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Maya Site of Copan

Honduras
Factors affecting the property in 2013*
  • Air transport infrastructure
  • High impact research / monitoring activities
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Deterioration of construction materials due to natural decay phenomena

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • The foreseen construction of an airport in the vicinity of the World Heritage property in a national protected area;
  • Deterioration of construction materials due to natural decay phenomena;
  • Risk of structural failure of archaeological complexes resulting from tunnels excavated  for archaeological purposes;
  • Deterioration derived from uncontrolled visitation and potential to exceed carrying capacity at specific time periods;
  • Legal issues concerning the ownership of the land in the property and its buffer zone and the delimitation of the property and its buffer zone.
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2013
Requests approved: 11 (from 1979-1999)
Total amount approved : 226,513 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

A report on the state of conservation of the property was submitted on 31 January 2013. The report also includes several annexes related to the visitor carrying capacity study for the property and several reports that had already been submitted in previous state of conservation reports pertaining to Rio Amarillo archaeological site, the hieroglyphic stairway, etc. 

The State Party submitted a draft proposal for minor modification of the boundaries of the property and the World Heritage Centre informed the State Party of the complete requirements and related required cartography. The final proposal has not been submitted yet.

a)  Construction of the Rio Amarillo Aerodrome

The State Party reports that the Environmental Impact Assessment for the project that was developed by ASP Consultants, and included a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), was considered satisfactory and has been accepted by the national authorities. It is not clear from the information provided if this study was updated as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) and if the HIA considered the guidance developed by ICOMOS for such assessments. The State Party indicates that the operation license for the project has been granted and that the contract between the Honduran Institute of Tourism and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for the implementation of environmental impact mitigation measures has been signed. It also reports that provisions of the Management and Public Use Plan for the Rio Amarillo Archaeological Park include mitigation measures for archaeological components which compensate the development in the area.  Concerning the updating of the Management and Public Use Plan of the Archaeological zone of Copan to respond to potential impacts derived from the construction of the aerodrome, the visitor carrying capacity study was carried out. The preliminary report including an assessment of the existing management system and current public use issues as well as the potential methodology to be used to assess carrying capacity, was provided in the annexes. The study will be completed by 2014.

b)  Conservation strategy for the tunnels and conservation guidelines for interventions

The State Party considers that the overall strategy for the tunnels and the preservation guidelines are based on the permanent monitoring implemented by staff at the property. Results of this monitoring have been used as the basis for decision-making. The report also notes interventions that have already been implemented, such as exchanging yellow lights for white ones in order to promote conditions that discourage decay of the property. Waterproofing the surface of the Acropolis is also foreseen to mitigate water filtration and prevent the risk of collapse from saturation.

c)  Management Plan

The State Party reports that a contract was signed in October 2012 for the development of a Public Use Plan in addition to the review and update of the Management Plan. It is expected that the conservation strategy for the tunnels and preservation guidelines for interventions, as well as the definition of zones with appropriate regulatory measures, will be developed in the context of this process. It is also noted that once the Public Use Plan and Management Plan are completed, they will be integrated with planning tools at the territorial level, in conjunction with regional development strategies

The plan should be completed by 2013. However, as noted before, the carrying capacity study will be finalised in 2014, therefore it is unclear how these results will be integrated in the provisions for the Public Use Plan.

d)  Protective shelter for the Hieroglyphic Stairway

The State Party reports that the analysis from the “sails” design prototype is on-going and that final report will be made available in mid-2014. No plans have been made yet to replace the existing protective shelter.

e)  Other issues

 

The State Party also reports that extensive repairs are needed for the Visitor Centre which will involve the creation and implementation of an area for cultural interpretation. Other actions will include the improvement of trails, holding awareness raising workshops, training of guides and the implementation of the interpretation plan.  

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2013

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies take note of the actions being implemented at the property and the decision made by the State Party to proceed with the construction of the Aerodrome at Rio Amarillo. Given the significant issues that are expected to be addressed through the review and updating of the management plan, they recommend that the Committee urge the State Party to complete the updating process in a timely manner. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2013
37 COM 7B.99
Maya Site of Copan (Honduras) (C 129)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.100 , adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Takes note of the information provided concerning the actions being implemented for the conservation of the property, and the decision made by the State Party to proceed with the construction of the aerodrome at Rio Amarillo and requests the State Party to ensure that the construction of the runway be limited to 1200 meters in order to avoid any possible impacts on the Archaeological site of Piedras Negras;

4.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for review the complete cartographic information for the buffer zone of the property in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory;

5.  Reiterates its request to the State Party to update the Environmental Impact Assessment and carry out a Heritage Impact Assessment in conformity with ICOMOS guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage Properties;

6.  Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies by 1 May 2014 three printed copies in addition to an electronic copy of the updated Management Plan for the property, which should include:

a)  Zoning and regulatory measures for the different use zones, and measures taken for a coherent territorial planning, accompanied by adequate cartographic material,

b)  Public use provisions based on the results from the carrying capacity study, including detailed information on appropriate measures to ensure that no impacts occur as a result of the increased touristic visitation,

c)  Guidelines for conservation and restoration interventions, in particular concerning tunnels, as well as an action plan that includes a monitoring system for their conservation and maintenance,

d)  Final prototype of the protective shelter for the Hieroglyphic Stairs for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

7.  Requests furthermore that the State Party submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015 , 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 39th session in 2015. 

