1.         Coro and its Port (Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)) (C 658)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1993

Criteria  (iv)(v)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2005-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Corrective measures identified

a) Obtain official approval of the PLINCODE at the presidential level;

b) Reinforce the Framework Agreement for Emergency Intervention in the area of Coro and La Vela, signed by the Institute of Cultural Heritage (IPC), mayors of the municipalities of Miranda and the regional government on 14 February 2006;

c) Create a Council to assist the Technical Office (OTAE) to plan the investment of resources, and to formulate and revise intervention projects on the infrastructure, buildings and public spaces of the property;

d) Formulate and prioritize a comprehensive conservation plan to complement the existing PLINCODE by defining a precise course of action with intervention criteria and monitoring mechanisms to assess its effectiveness and implementation;

e) Strengthen capacity building for conservation and restoration through existing opportunities of workshops with the schools of conservation in La Vela and Coro;

f) Create awareness in the local community through exhibitions and community involvement.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

a) The Presidential Commission was established in 2005 and the Framework Agreement with the local government was signed in February 2006.

b) A conservation plan was developed in 2007, and priority actions are currently being implemented (2008). Since PLINCODE has not been officially signed, the definitive timeframe has not been established. Following the Presidential signature to ensure its ratification, the necessary corrective mechanisms of PLINCODE can be fully implemented.

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/658/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/658/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 20,000 (Spanish Funds-in-Trust for World Heritage) for the planning, implementation and subsequent publications of participatory workshops and meetings with artisans and civil society in Coro and La Vela. 

Previous monitoring missions

December 2003: Roundtable in conservation and management; September 2006: World Heritag Centre Evaluation Mission of the state of conservation; July-August 2002, April 2005, May 2008 and February 2011: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring missions.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/658/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

A report on the state of conservation of the property was submitted by the State Party on 2 February 2011. From 16 to 21 February 2011, a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission was carried out as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th Session (Brasilia, 2010). The mission report is available online at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/35COM  

a) Corrective measures implemented

The State Party indicates that since 2005 when the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, measures have been carried out to address conservation issues at the property. These have included infrastructure works to mitigate the impact of rain on built heritage, the formulation of a Conservation and Development Plan and inter-institutional agreements to ensure adequate management arrangements. Progress made in this respect was noted by the 2008 reactive monitoring mission, which also underscored the actions that had yet to be implemented.

b) State of conservation of the property

From October 2010 to January 2011, Falcon State, where the property is located, has experienced an exceptionally intense rainy season which resulted in a state of emergency declaration in late November and early December 2010. This affected the property’s built heritage and the State Party notes that consequently conditions have not been met to consider the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

A systematic condition survey was carried out in November 2010, and based on the results; general actions have been identified for continuous maintenance, as well as long-term actions for interventions at the urban and infrastructure levels to consolidate the urban-architectural unit. The survey also identified buildings that were affected by the rain, including 247 in Coro and 94 in La Vela; to date 143 have been addressed within the emergency programme.

The 2011 mission noted that in general, the property maintains its conditions of integrity and authenticity. However, several effects were evident as a result of environmental conditions and the nature of the subsurface soils that affect the property. These include water infiltration, loss of earthen surfaces, deformation and wall structures, fissures, cracks, collapses and cave-ins. It also indicated that although the drainage system had been completed, it was proved ineffective and insufficient during the heavy rains of 2010, which led to the central area of the city being flooded for several days.

In addition to physical factors, the mission noted that with the changes in the management structure, several issues remained unaddressed such as the development of conservation plans with intervention criteria, and the monitoring mechanisms which have led to a situation where interventions are mostly reactive rather than proactive. It also noted that a decision had been made to allow free vehicle traffic flow in the historic area, which significantly affects the qualities of the city. Similarly, regulations for new constructions are not systematically enforced, leading to buildings that impact to some extent the character of the property.

c) Buffer zone

The mission noted that the review of the boundaries of the protected area and the definition of the buffer zone with their regulatory measures were still pending. These actions would have regulated interventions in the buffer zone that would impact the urban landscape of the property. Ordinances to protect the historic area of La Vela have also not been passed.

d) Planning and management tools

The Plan Integral de Conservación y Desarrollo para Coro y La Vela (PLINCODE) which was developed in 2007 has not yet received official approval. However, a new management tool called “Management Commitment” has been developed for the planning and sustainable conservation of the protected area. It is recognized as a legal entity by the Organic Law of Public Administration and was signed in January 2011 by community councils and local and regional institutions, including the Government of the State of Falcon and the Municipalities of Miranda-Coro and Colina-Puerto de la Vela, and is awaiting official publication. This has resulted in the creation of a Management Unit with a Board of Directors including representatives from the Institute of Cultural Heritage (IPC), the Government of the State of Falcon and the Municipalities of Colina and Miranda, as well as representatives from each of the community councils, who will then appoint a Technical Council charged with the implementation of action plans and policies. It is expected that this new entity will replace the current Management Office so that community councils are effectively integrated in planning and decision-making processes.

Although awaiting official formalization, since 2010, work has commenced through the hosting of six meetings involving stakeholders, resulting in the definition of two strategies for the restoration of domestic architecture. The first one considers priority interventions in areas at risk, and the second is geared towards the creation of means so that restoration activities are imbedded in daily practices. For the implementation of the latter, earthen architecture artisans will be coordinated with building owners; with materials being provided by various institutions, and administered by community councils.

The mission noted that this positive development has resulted in greater social participation in heritage endeavours and confirmed that adequate levels of co-operation currently exist between the three levels of government. It indicated however that the Management Agreement is only a legal instrument and that the definition of a conservation plan is still necessary, which should take into account historical and archaeological research in the formulation of restoration projects. Also, the enforcement of laws and regulations is still needed for the effective protection of the property. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the progress made by the State Party in addressing the state of conservation of the property. They welcome the participatory nature of the “Management Commitment”, but however note that it is crucial that its formalization process be finalized in order for it to become fully operational. They also underscore the pressing need to identify precise boundaries and buffer zones for the inscribed components as well as the development of a management and conservation plan to ensure the conservation of attributes that sustain the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7A.34

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7A.31, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Recognizes the efforts being made by the State Party for the conservation of the property and encourages it to continue such efforts in co-operation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

4. Notes the results of the February 2011 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission, endorses its recommendations and requests the State Party to:

a) Finalize the approval process for the creation of the Office of the Management Commitment and provide adequate resources for its full operation,

b) Develop the Management Plan for the property, including programmes for conservation, public use and risk management,

c) Finalize the delimitation of the property and the buffer zone for the inscribed components, including the corresponding regulatory measures and submit them to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for review in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory and of the Periodic Reporting exercise;

5. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, 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 36th session in 2012;

6. Further requests the State Party to update, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, the Desired state of conservation and the corrective measures for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012;

7. Decides to retain Coro and its Port (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following the examination of the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-11/35.COM/7A, WHC-11/35.COM/7A.Add and WHC-11/35.COM/7A.Add.Corr),

2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: