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World Heritage Convention

Decision 42 COM 7B.36
Precolumbian Chiefdom Settlements with Stone Spheres of the Diquís (Costa Rica) (C 1453)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.3, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Commends the State Party on the progress made in the implementation of its recommendations with regard to the acquisition of land, staffing and educational activities;
  4. Encourages the State Party to pursue its efforts to finalize cooperation agreements with local communities for management purposes, and to develop educational initiatives that highlight the property as a reference for cultural heritage potential in Costa Rica;
  5. Notes with concern, however, delays in the implementation of actions that are essential for the proper management and conservation of the property, in particular the preparation of the Osa Canton Regulatory Plan, the Risk Preparedness and Disaster Management Plans, and management arrangements with the local and indigenous communities;
  6. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, a work plan and timetable for the implementation of its recommendations and to increase the human and financial resources necessary for these actions, and for the broader conservation and management objectives for the property;
  7. Urges the State Party to conclude the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) of the international airport project and to provide it, including a section in the impact of the project on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, as soon as it becomes available;
  8. Notes with concern that the HIA for the El Diquis Hydroelectric Plant has taken a narrow focus and that technical details and visualisations show that, although the dam will be located outside of the Diquís delta, ancillary constructions in the wider setting of the Batambal site would have potentially negative impacts on the landscape context of the chiefdom settlements, and thus on the OUV of the property, and are at odds with the aims of the Management Plan, and therefore also urges the State Party to reconsider the project;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, 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 2020.
Decisions adopted during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee (Manama, 2018)
Context of Decision