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City of Potosí

Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
  • Surface water pollution
  • Other Threats:

    Instability and risk of collapse of the Cerro Rico; Deficiencies in conservation: special attention required for the restoration and upgrading of structures with residential use and the archaeological industrial heritage

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Potential degradation of the historic site by continued and uncontrolled mining operations in the Cerro Rico Mountain
  • Instability and risk of collapse of the Cerro Rico
  • Deficiencies in conservation: special attention required for the restoration and upgrading of structures with residential use and the archaeological industrial heritage
  • Inefficient enforcement of protective legislation
  • Environmental impacts on the hydraulic complex which in turn affects historic fabric and local population
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Instability and imminent risk of collapse of the Cerro Rico’s summit
  • Lack of conservation policy of integral character which considers all the components of the property
  • Deficiencies in conservation: special attention required for the restoration and upgrading of structures with residential use and the archaeological industrial heritage
  • Potential degradation of the historic site by continued and uncontrolled mining operations in the Cerro Rico Mountain
  • Inefficient enforcement of protective legislation
  • Threatening impacts of climatic, geological or other environmental factors
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

In progress

Corrective Measures for the property

In progress

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
In progress
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2015

Total amount granted: USD 10,000 for a World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS technical mission in 2005 financed by the Spanish Funds-in-Trust for World Heritage.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 5 (from 1988-2015)
Total amount approved : 83,777 USD
Missions to the property until 2015**

November 2005 and February 2011: World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS technical mission. December 2013 and January 2014: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 19 February 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/420/documents.  Progress is presented, as follows:

  • In 2014, the State Party launched a set of actions for the promulgation of a new Law regarding exploration on altitudes above 4,400m in replacement of Supreme Decree 27787 of October 2004 that regulates Mining exploitation and the delocalization of miners that work in the area. Negotiations with the mining cooperatives conducted by the Ministry of Mining and Energy and the Mining Corporation of Bolivia (COMIBOL) are in process to find a solution. It is stated that after the evaluation made by the Bolivian Company Q&Q on the stability of the summit of Cerro Rico, the State Party suspended all works in the area and informed all miners of the 5 risk zones detected. Public bidding for the hiring of companies to undertake works of filling the summit has started in January 2015. At the same time, the Ministry of Cultures launched the project “Emergency Measures and Structural Consolidation of Cerro Rico” with the objective to elaborate a detailed diagnosis on the top risk areas and establish a strategy which includes emergency measures for the structural consolidation of Cerro Rico. The project foresees activities in risk mitigation and disaster recovery at the property with the participation of international experts specialized in geo-structures and mining environmental engineering.
  • A set of rules to reinforce the role of the Inter-institutional Entity that will be in charge of the elaboration of the Integral Management Plan has been adopted. The national, regional and municipal institutions responsible for the protection of the property will participate in this Entity and are fully committed to support the development of this tool. In this context, the Ministry of Cultures and Tourism has elaborated the project “Elaboration of the integral and participative management plan for the conservation and management of city of Potosi” within the framework of an international assistance approved by the World Heritage Fund. The Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and the participatory management plan will be developed with the assistance of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015.
  • Other conservation activities are reported as taking place at the City of Potosí.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

The report on the state of conservation of the property does not provide detailed information on the implementation of the recommendations made by the World Heritage Committee to assess the current situation.

With regard to the stabilization works at the summit of Cerro Rico Mountain, they need to be operational as a matter of urgency. The progress made by the State Party in this area is very limited and needs to be pursued, in particular the selection process of the company in charge of filling the summit. The evaluation and definition of the most adequate strategy to undertake these works must be a priority as pointed out in previous decisions. Furthermore, no timeframe is provided for the finalization of the procedures and the stabilization works of Cerro Rico.

The adoption of a new legislation in replacement of Supreme Decree 27787 is welcomed, taking into consideration the difficulties to apply the moratorium on all explorations above 4,400m and to effectively implement the relocation of miners. The halt of all works in the 5 identified risk areas is also a progress, as well as the negotiations for the relocation of workers between the Ministry of Mines and Metallurgy, COMIBOL and the mining cooperatives. However, no specific timeframe or explanation about the process of relocation of miners and the content of the Law has been provided by the State Party. It is recommended that, at this stage, the Committee request the State Party to send the draft proposal of this Law to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies.