37 COM 8E
Adoption of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value
The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Documents WHC-13/37.COM/8E and WHC-13/37.COM/8E.Add,

2.  Congratulates States Parties for the excellent work accomplished in the elaboration of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in their territories;

3.  Adopts the retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, as presented in the Annex of Document WHC-13/37.COM/8E, for the following World Heritage properties:

  • Andorra: Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley;
  • Argentina: Cueva de las Manos, Río Pinturas; Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba; Quebrada de Humahuaca; Iguazu National Park;
  • Australia: Shark Bay, Western Australia; Greater Blue Mountains Area; Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens; Willandra Lakes Region; Kakadu National Park;
  • Austria / Hungary: Fertö / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape;
  • Bangladesh: The Sundarbans; Ruins of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur;
  • Belgium : La Grand-Place, Brussels;
  • Belgium / France: Belfries of Belgium and France;
  • Bolivia: Fuerte de Samaipata; Tiwanaku: Spiritual and Political Centre of the Tiwanaku Culture; Historic City of Sucre; Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos;
  • Brazil: Serra da Capivara National Park;
  • Chile: Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works; Rapa Nui National Park; Churches of Chiloé; Sewell Mining Town; Historic quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaiso;
  • China: Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area; Mount Huangshan; Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples, Chengde; Ancient City of Ping Yao; Classical Gardens of Suzhou; Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in Beijing; Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui – Xidi and Hongcun; Longmen Grottoes; Yungang Grottoes; Yin Xu; Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties; Historic center of Macao; Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor;
  • Colombia: Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena; Historic Centre of Santa Cruz de Mompox; San Agustín Archaeological Park; National Archeological Park of Tierradentro;
  • Costa Rica: Area de Conservación Guanacaste;
  • Cuba: Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios; Desembarco del Granma National Park; Alejandro de Humboldt National Park; Old Havana;
  • Cyprus: Choirokoitia; Painted Churches in the Troodos Region;
  • Denmark: Kronborg Castle;
  • Ecuador: City of Quito; Historic Centre of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca; Galápagos Islands;
  • El Salvador: Joya de Cerén Archaeological Site;
  • Ethiopia: Aksum; Fasil Ghebbi;
  • Finland / Sweden: High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago;
  • Guatemala: Archeological Park and Ruins of Quirigua; Antigua Guatemala;
  • Germany: Classical Weimar; Messel Pit Fossil Site; Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier; Aachen Cathedral; Cologne Cathedral; Hanseatic City of Lübeck; Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar; Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin; Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof; Speyer Cathedral; Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen; Town of Bamberg;
  • Greece: Mount Athos;
  • Honduras: Maya Site of Copan;
  • Hungary: Old Village of Hollókő and its Surroundings; Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its Natural Environment; Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs (Sopianae); Tokaj Wine Region Historic Cultural Landscape; Hortobágy National Park - the Puszta; Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue;
  • Hungary / Slovakia: Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst;
  • India: Sun Temple, Konârak; Group of Monuments at Hampi; Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya; Elephanta Caves; Great Living Chola Temples; Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus); Mountain Railways of India;
  • Indonesia: Ujung Kulon National Park; Komodo National Park; Lorentz National Park; Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra; Sangiran Early Man Site;
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of): Pasargadae; Takht-e Soleyman;
  • Ireland: Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne;
  • Italy: Venice and its Lagoon;
  • Japan: Yakushima; Shirakami-Sanchi; Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area; Shiretoko; Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities); Shrines and Temples of Nikko; Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range; Itsukushima Shinto Shrine; Himeji-jo;
  • Latvia: Historic Centre of Riga;
  • Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Town of Luang Prabang;
  • Lithuania: Vilnius Historic Centre;
  • Luxembourg: City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications;
  • Malaysia: Kinabalu Park;
  • Mauritius: Aapravasi Ghat;
  • Mexico: Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan; Historic Centre of Morelia; Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the Slopes of Popocatepetl; Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro; Historic Fortified Town of Campeche; Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda of Querétaro; Agave Landscape and the Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila; Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino; Ancient Maya City of Calakmul, Campeche; Archaeological Monuments Zone of Xochicalco; Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan; Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza; Historic Centre of Zacatecas; Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán; Sian Ka’an; Luis Barragán House and Studio; Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco; Archaeological Zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes; Historic Centre of Puebla; Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines; Pre-hispanic town of Uxmal; Hospicio Cabañas, Guadalajara; Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California; Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco; Pre-Hispanic City and National Park of Palenque; El Tajin, Pre-Hispanic City;
  • Netherlands: Ir.D.F. Woudagemaal (D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station); Schokland and Surroundings; Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder); Rietveld Schröderhuis (Rietveld Schröder House);
  • Nicaragua: Ruins of León Viejo;
  • Nigeria: Sukur Cultural Landscape;
  • Norway: Rock Art of Alta; Urnes Stave Church; Bryggen;
  • Oman: Archaeological Sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn;
  • Pakistan: Taxila; Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta; Rohtas Fort; Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol;
  • Panama: Darien National Park; Archaeological Site of Panamá Viejo and Historic District of Panamá;
  • Paraguay: Jesuit Missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue;
  • Peru: City of Cuzco; Chavin (Archaeological Site); Historic Centre of Lima; Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu;
  • Philippines: Historic town of Vigan;
  • South Africa: uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park;
  • Switzerland: Abbey of St Gall; Benedictine Convent of St John at Müstair; Old City of Berne; Three Castles, Defensive Wall and Ramparts of the Market-Town of Bellinzona;
  • Thailand: Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex; Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries; Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns; Ban Chiang Archaeological Site;
  • Turkey: Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia; Nemrut Dağ; Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği; Hierapolis-Pamukkale;
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Blaenavon Industrial Landscape; Blenheim Palace; Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey, and St Martin's Church; Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd; City of Bath; Durham Castle and Cathedral; Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast; Heart of Neolithic Orkney; Ironbridge Gorge; Maritime Greenwich; New Lanark; Old and New Towns of Edinburgh; Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites; Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey; Tower of London; St Kilda; Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret's Church;
  • Uruguay: Historic Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento;
  • Uzbekistan: Itchan Kala;
  • Venezuela : Coro and its Port; Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas;

