The State Party submitted its state of conservation report on the property to the World Heritage Centre on 23 April 2008. In response to the request made by the World Heritage Committee (Decision 31 COM 7A.31), a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS mission was carried out in May 2008. The objectives of the mission were to asses the state of conservation of the property, to define corrective measures and benchmarks in view of removing the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. Additionally, the mission assessed the implementation of recommendations by prior monitoring missions.
The mission report recognizes the efforts made by the State Party to improve the state of conservation of the World Heritage Property and to respond to the decisions of the World Heritage Committee, as confirmed by:
a) The implementation of the endowment of USD 32 million for the implementation of emergency measures at the property;
b) The state of progress in the actions foreseen by the PLINCODE (Plan Integral de Conservación y Desarrollo para Coro y La Vela);
c) The technical tasks undertaken by the OTAE (Oficina de Atención a la Emergencia) in addressing the most urgent problems, as well as the resources allocated to the implementation of projects that cease the main causes of decay;
d) The implementation of financing systems for built heritage in public and private properties, and undertaking the structural consolidation of 147 buildings in the core and buffer zones of the property;
e) The finalization of major interventions in 23 buildings and the rehabilitation of the Iglesia Catedral de Coro;
f) The completion of the new integrated drainage system in Coro, and 85% completion in La Vela. The effectiveness of these projects can only be assessed definitively once the system is tested in response to natural conditions;
g) The advance of research applied to the conservation of traditional earthen constructions affected by termites;
h) The use of traditional mortars and pigments, in accordance with vernacular procedures.
a) The preparation and implementation of a participatory plan in conjunction with civil society and artisans to identify the values of the core and buffer zones of the property, in view of including this vision in the PLINCODE;
b) A campaign to enhance the technical and social role of the earthen artisans of the property, with the published results entitled, “Casas de Barro, Historias de Vida” (Houses of Earth, History of Lives), in order to improve the knowledge and awareness of the benefit of vernacular architectures among citizens. The activity has been financed by the Spanish Funds-in-Trust;
c) The priority projects have been implemented in spite of the social, political and economic costs of more visible projects;
d) The restriction of vehicle traffic throughout the Coro historic district;
e) Training policies have been reinforced by the National University Francisco Miranda and the Escuela Taller of the Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional (AECI);
f) A GIS database has been finalized for inventories and cadastral registration.
In December 2007, the Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural (IPC) organized a technical meeting involving international experts and representatives of ICOMOS of the Latin America and Caribbean Region. The meeting provided a forum to exchange views on the implementation of PLINCODE, identify common issues to be addressed regionally and generated recommendations for future action in conservation efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean, in accordance with the ongoing interventions which started in Coro and La Vela.
The 2008 mission underlined the important role played by the IPC, which has assumed a dynamic and essential mandate in linking the different governmental levels and in coordinating the diverse actions at the property, within the framework of an agreement with the municipalities of Miranda and Colina, the State of Falcon and Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA).
Several benchmarks have yet to be reached: The PLINCODE has not been approved by the President of the Republic of Venezuela in order to officially set up the management structure to supersede what exists today. The State Party has planned to set up a Foundation to ensure the technical coordination of the ongoing intervention, the sustainable fundraising to implement the foreseen action of the PLINCODE and the financial support for conservation and management needs in the medium and long term.
The PLINCODE needs to be further developed through the inclusion of standardized and prioritized conservation plans for specific programmes and projects in which there is a clear definition of intervention criteria, methodology for execution as well as monitoring mechanisms for effective and adequate implementation. In this regard the elaboration of specific directives for the protection of the Colina area is a matter of urgency.