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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7B.113
Precolumbian Chiefdom Settlements with Stone Spheres of the Diquís (Costa Rica) (C 1453)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7B.65 adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Commends the State Party for continuing the activities related to heritage education and participatory management mechanisms with youth, local communities and indigenous groups despite the restrictions derived from the COVID-19 pandemic, and encourages the continuation of these initiatives;
  4. Takes note that the cooperative project with the University of Costa Rica for joint management activities with some of the communities near the sites could not be executed on the established timeframe and requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed, should the project be resumed;
  5. Takes note with satisfaction that the activities related to interpretation and signage of the property have continued and that four spheres located in the Finca 6 archaeological monument were restored;
  6. Also takes note that the regulation of the buffer zone remains pending, and that the risk management plan is not finished yet, and also requests the State Party to reach an agreement among the relevant parties and stakeholders and to keep the World Heritage Centre informed about the outcomes of these projects;
  7. Welcomes that the High-Level Commission to ensure the adequate protection of the property has met several times, and also encourages the State Party to reach the establishment of a consolidated and multidisciplinary management unit for the property;
  8. Further takes note that the feasibility of the Southern International Airport project is still pending and that the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), to be conducted in line with the Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context, has not yet been carried out, and takes note furthermore that the hydroelectrical project remains indefinitely suspended;
  9. Further requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of any changes in the status of these two projects, and to submit any relevant documentation and studies undertaken, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  10. Requests furthermore the State Party to provide further information on the nature, scale of the upgrading of the Palmar Sur regional airport located in close proximity to three of the property’s archaeological sites, in order to determine any possible impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  11. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2024, 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 47th session.
Context of Decision