State of Conservation
Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
- 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
- Management systems/management plan
- 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
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2019
Total amount granted: USD 30 000 for the development of Risk Management Plans in Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works, Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso and Rapa Nui National Park financed by the German Foreign Office in 2018 (currently under implementation)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2019
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 2019**
May 2007: World Heritage Centre site visit; April 2010: Joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; November 2018: ICOMOS Advisory mission
|2018||Report of the ICOMOS Advisory mission to Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Chile) (1178bis), 4-10 ...|
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019
On the initiative of the World Heritage Centre, an ICOMOS Advisory mission visited the property in November 2018. Subsequently, on 1 February 2019, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation. Both reports are available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1178/documents/. The State Party’s report provides an extensive assessment of the implementation of the corrective measures and indicators, and the achievement of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), which were adopted in Decision 37 COM 7A.37as follows:
- The Priority Intervention Programme (PIP) was initiated in 2005 to provide emergency structural stability to vulnerable buildings and structures of high heritage value. Its execution was delayed due to a number of earthquakes in the country and was rescheduled in 2015. Out of a total of 33 interventions, 32 have been completed and one final work (Santa Laura Foundry) will be completed in 2019;
- The Conservation Plan was developed over the past number of years on the basis of extensive research and concrete experiences. It includes a conservation strategy and was finalized and adopted in 2018;
- Day and night security personnel and a closed circuit television system are in place, site limits are protected by fences, a by-pass was constructed to eliminate traffic through the property, and visitor security measures were implemented. Additionally, progress has been made to develop a Risk Management Plan through the implementation of a project financed by the German Foreign Office;
- The Management Plan 2013-2018 is fully operational and is articulated with local and regional planning instruments, particularly the Tarapacá Regional Heritage Board. It will be updated in 2019;
- A stable management staff and work team are in place. The budget is composed of income generated at the property itself and a state budget permanently allocated under the new “World Heritage Sites” programme, among other sources;
- In terms of visitor strategy and interpretation, a Heritage Interpretation Strategic Plan was prepared in 2012 and has been fully implemented, culminating in the inauguration of the Interpretation Centre of El Salitre in February 2018;
- The buffer zone was defined and protected as a ‘Typical Zone’ under national law, and intervention guidelines were approved. The State Party subsequently submitted a Minor Boundary Modification to the World Heritage Centre on 1 February 2019.
On the basis of this assessment, the State Party formally requests the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2019
The recommendations of the 2018 ICOMOS Advisory mission to the property are addressed in the State Party’s report. Based on the reports of both the Advisory mission and the State Party, the following can be concluded regarding the implementation of the corrective measures to ensure the achievement of the DSOCR:
Stability, authenticity, integrity, safety, and security:
(i) Full implementation of the PIP, according to its 2005 and 2008 definitions
The PIP started in 2005. By the end of 2018, 32 of the 33 projects had been concluded satisfactorily. The last intervention in the Santa Laura Foundry will be completed in 2019.
(ii) Full design and initial implementation of the comprehensive conservation plan, based on the necessary scientific research, a clear conservation strategy, and the appropriate safety and security standards
Over the past years, extensive diagnosis and scientific research have been undertaken and experimentally applied on various components and materials. On the basis of these experiments and a 2012 international expert meeting, the Conservation Plan was elaborated with its corresponding strategy for implementation. The 2018 mission reviewed the draft Plan and provided advice that was incorporated into its final version. Security measures for visitors, a fire prevention system and safety training of personnel were implemented. The development of a Risk Management Plan also began as an additional optional measure upon the initiative of the State Party.
(iii) Security and protection measures for the site fully operational
The property and its buffer zone are entirely fenced, and are adequately patrolled and protected. 24-hour surveillance is in place. Safety for visitors is ensured by signs, barriers and security systems.
