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City of Potosí

Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
Factors affecting the property in 1995*
  • Human resources
  • Management activities
  • Mining
  • Surface water pollution
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Need for the sanitation of the  La Ribera river
  • Lack of human resources
  • Need for an assitance for the conservation of the mural paintings
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1995
Requests approved: 3 (from 1988-1994)
Total amount approved : 27,500 USD
Missions to the property until 1995**

May 1995: UNESCO expert mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1995

The City of Potosi was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987. The World Heritage site includes the historical centre of the city, the remains of Colonial industrial complexes (Los Ingenios) and part of the mountain from which the Spaniards extracted enormous quantities of silver (El Cerro Rico).

Since mid-1994 the Secretariat has received numerous letters from individuals, associations and non-governmental organizations regarding the increasing mining activities at the Cerro Rico mountain. These reports suggest that the mining operations could seriously affect the visual appearance of the mountain and also have a serious impact on the ecological balance in the area.

The Secretariat has not succeeded in obtaining information from the Bolivian authorities on the mining activities and the preservation and management policies regarding the Cerro Rico.

A UNESCO expert visited Potosi in May 1995. The expert confirmed that a certain degradation of the Cerro Rico occurs and that the continued mining activities, and the techniques applied, cause serious air and water pollution. The expert recommended that the mining activities and techniques be reviewed with the view to permitting the exploitation of the valuable resources still present in the Cerro Rico, while at the same time providing the guarantees that the Cerro Rico be preserved and stabilized. The expert also recommended the preparation of a protection and management plan for the Cerro Rico and its surroundings.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 1995

The Bureau may wish to recommend the Committee to adopt the following:

"The Committee took note of information provided by the Secretariat on the potential degradation of the Cerro Rico by continued mining operations. Considering that the Cerro Rico forms an integral part of the World Heritage site, the Committee requested the Bolivian authorities to inform the Secretariat of the measures it has taken for its preservation and management."

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1995
19 COM VII.C.2.33/34
SOC: City of Potosi (Bolivia)

VII.33 City of Potosi (Bolivia)

The Committee took note of the information provided by the Secretariat on the potential degradation of the Cerro Rico mountain by continued mining operations. Considering that the Cerro Rico forms an integral part of the World Heritage site, the Committee invited the Bolivian authorities to inform the Secretariat of the measures it has taken for its preservation and management.

The Secretariat recommends the Committee to take note of the written information provided by the Secretariat and to adopt the following:

"The Committee took note of information provided by the Secretariat on the potential degradation of the Cerro Rico by continued mining operations. Considering that the Cerro Rico forms an integral part of the World Heritage site, the Committee requested the Bolivian authorities to inform the Secretariat of the measures it has taken for its preservation and management."

Report year: 1995
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(vi)
Danger List (dates): 2014-present
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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