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Joya de Cerén Archaeological Site

El Salvador
Factors affecting the property in 1997*
  • Management systems/ management plan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1997
Requests approved: 5 (from 1992-1996)
Total amount approved : 70,000 USD
Missions to the property until 1997**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1997
The Bureau took note of the results of the International Seminar for the Preservation and Management of Joya de Ceren and encouraged the authorities of El Salvador to proceed with the implementation of its recommendations, in particular in reference to the preparation of a Master Plan for the site and the 1997-1999 work plan for archaeological research.
Action Required
 It requested the authorities to keep the Committee informed on the progress made in these matters.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1997

In July 1997, an international seminar took place on the conservation and management of the Joya de Cerén Archaeological Site. The seminar was funded under the World Heritage Fund.

The seminar concluded that a management plan is required for the archaeological site of Joya de Cerén in the context of a master plan for its surroundings. This would permit the interpretation and presentation of the site in its wider context and allow Joya De Cerén to serve as a catalyst for regional development.

The framework for the management plan for the archaeological site of Joya de Cerén was adopted, which should consist of six major programmes and an action plan.

In particular, the programme for the management of the archaeological resources was developed, including the setting of priority actions and a detailed work plan for 1997-1999. The most important conclusions in this respect were:

- identification of immediate actions to stabilise and protect the excavated structures; no new excavations should be undertaken unless they serve the purposes of conservation or presentation of the site;

- research should be undertaken to define the boundaries of the archaeological site which should enable CONCULTURA to extend the protection and ownership of the site;

- a two-year monitoring programme should be implemented in order to define the 'ideal' conditions for the preservation of the earthen structures;

- this would lead eventually to the design of new protective structures.

Summary of the interventions
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1997
Requests for international assistance

The Bureau examined Documents WHC-97/CONF. 204/4 and WHC-97/CONF.204/4.Add and made the following decisions:


Technical Co-operation:

Request approved by the Bureau:

International expert meeting on "World Heritage Convention as an International Instrument for Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Forests", Brastagi, North Sumatra, Indonesia (March, 1998)

The Bureau approved an amount of US$ 30,000 for the above meeting and requested IUCN and the Centre to ensure that scientific information used in the preparation of, and discussions during the meeting, is used to deliver products that are directly beneficial to the operations of the World Heritage Convention.

Request recommended by the Bureau for approval by the Committee:

Support to Strengthening Protection of Kaziranga National Park (India)

The Bureau recommended that the Committee at its twenty-first session scheduled to convene from 1 to 6 December 1997 in Naples, Italy, approve a sum of US$ 50,000 as a contribution for 1997-98, to enable the construction of 10 guard posts (US$ 25,000) and 5 highland shelters (US$ 21,000) and the purchase of audio-visual equipment for the Interpretation Centre at Kohora (US$ 4,000).

Emergency Assistance:

Request approved by the Bureau:

Contribution to the implementation of an Emergency Rehabilitation Plan for Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India)

The Bureau approved a sum of US$ 75,000 for enabling the purchase of 3 vehicles (US$ 30,000), 55 wireless communication sets (US$ 40,000) and 2 boats (US$ 5,000) for Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, a site included in the List of World Heritage in Danger since 1992.

The Bureau recommended that the Committee, at its twenty-first session scheduled to be convened in Naples, Italy, during 1-6 December 1997, review progress on the use of the US$ 75,000 approved by the Bureau and consider approving additional amounts of the total sum of US$ 235,000 requested by the Indian authorities as emergency assistance from the World Heritage Fund.

The Bureau requested that the Centre ensure that the counterpart contribution of US$ 1,185,000 expected to be provided, over a 2-3 year period, jointly by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) of the Government of India (GOI) and the State of Government of Assam (SGA) are provided and used as described in the international assistance request for emergency assistance submitted by India.


Request not approved by the Bureau

Request for financial assistance (US$ 30,000) for training of an individual specialist from Ecuador in Masters in Natural Resources Administration at the Business Administration Central American Institute (INCAE), Costa Rica

The Bureau concluded that the training of a specialist over a 10-month period for a Masters programme did not conform with the "short-term refresher programmes and exchanges of experience" permitted for training individuals under paragraph 95 of the Operational Guidelines.

