State of Conservation
Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
- Management systems/ management plan
- Other Threats:
Extremely fragile nature of the industrial buildings that were constructed using local materials such as timber for frames, corrugated iron sheets for roofs and some walls, in addition to stucco and lightweight construction; Lack of maintenance over the past 40 years; Corrosion of metal cladding and dismantlement of some of the structural elements. A few buildings such as the Leaching House are liable to structural collapse if no support is given
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Extremely fragile nature of the industrial buildings that were constructed using local materials such as timber for frames, corrugated iron sheets for roofs and some walls, in addition to stucco and lightweight construction
- Lack of maintenance over the past 40 years as well as vandalism at the property
- Corrosion of metal cladding and dismantlement of some of the structural elements
- A few buildings such as the Leaching House are liable to structural collapse if no support is given
- Damage caused by earthquakes and the wind (damages due to the 2014 earthquake addressed)
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
Extremely fragile nature of the industrial buildings
Lack of maintenance for 40 years
Vandalism due to looting of re-usable materials
Damage caused by the wind
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 3
Total amount approved : 135,000 USD
|2015||Post Earthquake 2014 Emergency Assistance for ... (Approved)||75,000 USD|
|2012||International Expert Meeting - Conservation of Wood ... (Approved)||30,000 USD|
|2007||Protection and consolidation of the Humberstone and ... (Approved)||30,000 USD|
Missions to the property until 2017**
October 2004: ICOMOS evaluation mission; May 2007: World Heritage Centre site visit; April 2010: Joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission
|2007||WHC Mission Report, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works, 19 - 20 March 2007|
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017
On 30 January 2017, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1178/documents/, in which the State Party confirms that the corrective measures are expected to be completed by December 2018 and informs the following:
- The Management Plan 2013-2018 is fully operational;
- Financing was obtained for executing 11 of the 15 interventions that are still to be completed in the Priority Intervention Programme;
- Four infrastructural works have been completed (water, electricity and fences around the Humberstone and Santa Laura components);
- The International Assistance project “Post-Earthquake 2014 Emergency Assistance for Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works, Chile” was concluded. In total, a survey was conducted on 39 properties and a general plan was prepared for the maintenance, safety, shoring up and reinforcement of structures. 6 proposals for intervention were designed and 2 were executed;
- Considerable progress was made with the Conservation Plan, especially regarding a cooperation agreement initiated with Mexico aimed at strengthening the technical capacities of institutions linked to World Heritage in both countries and development of conservation and monitoring plans;
- Safety measures and surveillance were maintained and the site is now completely fenced off with only one entrance to both saltpeter works;
- Drainage works in Humberstone were built;
- A Dissemination Campaign is being executed with seminars, workshops, exhibitions and special newspapers.
Regarding the definition and protection of the property and the buffer zone, studies on the Zoning Plan of the Municipality Pozo Almonte (the administrative territory where the site is located) showed that this protection cannot be achieved under the Urban Development and Construction Act. Alternative legal models will have to be identified.
As to the creation of the Ministry of Culture, this was approved by the Lower House in August 2016. It is expected that the Senate will give its approval this year.
Finally, in 2016 the “National Center for World Heritage Sites” (NCWHS) began to function within the recently created Assistant National Board for Managing Heritage of the Board of Libraries, Archives and Museums (DIBAM). This NCWHS is to encourage a coordinated management, conservation and dissemination of the World Heritage Sites, in close cooperation with the National Monuments Council (NMC). It currently has five professionals of different disciplines with wide experience dealing with heritage and its management (including a specialist on management devoted to the Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works).
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017
The report of the State Party is very encouraging and the information that is given confirms that the 10 corrective measures, adopted in 2013 to be implemented within five years, may indeed be concluded by the end of 2018:
i) Priority Intervention Programme: Of the 28 interventions, 13 have been completed, 11 are under execution and are pending. The infrastructural works have been completed;
ii) Conservation Plan: Progress is underway as planned;
iii) Security and Protection: All measures have been taken and are under continuous implementation. Permanent security staff and the fencing of the property and access control through one single entrance should be recognized as important steps;
iv) Management Plan and Management System: The plan for 2014-2018 is under full implementation and a qualified management team is in place that consists of 30 persons, including managers, specialized personnel, security staff, etc.;
v) Management Plan articulated with local and regional planning instruments: Coordination with local authorities is established, but more detailed information on this matter would be welcomed;
vi) and vii) Sustained human, material and financial resources and stable contribution by the State: A national programme for Chilean World Heritage sites has been initiated that will provide continuity in the government´s policy towards the conservation and management of the sites and will ensure a permanent programme of investments;
viii) Visitor Security Measures: Several measures were reported in earlier reports. A Risk Management Plan is now under preparation in cooperation with the Federico Santa Maria University;
viii) Visitor Strategy and Interpretation Plan: An interpretation plan was developed in 2012-2013 and in addition audio-guided tours are now available for visitors. An assessment of interpretation and presentation was commissioned late 2016 and its results will become available in 2017;
ix) Site’s facilities and activities contribute to the conservation and protection: The Saltpeter Museum Corporation generates its own funds from donations, ticket sales etc. for an amount of USD 540,000 in 2016;
(x) Buffer zone: New legal models need to be explored for the protection of the buffer zones. This remains one of the main pending issues to be resolved.
It is recommended that the Committee acknowledge the progress made in the implementation of the corrective measures and that it request the State Party to continue their implementation with a particular attention to the matter of the definition and protection of the buffer zone.
It is also recommended that the Committee request the State Party to structure its next report according to the 10 corrective measures scheduled for the five-year period 2014-2018 and with reference to the set of indicators identified in Decision 37 COM 7A.37. This will assist the State Party and the Committee to more precisely assess the progress made in the achievement of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR).
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
Draft Decision: 41 COM 7A.24
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A,
- Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.2, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
- Acknowledges the information provided by the State Party and congratulates the State Party for the progress made in the implementation of the programme of corrective measures;
- Welcomes the progress made in the creation of the Ministry of Culture of Chile and the establishment of the “National Center for World Heritage Sites”;
- Invites the State Party to continue the implementation of the corrective measures so that the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) may be achieved by the end of 2018, as scheduled;
- Requests the State Party to pay particular attention to the establishment of a buffer zone and the definition of regulatory measures to ensure its protection;
- Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property, addressing in detail the five-year programme of corrective measures 2014-2018 and the indicators as included in Decision 37 COM 7A.37, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018;
- Decides to retain Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Chile) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).