Management system and plan:
(iv) Sustained implementation of the management plan and fully operational management system in place
The Saltpeter Museum Corporation (SMC) is the owner and manager of the property. The 2013-2018 Management Plan was effectively implemented and an updated Plan for 2019-2023 is under preparation. The Plan ensures the protection and conservation of the property, allows joint decisions to be made with the social, political and administrative actors related to the property, and promotes its sustainable use and social appropriation.
(v) Management plan articulated with local and regional planning instruments
The SMC interacts effectively with national, regional and local authorities and the community, including the Municipality of Pozo Almonte, the Regional Government of Tarapacá, the National Service of Cultural Heritage, and other private and public institutions.
(vi) Appropriate and sustained human, financial and material resources for the conservation and management of the property secured
There is a stable work team, comprising qualified staff in professional, technical and administrative levels, totalling approximately 30 people. Sustained funding has been secured from donations, income generated on-site (mainly ticket sales), and from the state budget. Strategies are being explored to increase revenue from the property.
(vii) Stable and continuous contribution by the State for the conservation and management of the property, in a framework of shared funding (public / private)
The State Party provides stable funding under its state budget, including through the specific and permanent “World Heritage Sites” programme allocation.
Presentation of the property:
(viii) Visitor strategy and interpretation plan fully in place
A Heritage Interpretation Strategic Plan was adopted in 2012 and has been successfully implemented. Interpretation and presentation of the property includes visitation circuits, benches and rest areas, traffic signage on adjacent roads, information leaflets, audio guides, thematic rooms and exhibitions, and an interpretation centre that was inaugurated in 2018.
(ix) Site’s facilities and activities contribute to the conservation and protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property
The State Party and the SMC have designed and implemented all priority programmes, planning and management instruments, and other actions with the objective to preserve the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. Several facilities for visitors such as the pulpería, the office shop, the thematic rooms on daily life, and the imminent opening of the documentation centre and a second interpretation centre at the Administrator House in Santa Laura, ensure the transmission of the OUV and the comprehension of the saltpeter era and mining processes.
(x) Buffer zone fully established and approved and regulatory measures for its protection adopted and enforced
The buffer zone was established as a ‘Typical Zone’ under national legislation and intervention guidelines have been established. The buffer zone includes all elements and traces that are integral to the understanding of the property, including ancient habitation camps, remains of mining exploitation, railroads, trails and the natural landscape. The Minor Boundary Modification submitted by the State Party will be examined by the World Heritage Committee under Item 8 of the Agenda (Document WHC/19/43.COM/8B).
It is concluded that all measures and actions defined in Decision 37 COM 7A.37 have been satisfactorily addressed. It is recommended that the Committee congratulate the State Party for this sustained effort over a period of almost fifteen years, and that the property be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The 2018 mission issued a number of recommendations to the State Party, particularly regarding the preparation of the new Integrated and Participatory Management Plan 2019-2023, and ongoing preventative conservation actions to protect the property from known vulnerabilities. The State Party should be advised to take these recommendations into account, and a final report on the preparation of the new Management Plan should be requested.
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
Draft Decision: 43 COM 7A.49
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A,
- Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.9, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
- Takes note of the state of conservation report submitted by the State Party and the conclusions of the 2018 ICOMOS Advisory mission;
- Warmly congratulates the State Party for its sustained effort, over a period of almost fifteen years, to implement the very comprehensive set of corrective measures;
- Considers that the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), as defined by Decision 37 COM 7A.37, has been satisfactorily achieved, particularly in areas of conservation interventions, the adoption of a Conservation Plan and conservation strategy, effective management arrangements and the implementation of a Management Plan, protection and security measures for the site and visitors, site interpretation, and the identification and effective protection of the buffer zone;
- Recommends the State Party to take into account the recommendations of the 2018 mission, in particular regarding the preparation of the updated Management Plan for 2019-2023 and ongoing preventative conservation actions;
- Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2021;
- Decides to remove Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Chile) from 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”).