4.  Decides that retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in Danger will be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies in priority;

5.  Further decides that, considering the high number of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value to be examined, the order in which they will be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies will follow the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting, namely:

  • World Heritage properties in the Arab States;
  • World Heritage properties in Africa;
  • World Heritage properties in Asia and the Pacific;
  • World Heritage properties in Latin America and the Caribbean;
  • World Heritage properties in Europe and North America;

6.  Requests the World Heritage Centre to harmonise all sub-headings in the adopted Statements of Outstanding Universal Value where appropriate and when resources and staff time allow to carry out this work;

7.  Also requests the State Parties, Advisory Bodies and World Heritage Centre to ensure the use of gender-neutral language in the Statements proposed for adoption to the World Heritage Committee;

8.  Further requests the World Heritage Centre to keep the adopted Statements in line with subsequent decisions by the World Heritage Committee concerning name changes of World Heritage properties, and to reflect them throughout the text of the Statements, in consultation with States Parties and Advisory Bodies;

9.  Finally requests the States Parties to provide support to the World Heritage Centre for translation of the adopted Statements of Outstanding Universal Value into English or French respectively, and finally requests the Centre to upload these onto its web-pages.

Draft Decision:  37 COM 7B.99

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.100, adopted at its 36th session (Saint Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Takes note of the information provided concerning the actions being implemented for the conservation of the property, and the decision made by the State Party to proceed with the construction of the aerodrome at Rio Amarillo and requests the State Party to ensure that the construction of the runway be limited to 1200 meters in order to avoid any possible impacts on the Archaeological site of Piedras Negras;

4.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for review the complete cartographic information for the buffer zone of the property in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory;

5.  Reiterates its request to the State Party to update the Environmental Impact Assessment and carry out a Heritage Impact Assessment in conformity with ICOMOS guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage Properties;

6.  Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies by May 2014 three printed copies in addition to an electronic copy of the updated Management Plan for the property, which should include:

a)  Zoning and regulatory measures for the different use zones, and measures taken for a coherent territorial planning, accompanied by adequate cartographic material,

b)  Public use provisions based on the results from the carrying capacity study, including detailed information on appropriate measures to ensure that no impacts occur as a result of the increased touristic visitation,

c)  Guidelines for conservation and restoration interventions, in particular concerning tunnels, as well as an action plan that includes a monitoring system for their conservation and maintenance,

d)  Final prototype of the protective shelter for the Hieroglyphic Stairs for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

7.  Requests furthermore that the State Party submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, 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 39th session in 2015.

 

Report year: 2013
Honduras
Date of Inscription: 1980
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 37COM (2013)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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