Hence, the Bureau decided not to approve this request.


Requests approved by the Bureau

Visitors’ Centre at Paphos, Cyprus (US$ 23,267)

The Bureau approved a sum of US$ 12,187, recommended by the World heritage Centre, of the US$ 23,267 requested by the State Party for a mission of two international experts to design the exhibition display of the Visitors’ Centre of the site.

The Bureau, however, noted that the amount of $ 12,187 for the experts’ mission was deemed too high and requested the Secretariat to apply the consultant rates conforming to those of UNESCO.

The Bureau, furthermore, agreed to the recommendation of ICOMOS that the State Party submit a separate request for the procurement of exhibition materials upon the identification of the needs and costs for the exhibition cases and the interior design by the expert mission.

Symposium on the Preservation of Contemporary Heritage: Case of Brasilia (Brazil) (US$ 30,000)

The Bureau approved the amount of US$ 30,000 requested by Brazil, on the condition that the State Party submits for the Chairperson’s approval, a more detailed description and budget breakdown of the activities to be financed by a contribution from the World Heritage Fund.

The Bureau supported the goals of this symposium, aimed at reviewing the experience acquired by the institutions involved in the preservation and management of Brasilia and to discuss and establish new general urban directives for the efficient preservation of Brasilia's heritage.

Preparation of a Replica of the Hieroglyphic Stairway of the Maya Site of Copan (Honduras) (US$ 29,613)

The Bureau approved US$ 29,613 requested by the State Party for the preparation of the replica before further deterioration of the Hieroglyphic Stairway.

Request recommended by the Bureau for approval by the Committee

Special Course on the World Heritage Convention (Mexico) (US$ 30,000)

In view of the recommendations of ICOMOS, IUCN and ICCROM, and upon considering paragraph 106(b) of the Operational Guidelines which states that requests from members of the Bureau can only be decided by the Committee, the Bureau recommended approval by the Committee of the requested amount of US$ 30,000.

The Bureau, however, agreed to the suggestions of ICCROM to place this special course within the context of the regional training strategy adopted by the Committee, and to IUCN’s recommendation to ensure a balanced participation of natural and cultural heritage experts, and better define the target audience of the course.

Requests for carry-over in 1997 from the Reserve Fund for prior-year Approvals

Joya de Ceren Archaeological Site (El Salvador)

The Bureau agreed that the balance of US$ 14,750 of a technical cooperation activity for Joya de Ceren (US$ 25,000) approved by the Committee in 1994 be charged against the Reserve Fund in order to enable the implementation of the international seminar at the site from 7 to 11 July 1997.

Exhibition on "From Abu-Simbel to Angkor"

The Bureau agreed to charging the unobligated balance of US$ 39,741 against the Reserve Fund.

21 COM VII.C.55
Reports on the state of conservation of cultural properties noted by the Committee

VII.55 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-first extraordinary session of the Bureau on the following cultural properties as reflected in the report of the Bureau session, Working Documents WHC-97/CONF.208/4B Section III.C.c):

Joya de Ceren Archaeological Site (El Salvador)

Le Canal du Midi (France)

Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (France)

Ashanti Traditional Buildings (Ghana)

Maya Site of Copan (Honduras)

Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri (India)

Quseir Amra (Jordan)

Town of Luang Prabang (Lao People's Democratic Republic)

Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan (Mexico)

Ilha de Mozambique (Mozambique)

Moenjodaro (Pakistan)

Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Philippines)

Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct (Spain)

Cultural World Heritage sites in Sri Lanka

Ancient City of Damascus (Syrian Arab Republic)

Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)

Itchan Kala, Historic Centre of Bukhara (Uzbekistan)

Shibam and Zabid (Yemen).

The Bureau may wish to adopt the following text and transmit it to the Committee for noting:

"The Bureau takes note of the results of the International Seminar for the Preservation and Management of Joya de Cerén and encourages the authorities of El Salvador to proceed with the implementation of its recommendations, in particular in reference to the preparation of a Master Plan for the site and the 1997-1999 work plan for archaeological research. It requests the authorities to keep the Committee informed on the progress made in these matters."

Report year: 1997
El Salvador
Date of Inscription: 1993
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)

* : 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.