zones: Preliminary Protection Areas (APP) for each component of the serial property have been proposed. This is a first approach for the definition of wider settings, as part of the implementation of the Program for Integral Protection of Churches Settings. The final boundaries will be addressed as typical zones, which is the official national category for protection of buffer zones and settings with their regulatory measures. This process is expected to be concluded in October 2014;
- Creation of the National World Heritage Committee in October 2013, with representatives of Ministries, the National Monuments Council (CMN) and other Institutions to develop an integral strategy and a Public Policy for conservation, management and sustainable development of World Heritage properties in Chile;
- Elaboration of a new draft law in January 2014 to modify Law No. 17288 of National Monuments to establish Regional Councils of the CMN;
- Implementation of the National Policy for Urban Development, adopted in May 2013, to establish national guidelines and strategies on urban matters, which includes a thematic chapter of Identity and Heritage;
- A draft of a Regulatory Framework for the Typical Zones has been approved by the CMN in December 2013 and awaits implementation through a Decree by the Ministry of Education;
- The FUNDAICH (Foundation Friends of the Churches of Chiloé) undertook restoration and conservation works and capacity building programmes. Information on updated intervention criteria for the Churches was provided.
- The construction of the mall at the City of Castro has been completed. On 5 December 2013, the Castro Municipal Works Department legalised construction with Permit No. 434. The Supreme Court of Chile has rejected the appeal seeking the building’s demolition. The reactive monitoring mission considered that the new mall has now become a prevailing element of Castro’s skyline, competing with the silhouette of the towers of the Church surrounded by the traditional setting, and has therefore impacted on the visual qualities of this component part of the property.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
The actions undertaken by the State Party for the adequate delimitation of buffer zones are well noted. However there are additional aspects that need to be observed. The Plan for Integral Protection as Typical Zones does not state the characteristics of wider setting for all the components of the property, considering that only 5 churches from the total of 16 have currently delimitated their Typical Zones. Therefore, the State Party could adopt as preliminary boundaries the proposed Preliminary Protection Areas until the process of legal regulation of all Typical Zones is achieved. However, the extension of these areas needs to be subsequently reviewed to include wider setting as expressed in the technical recommendations made by the mission. The final proposal should include precise boundaries delimited in maps, and the characteristics of each zone to protect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, as well as clear regulations to control possible threats to the visual qualities of the component parts. The result of this process needs to be submitted for review by the World Heritage Committee as a minor boundary modification.
Efforts should be sustained to strengthen the capacities of the National Monuments Council (CMN) and ensure a more coordinated action with other administrative levels and sectors.
The State Party and FUNDAICH have made important efforts in the restoration of the churches. However, resources and trained experts will be required to continue interventions, given the significant vulnerability of the churches with regard to the construction materials and the environmental conditions. Conservation efforts should also be the means to enhance the traditional values of communitarian work and to assure adequate supply of woods for restoration works.
Regarding the construction of the mall at Castro, the mission assessed the key importance of all the churches as dominant elements in the landscape and as references for the navigation in the Archipelago. This is a significant attribute of the property that was present at its nomination and was recently highlighted in the Retrospective Statement of OUV adopted by the World Heritage Committee in 2013. In line with the findings of the mission, it is considered that the new mall impacts on the visual qualities of the property, affects its OUV and causes a negative impact over and compromises the wider setting of the church of Castro. The mall will also exacerbate the generation of additional traffic flow and could cause instability for the structure of the church.
Given the above, mitigation measures need to be urgently developed to address the impact of the Castro shopping mall on the setting and visual character of this component of the property. This will entail a thorough review of potential architectural measures and possibly the creation of green areas or vegetation screens.
Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.40
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.94, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
- Acknowledges the significant efforts made by the State Party and the Foundation Friends of the Churches of Chiloé (FUNDAICH) for the conservation of the churches of Chiloé;
- Notes the result of the 2013 World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property and endorses its recommendations;
- Encourages the State Party to strengthen the National Monuments Council (CMN) and to enhance its joint work with other administrative levels and sectors of the property;
- Urges the State Party to finalize the legal definition of buffer zones and visually sensitive areas around each component part and establish the appropriate legislative measures to ensure the overall protection of the property;
- Invites the State Party to submit by 1 February 2015, according to paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines, the final proposal for the buffer zones of each component part of the property as a minor boundary modification for review by the World Heritage Committee;
- Requests the State Party to:
- Review all existing Urban Master Plans in the light of the characteristics defined in the final proposal of buffer zones and new regulatory measures designed for the protection of the settings of the Churches of Chiloe,
- Establish Urban Master Plans and clear building parameters and restrictions for all the municipalities that do not include these planning tools in their management framework,
- Establish rural management frameworks, including the characteristics defined in the final proposal of buffer zones for the Churches of Chiloe located in rural areas, to better manage and protect all component parts of the property;
- Also requests the State Party to establish an Integrated Management Plan for all sixteen churches inscribed in the serial property, with emphasis in a mutual cooperation among the different communities, to ensure the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
- Notes with concern that the construction of Castro shopping mall has been completed and that no measures have been considered to mitigate its impact on the Castro Church;
- Reiterates its requests to the State Party to develop measures to mitigate the impact of the Castro shopping mall on the visual characteristics and setting of the Castro church to better integrate it with the existing setting;
- Further requests the State Party to submit a Study of Traffic Impact for the Castro shopping mall on the urban tissue of the City of Castro by 1 February 2015;
- Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015, with a view to considering, if the absence of the implementation of the above-mentioned actions is noted by the Committee at its 39th session in 2015, the potential inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.