The World Heritage Centre received a state of conservation report on 2 February 2010. The report provides a brief summary of the property and responses to the World Heritage Committee’s decisions at its 32nd (Quebec City, 2008) and 33rd (Seville, 2009) sessions.
a) Buffer zone
The State Party reports that actions have been undertaken to declare the Chilina valley and its prehispanic terraces as a protected area. Actions include the development of the declaration files one to recognise the area as an environmental reserve and a second one geared toward the recognition as an archaeological landscape. This measure will help aid in the inclusion of the Valley as part of the buffer zone for the historic centre.
The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS welcome the step taken towards enhancing the conservation of the historic centre and its setting when first reported. It is important to finalise the process to establish the legislative framework so that regulatory measures can be fully operational to address pressing concerns at the area.
b) Strengthening of institutional frameworks
The report provides the background on the process that has been implemented to set management arrangements and the current responsibilities and governance for the property. The State Party reports that the Management Plan and the Master Plan for the historic centre have been finalized and over 56 projects have been implemented for the conservation of historic buildings and public spaces. The Plans have not been submitted and is not clear when they have been officially adopted. In addition, several regulatory instruments have been discussed at the municipal level to support protection of heritage places. Notwithstanding, there are still challenges that need to be faced including real estate speculation and limited awareness in some sectors about the importance of historic buildings. The existing arrangements have promoted a management model that includes broad participation and open and transparent decision-making processes. Nevertheless it is not clear if there is secure funding for staff and to implement future activities.
The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS take note of the progress made by the State Party in regard to the institutional arrangements; they encourage it to continue its work towards securing the financial, technical and human resources to effectively operate.
c) Regulatory measures for the protection of the property and the control of demolitions
The State Party reports that no significant demolitions occurred in 2009, only minor occurrences were reported and this affected elements with no architectural values. It also reports that these derived in sanctions to infringers of regulatory measures currently in place. They report that these sanctioning processes have diminished in relation to 2008. Progress can be attributed to actions implemented at all levels to raise awareness on the significance of the place and with direct action with property owners to promote conservation.
The Management Unit of the Municipality in coordination with the INC (Instituto Nacional de Cultura), has launched a proactive inventory process to register 150 heritage buildings currently unregistered which reinforces the already existing Law 28296, demanding owners to register their historic properties at the INC.
The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies take note of the information provided and reiterate the importance of having adequate capacity to respond to the number of interventions that occur at the property. They also encourage the State Party to continue its efforts on awareness raising as means to enhancing social responsibility in the conservation of the property.
d) Risk Preparedness Plan
The state of conservation report includes a revised draft of the initial proposal for a Risk Management Plan which includes a preliminary risk map that identifies vulnerable areas. Advances have been made in relation to the elaboration of the diagnosis of the threats to archaeological heritage.
The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies acknowledge progress made but reiterate their concern that this plan has not been finalised, as requested since 2003 by the World Heritage Committee, in light of the vulnerability of the property.
e) Statement of Outstanding Universal Value
In the framework of the Periodic Reporting exercise for the Region, the “Workshop on the preparation Retrospective Inventory, retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value of the properties included on the World Heritage List and an introduction to the Second Cycle of the Periodic Reporting for the Latin America and Caribbean Region” took place in November 2009 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The focal point for Arequipa participated and was trained on how to produce the retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value which should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre by 31 July 2010.
f) Other issues: Construction of the Chilina Bridge
In March 2009 the UNESCO office in Lima received information concerning the project to build a bridge that would affect the Chilina valley and the property. Information highlighted the concerns about the project, including the lack of provisions for articulating other transportation concerns, its lack of integration in urban development plans and lack of technical studies, in particular the Environmental Impact Assessment and the impact on areas already identified as threatened by the Reactive Monitoring mission carried out in 2008. This was also underscored in light of the Chilina Valley being declared as a protected area for the conservation of the Yanahuara, Cayma and Cerro Colorado. Subsequent information submitted to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies indicated that in July 2009 it was decided by the Regional Government to reformulate the project and to create a technical commission to articulate it to provisions made in the urban development plan. However, the location of the bridge itself was not put under question.
On 13 July and in September 2009, the World Heritage Centre requested to the State Party additional technical information on the construction of the Chilina Bridge. The State Party submitted the requested information consisting of technical plans and projects for the bridge and the Environmental Impact Assessment commissioned by the Regional Government of Arequipa and carried out by SGM Ingenieros EIRL that were received by the World Heritage Centre in October 2009. The latter however only focuses on the Chilina Bridge, one of the components of the large scale development of infrastructure and does not include a comprehensive impact assessment on the landscape qualities which are currently intended to be protected as an essential component that sustains the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.
The National Institute of Culture in Arequipa considered the project would affect agricultural areas in the district of Cerro Colorado and the andenes (prehispanic terraces) eand landscapes of the Chilina valley in the districts of Yanahuara and Cayma, which are considered cultural heritage and contradict the efforts made by the Municipality of Arequipa started work to delimit and declare the Chilina Valley as an environmental reserve and as national cultural heritage to deter further urban development.
In 22 March 2010, the World Heritage Centre requested additional information to the State Party as the project appears to have been modified. Upon receipt of the demanded information, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies will evaluate it to ascertain the potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value, the integrity and authenticity of the property.
To conclude, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies recognise the efforts made by the State Party in establishing functioning institutional arrangements and in strengthening legislative and regulatory frameworks. Demolitions in the protected area continue even if they have decreased, the insufficiency of resources to comprehensively address issues at the property is a concern. They also reiterate the pressing need to finalise and put in place a comprehensive disaster preparedness plan that will need to take into account different vulnerability factors.
The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies also underscore the potential threat that projected infrastructure works could entail for the property. No clear advances on other recommendations of the 2008 reactive monitoring mission regarding traffic solutions, the creation of a World Heritage working group, and the submission of an International Assistance request for developing a community participation programme based on the progress of Los Tambos project.