1.         Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Chile) (C 1178ter)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2005

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2005-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/5014

Corrective measures identified

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5014

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5014

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1178/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2007-2015)
Total amount approved: USD 135,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1178/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

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)

Previous monitoring missions

May 2007: World Heritage Centre site visit; April 2010: Joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; November 2018: ICOMOS Advisory mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1178/

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:

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 Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

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.

Buffer zone:

(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.

Decision Adopted: 43 COM 8B.52

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Documents WHC/19/43.COM/8B.Add and WHC/19/43.COM/INF.8B1.Add,
  2. Approves the proposed buffer zone for Humberstone and Santa Laura Salpeter Works, Chile.

Decision Adopted: 43 COM 8C.3

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/19/43.COM/7A, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3 and WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3.Corr),
  2. Decides to remove the following properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger:
    • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 43 COM 7A.49)
    • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 43 COM 7A.28)
  3. Recalls that the inscription of a property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, aims to marshal international support to help the State Party effectively address the challenges faced by the property by engaging with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to develop a program of corrective measures to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the property as provided for under Paragraph 183 of the Operational Guidelines.