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World Heritage Convention

Decision 43 COM 7B.99
Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena (Colombia) (C 285)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.98 adopted at its 36th session (Saint Petersburg, 2012),
  3. Expresses its appreciation to the State Party for the invitation of an ICOMOS Advisory mission to the property in December 2017 to advise local and national authorities on important topics related to the property’s conservation and management, and commends the State Party on the actions undertaken since to implement the mission’s recommendations, and the collaboration between the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Cartagena in this regard;
  4. Requests the State Party to continue facilitating mechanisms to support channels of communication and agreement among the national and local authorities responsible for the management of the property, to clarify management competencies and to continue strengthening the capacity of local authorities, particularly the Institute of Heritage and Culture of Cartagena (IPCC);
  5. Takes note of the finalization and approval of the Special Management and Protection Plan (PEMP) for the Walled Enclosure and San Felipe Castle in March 2018, and also requests that its implementation phase begin without delay;
  6. Regrets that the finalization and approval of the other two PEMPs envisaged for the property, as well as the delimitation of the property’s boundaries and establishment of buffer zones, have not yet been completed, despite repeated requests from the Committee since 2008;
  7. Further requests the State Party to address the concerns of gentrification and changing social dynamics, public access to the property, and social appropriation of heritage in the corresponding PEMPs under development for the property, in order to protect its integrity and authenticity in light of continuing tourism and development pressures;
  8. Urges the State Party to finalize and approve the PEMPs for the Historic Centre and for the Fortifications and Structures of the Bay as matters of utmost priority, taking into consideration the 2017 mission’s recommendations, and to provide an electronic copy of the finalized plans for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit a Minor Boundary Modification in accordance with Paragraphs 163-164 of the Operational Guidelines to clarify the limits of the property as follow up to the Retrospective Inventory process and to establish buffer zones, immediately following the completion and approval of the PEMPs for the property;
  10. Expresses its strong concern, in line with the assessment of the 2017 ICOMOS Advisory mission, regarding the impact of the Aquarela project on the values that sustain the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and also takes note of the National Council for Cultural Heritage’s similar conclusion in this regard;
  11. Also urges the State Party to ensure that further construction of the project does not proceed, to finalize the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) of the Aquarela project in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties, with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the project on the property’s OUV, and to strongly consider the demolition of the existing building as a mitigation measure;
  12. Requests moreover the State Party to complete its study and evaluation of the Hotel Santa Catalina project and to issue recommendations for mitigation measures to address any identified impacts on the OUV of the property;
  13. Requests in addition the State Party to implement fully the recommendations of the 2017 ICOMOS Advisory mission, with particular attention to management effectiveness and management structures, and conservation action plans, including the preparation of a Conservation Plan for the Historic Centre of Cartagena;
  14. Finally 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 45th session in 2021.
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision