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Chan Chan Archaeological Zone

Factors affecting the property in 1997*
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Land conversion
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Fragility of the abdobe structures

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Fragility of its adobe structures;
  • Occupation of land by farmers
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1997
Requests approved: 4 (from 1987-1997)
Total amount approved : 110,000 USD
Missions to the property until 1997**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1997

The Committee at its twentieth session requested the Peruvian authorities to submit, by 15 September 1997, a full report on the state of conservation of Chan Chan, including proposals regarding the future conservation and management of the site in order to enable the Committee to decide if additional measures are required to conserve the property.

At the date of preparation of this document no full state of conservation report had been received by the Secretariat. The Secretariat was informed, however, about a programme of re-location of population and farmers who are living within the boundaries of the protected area. The Committee, at its seventeenth session, indeed expressed the need to address the issue of invasions and land occupation in order to rapidly and permanently reclaim and secure the site's intangible zone. This programme was reactivated by the Peruvian Government in 1997 and has met resistance by some of the population. The National Institute for Culture of Peru submitted a detailed report on the programme and reported that of the 207 persons, 46 had been relocated, that agreement on relocation had been reached with 91 and that 44 would be able to remain on lands that had been traditionally used for agriculture. An ICCROM expert confirmed the credibility of this report as well as the need to secure the protected area of Chan Chan. He also stresses emphatically the urgent need for a management plan for Chan Chan in the context of regional planning and expresses ICCROM's interest in a continued collaboration in the preservation of Chan Chan as a follow-up to the adobe training course which it co-organised in late 1996 at Chan Chan.

In July 1997, the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee approved an amount of US$ 20,000 under technical co-operation for the preparation of a management plan for the site.

In September 1997, the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee approved an amount of US$ 50,000 under emergency assistance for immediate measures to protect the most valuable and vulnerable parts of Chan Chan against the devastating impacts the up-coming 'El Nino' phenomenon might have on the site.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 1997

The Committee may wish to examine information that may be available at the time of its session and take appropriate action thereupon. Given the continuing threats to which the site is exposed, its continued inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger is justified.

Summary of the interventions
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1997
21 COM VII.B.29
SOC: Chan Chan Archaeological Zone (Peru)

VII.29 Chan Chan Archaeological Zone (Peru)

The Secretariat informed the Committee that it had received, on 27 November 1997, a report from the Peruvian authorities on the actions and programmes implemented between 1985 and 1997 for the conservation and management of the site, as well as on tourism infrastructure and educational activities. It also informed the Committee of the recommendations of an ICOMOS expert mission regarding the need to establish a management plan, the importance of the Earthen Architecture Research Centre at Chan Chan and the need to carefully monitor the phenomenon El Nino and its impact on the site.

The Delegate of Peru stressed that all actions undertaken by his Government were performed in accordance to national law and the Government's commitments under Article 5.d. of the World Heritage Convention. With regard to recovery of the intangible zone, he reported that the re-location of illegal occupants was well underway. On the preventive emergency measures vis-à-vis the El Nino phenomenon , he informed that the Government of Peru had allocated a special fund of US$ 200,000 for this purpose. In this context, he thanked the Committee for the emergency assistance of US$ 50,000 that had been approved by the Chairperson as a contribution to these measures.

ICCROM stressed its interest in a continued collaboration with the Peruvian Government in the preservation and management of the site as a follow-up to the course on the conservation and management of earthen architectural and archaeological heritage that took place in Chan Chan in 1996 in co-operation with ICCROM, the Getty Conservation Institute, CRATerre and the National Institute for Culture, and which developed a new approach to the management of adobe sites.

The Committee took note of the information provided by the Secretariat and the Delegate of Peru. It expressed its concern about the possible impact that the El Nino phenomenon might have on this fragile site and commended and supported the efforts of the Peruvian Government to take the necessary emergency measures for its protection.

The Committee urged the Government of Peru to proceed with the preparation of a management plan for Chan Chan and to submit a progress report by 15 April 1998 for examination by the Bureau at its twenty-second session.

The Committee decided to retain the Chan Chan Archaeological Zone on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 1997
Date of Inscription: 1986
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iii)
Danger List (dates): 1986-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 21COM (1997)

* : 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.