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Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo

Panama
Factors affecting the property in 2001*
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Increased population and deficient infrastructure
  • More attention to be paid to stone conservation
  • Impact of expected rise in tourism numbers and degradation of the sites
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2001
Requests approved: 4 (from 1980-1993)
Total amount approved : 76,800 USD
Missions to the property until 2001**

1993: expert mission; November 2001: joint UNESCO / ICOMOS monitoring mission

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2001

Previous deliberations:
Twenty-fourth session of the Committee (paragraph VIII.39; Annex X page 130).

Main Issues: No preparation for expected rise in tourism numbers and degradation of the sites due to a total lack of management.

New information: In reaction to the ICOMOS report on the precarious state of conservation of the site and the lack of management, the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau requested a report from the State Party by 15 April 2001. By the time this document was elaborated no report had been received by the World Heritage Centre.

The World Monuments Fund reported on a collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution/Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity Program to form an institutional partnership in order to explore the potential of collaborative field work and integrated conservation planning for sites containing endangered cultural and natural resources. In close cooperation with Panama’s relevant governmental and non-governmental agencies the ‘twin’ site of Portobelo – San Lorenzo was selected as pilot project. The project will have a duration of 14 – 18 months and aims to specify and implement limited emergency physical interventions related to primary threats affecting the built environment as well as deepen an understanding of the ecosystems that surround the forts. These activities shall address the high development pressures both sites are subject to and which might be aggravated by the cruise ship stopover programme centred in Colon, entitled “Colon 2000”, for which the government formed an agreement with several cruise ship operators recently.

Action Required

The Bureau may wish to examine information that will be provided / may be available at the time of its session and take the appropriate decision thereupon.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2001

The Bureau at its twenty-fifth session requested an ICOMOS/UNESCO monitoring mission, which will be fielded in November 2001. The results of the mission will be reported to the twenty-fifth extraordinary session of the Bureau.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2001
25 BUR V.248
Fortifications on the Caribbean side of Panama: Portobelo - San Lorenzo (Panama)

V.248     The Bureau noted that the authorities had submitted, during its session, reports on the state of conservation and management of the site. It requested the Secretariat and ICOMOS to study the reports and to consider them in the context of a joint UNESCO-ICOMOS mission that should be undertaken in order to assess the state of conservation and management of the site. The mission report should be submitted to the twenty-fifth extraordinary session of the Bureau for examination.

The Bureau may wish to examine information that will be provided at the time of its session and take the appropriate decision thereupon.

Report year: 2001
Panama
Date of Inscription: 1980
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2012-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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