It is noted that the State Party did not propose a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and a set of corrective measures, as requested by the Committee. These are essential for the planning and monitoring of interventions that should eventually lead to the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The progress made in reinforcing the inter-institutional mechanism to be established for the elaboration and implementation of the integrated management system for the property has to be underscored. As it was pointed out in previous decisions, the management and monitoring of each component rests at various management levels, leading to lack of coherence and articulation in decision-making process. The new management system should include a policy framework covering all the components of the inscribed property to ensure the entire protection of its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and take into consideration the recommendations made by the 2013 Reactive Monitoring mission. This will be a crucial issue where the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre will certainly play a role to support the efforts made by the State Party. The implementation of the international assistance approved for this purpose is most welcomed.

The definition of the buffer zone of the property should be addressed within the framework of the definition of the planned integrated management system as to include a clear understanding for the protection of the visually sensitive areas around the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7A.44
City of Potosi (Bolivia, Plurinational State of) (C 420)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.38, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Encourages the State Party to finalize the agreements for the establishment of the Inter-institutional Committee to address, in an integral manner, all issues pertaining to all the components of property, including the Cerro Rico;
  4. Notes with concern that works for the stabilization of the summit of Cerro Rico have been paralyzed and that no revised strategy and timeframe for completion of the stabilization project have been identified and urges the State Party to finalize the process for the adoption of the new legislation to address the issue of the relocation of miners and the moratorium for all explorations between altitudes 4,400m and 4,700 m;
  5. Also urges the State Party to work in close co-operation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to finalize, within the framework of the approved International Assistance, the process for the elaboration of the integrated and participatory Management Plan that includes all attributes of the property to ensure its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is sustained and provide an electronic and three printed copies of the draft plan for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Reiterates its requests to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and a set of corrective measures, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  7. Requests the State Party to include in the process of the elaboration of the integrated Management Plan a proposal to define the property’s buffer zones and invites it to submit, according to paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines, a minor boundary modification to allow a clear understanding for the protection of the visually sensitive areas around the property;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  9. Decides to retain the City of Potosí (Bolivia, Plurinational State of) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
39 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of the World Heritage in Danger

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-15/39.COM/7A and WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 39 COM 7A.38)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 39 COM 7A.39)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 39 COM 7A.18)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosi (Decision 39 COM 7A.44)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 39 COM 7A.45)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.8)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 39 COM 7A.24)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.10)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 39 COM 7A.40)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 39 COM 7A.41)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.20)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 39 COM 7A.15)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 39 COM 7A.25)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 39 COM 7A.26)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 39 COM 7A.27)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 39 COM 7A.11)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 39 COM 7A.21)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 39 COM 7A.22)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 39 COM 7A.12)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 39 COM 7A.28)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 39 COM 7A.29)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 39 COM 7A.46)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 39 COM 7A.47)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.13)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 39 COM 7A.42)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 39 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 39 COM 7A.30)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 39 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 39 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 39 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 39 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 39 COM 7A.35)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 39 COM 7A.23)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 39 COM 7A.43)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.14)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.17)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 39 COM 7A.48)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 39 COM 7A.37)
Draft Decision:  39 COM 7A.44

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examinated Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.38, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Encourages the State Party to finalize the agreements for the establishment of the Inter-institutional Committee to address, in an integral manner, all issues pertaining to all the components of property, including the Cerro Rico;
  4. Notes with concern that works for the stabilization of the summit of Cerro Rico have been paralyzed and that no revised strategy and timeframe for completion of the stabilization project have been identified and urges the State Party to finalize the process for the adoption of the new legislation to address the issue of the relocation of miners and the moratorium for all explorations between altitudes 4,400m and 4,700 m;
  5. Also urges the State Party to work in close co-operation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to finalize, within the framework of the approved International Assistance, the process for the elaboration of the integrated and participatory Management Plan that includes all attributes of the property to ensure its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is sustained and provide an electronic and three printed copies of the draft plan for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Reiterates its requests to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and a set of corrective measures, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  7. Requests the State Party to include in the process of the elaboration of the integrated Management Plan a proposal to define the property’s buffer zones and invites it to submit, according to paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines, a minor boundary modification to allow a clear understanding for the protection of the visually sensitive areas around the property;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  9. Decides to retain the City of Potosí (Bolivia, Plurinational State of) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2015
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(vi)
Danger List (dates): 2014-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 39COM (2015)
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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