1.         Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan (Mexico) (C 414)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1987

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/414/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/414/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

Monitoring mission in 2004

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Urban development pressures in areas surrounding the property.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/414/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

The State Party did not submit the design, adoption and implementation of the integrated Archaeological Site Management Plan as requested by the World Heritage Committee in 2005. Over the last two years, the State Party has undertaken several initiatives to update the existing Management Plan that was declared insufficient to address the recommendations of the reactive monitoring mission that took place in from 28 November – 4 December 2004.

The State Party submitted a State of conservation report that clearly stated the background of the problem, however, less detailed information was supplied in relation to the process of social participation within the framework of the management plan, and little information was submitted on the official agreements for territorial planning. A large, general chapter was included to explain the philosophy and the theoretical process followed in developing a management plan in Mexico.

The State Party confirmed its interest in providing a long term framework for the future, updated management plan. No specifications, nor detailed information, were submitted, either in terms of the processes or the methodology applied to enhance the participation process. No detailed information was given concerning the agents/institutions involved in the participatory process, and no calendar of actions or distributions of responsibilities between actors were received. The report mentioned the identification of values in the process of the preparation of the Management Plan, but did not develop the processes that had been followed to arrive at the conclusions made.

The State Party has set up both a planning and a follow up group to establish management priorities for the future Management Plan. The planning group, in charge of the coordination and follow up of the planning process, as well as the organization of the different workshops (research, conservation, legal and technical protection, public visits, administration, etc.) is composed of technical representatives from the Direction of Planning and Management of the national coordination of INAH (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia), the Director of the site and a representative from the regional INAH.

Two planning workshops were organized, one devoted to awareness raising, as a preliminary phase to the participation process, to collectively define the models of organization and participation for the integrated conservation purposes. 38 organizations participated in the workshop, in which preliminary and general priorities were defined. The second was devoted to development projects within the archaeological area. A Protection Campaign was specially designed to face the challenges and risks on days with excessive visitation, such as during the spring equinox, and guidelines for visitors were published in electronic version.

The Campaign was designed to fulfil the following objectives:

a) To elucidate the profiles of visitors to the site,

b) To analyse the social meaning of large-scale visitation,

c) To evaluate the visitors’ perception of the previously foreseen security measures,

d) To analyse the visitors’ perception of new access ways, timetables, new potential itineraries and tourist facilities.

The World Heritage Centre did not receive the final report on the results of the survey. No decision to close the entrance to the Area A, as requested since 1994, has been taken. No news concerning the strategy to reduce the number of itinerant unauthorised vendors in the protected area was given.

As mentioned, within the framework of the preparation of the management plan, the State Party submitted a long introduction, including general information about the geographical or geomorphologic factors affecting the site, as well as on the evolution of landscape and the diachronic advances of the history of the excavations. This report includes a chapter devoted to the juridical framework that mentions the current regulations on protection, site visits, labour contracting, services, as well as a chapter devoted to the historic background of the protection and delimitation of the protected areas of the ZMAT (Zona de Monumentos Arqueologicos de Teotihuacan). The State Party declares the difficulty of coordinated action between local, national and federal authorities, within the framework of the protected areas defined by the ZMAT. The report includes a list of archaeological, social, legal and institutional impacts detected in the ZMAT area that originate from the environment of the area, which have generated various social, political and economic conflicts. In 2000, the population tripled to 70,000 inhabitants, constituting an urgent issue to be dealt with. Estimations state that in 2020 the periphery of the protected perimeter will be occupied. Moreover, the surroundings of the ZMAT area are also affected by the development of the metropolitan area of Mexico City and the Valley of Teotihuacan. In the Regional Plan for National Development, there is no mention of how archaeological sites within these territorial reserves will be protected. Protection Area B registered invasions and no longer functions as an adequate buffer zone. The State Party stated its concern for the demographic growth of the Teotihuacan Valley and the urgency to develop an urban development plan for the valley, in co-ordination with the Ministry of Public Works, all the municipalities implicated and with the Department of technical and legal protection of the archaeological area.

The State Party stated that there is a lack of intersectorial policies to protect heritage properties at the federal level; the development plans did not require the institutional technical advice of archaeologists at national level, and at local level, municipalities continue to grant construction permits without the approval of INAH. No updated information was received on the inter-institutional rules of procedure before issuing permission for construction in the archaeological protected area for possible future major urban developments or single constructions.

Other works were mentioned:

e) Maintenance work: clearing of vegetation from the archaeological monuments and the surroundings against fire risk. The restoration of the archaeological area of San Juan has been undertaken ;

f) Archaeological research works in La Ventilla, mainly focused on laboratory analyses on the archaeological records ;

g) Restoration of the Temple of Quetzalcoaltl, mainly focused on humidity control and the formation of salts.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.127

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.       Recalling Decision 29 COM 7B.91, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3.       Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Committee a detailed progress report of the state of progress of the participation process within the framework of the development of the Management Plan by 30 October 2007, with pertinent information on the institutions and agents involved, as well as the methodology applied in the process;

4.       Invites the State Party to integrate the outcomes of the activities undertaken within the framework of the Awareness Raising Campaign and the tourism planning activities designed for the spring equinox, as a basis for the development of a Public Use Plan of the property, and to take into consideration these aspects in the preparation of the Management Plan;

5.       Expresses its concern at the apparent uncontrolled urban development in and around the protected area and urges the State Party to set up an intersectorial working group at local, federal and national levels to analyze the archaeological, environmental and social impacts related to uncontrolled urban development, as well as the developments in the Valley of Teotihuacan;

6.       Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a progress report on the urban development plan for the Valley, as well as on the progress in the preparation of the Management Plan by 1 February 2008 for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.