1.         Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Panama) (C 135)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1980

Criteria  (i)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2012-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 https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4763

Corrective measures identified

Adopted, see https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4763

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted, see https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4763

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/135/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1980-1993)
Total amount approved: USD 76,800
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/135/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

November 2001: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; March 2010: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission. February 2014: ICOMOS Advisory mission.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/135/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 30 January 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/135/documents/ 

2014 was an election year in the Republic of Panama and a period of administrative change in government administration, including heads of the public entities that manage historical heritage. This caused a low execution rate of conservation works on the site. The remaining yearly budget assigned for the execution of the emergency plan was found insufficient. The new director and deputy director in the National Direction of Historical Heritage had to familiarize themselves with the case but reached conclusions similar to those indicated in the report of the ICOMOS Advisory Mission of February 2014.

In response to the seven points of paragraph 5 of Decision 38 COM 7A.20, the State Party reports:

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

The adoption of the UNESCO World Heritage Management Plan (September 2013) and the Emergency Plan (March 2014) were crucial steps forward and constitute appropriate frameworks for action. The endorsement by the new administration of these plans and earlier recommendations, and commitment to their implementation are welcomed. However, overall there are very serious delays in the implementation of the corrective measures and timeframe adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) and funding for the implementation of these measures, including for the Emergency Plan and the Management Plan, remains insufficient.

As to the replies provided by the State Party on the seven points of paragraph 5 of Decision 38 COM 7A.20, it is observed that:

While the State Party presents detailed reports on the activities for conservation and consolidation and for the maintenance of green areas undertaken in 2014, no clearly established and detailed work plans, timeframes and budgets have been presented for the implementation of the corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee at the time of the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Progress in the implementation of the corrective measures scheduled for year 1 (up to September 2013), is highly insufficient and it may be reasonably expected that the measures for the two-three year period (scheduled for conclusion by September 2015) will be equally seriously delayed.

The ICOMOS Advisory Mission of February 2014 made a comprehensive set of recommendations and highlighted the fast rate of decay of the historic fabric that continued to threaten the integrity and authenticity of the attributes that convey the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and there remains very serious concern that under the present conditions the state of conservation may further deteriorate.

It is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to draw up a strategy, detailed work plans, timeframes and budgets for the full implementation of the corrective measures within a three-year period, with due consideration of the set of recommendations of the 2014 Advisory Mission; and that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7A.46

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.20, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Appreciates the endorsement by the new administration of previous approaches and recommendations to reach the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and welcomes its commitment to its implementation;
  4. Recalls that the timely implementation of the corrective measures defined at the time of inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger is an essential requirement for achieving the DSOCR;
  5. Regrets the very serious delays in the implementation of the recommendations expressed in Decision 38 COM 7A.20 and of the corrective measures referred to above and expresses its very serious concern that this may cause irreparable damage to the property and the attributes that sustain the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  6. Urges the State Party to draw up a strategy, detailed work plans, timeframes and budgets for the full implementation of the corrective measures within a three-year period, with due consideration of the set of recommendations of the 2014 Advisory Mission, and to take all the necessary legal, managerial and budgetary provisions for their implementation and requests it to submit these documents by 1 February 2016 for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  8. Decides to retain the Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Panama) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-15/39.COM/7A and WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: