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Historic Inner City of Paramaribo

Suriname
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**

August 2013: ICOMOS Advisory Mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 6 January 2016, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/940/documents/ and which addresses the following issues:

  • Progress on the implementation of the 2014 Emergency Plan that consisted of short-term measures regarding the management, conservation, public awareness, legal framework, traffic/parking and urban planning of the old city centre of Paramaribo. A lot remains to be done and the city faces great challenges especially regarding its management and conservation. Lack of funding is a major obstacle for the preservation and regular maintenance of the many government-owned monumental buildings. A number of privately owned monuments were restored ;
  • The parameters of the revision of the Monuments Act 2002 remain to be defined. A new Building Committee for the city has been appointed on November 2015 and is operational with the participation of the Site Management Authority. It is reported that the Minister received several requests for demolishing a monument within the property but that no permit has been granted;
  • A proposal for the extension of the boundaries of the World Heritage area has been made by the Management Authority including a 50-meter strip of the river along the Waterfront, and an extension of the buffer zone. However, the Site Management Authority was informed that the Government is not an advocate of the expansion of the buffer zone and therefore no further progress could be made;
  • Regarding the project proposal for the redevelopment of part of the Waterfront with hotel, parking and shopping mall, although an area was licensed for this purpose and design ideas can be found on the internet, no building permit has been granted;
  • As for the commemorative monument along the Waterfront, documentation was sent to the World Heritage Centre for technical review by ICOMOS, which could not be completed due to the lack of specific details requested from the State Party. The construction started in 2013, but stopped several times;
  • The State Party and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have initiated the formulation of the ‘Paramaribo Urban Rehabilitation Program’. The components will seek to: (i) consolidate the current institutional framework for the management of the historic inner city; (ii) rehabilitate key buildings and landscapes in the area of protection and (iii) improve key infrastructure and services within the historic inner city and in connection with the rest of the city. An Aide Memoire to this effect was signed in June 2014 but no further progress has been made;
  • Finally, as for the reconstruction of the old parliament building, the design process has been launched and it has been decided to house all operational services, documentation and information in the reconstructed historical building, while the actual parliament meeting room will be located in the new building.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

The progress made on the implementation of the 2014 Emergency Action Plan is welcomed. However, it is noted that there is still a great number of actions that have not yet been implemented or concluded, particularly those referring to the strengthening of the management structure, enhanced regulation and legislation and funding for the implementation of the Management Plan and conservation actions. It is regrettable that there continues to be a chronic lack of funding for the restoration and conservation of historic government buildings and for the full implementation of the Action Plan.

It is of concern that no significant progress has been made in the updating and harmonization of the legislative and regulatory frameworks. The Monuments Act of 2002 remains to be revised and there are still no legal provisions that establish the role and position of the Site Management Authority.

It is recommended that the Committee commend the State Party for the formal adoption of the Paramaribo World Heritage Management Plan 2011-2015 by the Council of Ministers in January 2014. However, the State Party should be urged to integrate the Management Plan in local and national development plans and to foresee budget provisions for its implementation. An updating of the Management Plan for the period 2016-2020 should be considered.

Equally, it is recommended that the State Party be urged to proceed with the development of a zoning plan and urban regulations as was foreseen in the Emergency Action Plan.

The appointment of a new Building Committee in November 2015 and the inclusion of the Management Authority is noted.

The revision and extension of the buffer zones and the minor boundary modification for the World Heritage area to include a zone of 50 meters of the river as a means to protect the cityscape from the river are considered of utmost importance. This is particularly urgent in view of potential building projects in that area that would seriously affect the integrity and authenticity of the property. There is very serious concern that a piece of land at the Waterfront was licensed to a private company for development as a shopping mall, hotel and parking garage. The State Party should be strongly recommended to proceed with the boundary extension, withdraw the license it had given to a private company and review the appropriate regulations.

It is noted that no permit for the demolition of monumental structures within the World Heritage area has been given during the reporting period and it is strongly advised that this policy be continued.

As for the “Monument for Victims” at the Waterfront, it is recommended that the Committee regret that no further documentation was submitted, as requested, and that ICOMOS was therefore not able to complete the technical review of the design and location of the monument. In case of confirmation that the monument is in the process of being completed, an assessment will be required to evaluate whether it affects the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and its attributes.

The formulation of a Paramaribo Urban Rehabilitation Programme with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank is considered a positive development. The Management Authority of the property should be intimately involved in the further design and implementation of the project and, if needed, advice should be sought from the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7B.9
Historic Inner City of Paramaribo (Suriname) (C 940rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.47, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the State Party for the adoption of the Paramaribo World Heritage Management Plan 2011-2015 and the Emergency Action Plan 2014;
  4. Urges the State Party to take the necessary measures for their implementation, also taking into account the recommendations of the 2013 ICOMOS Advisory mission, with particular attention to the strengthening of the Management Authority and the provision of funding for its operation as well as for urgently needed conservation and restoration works at government-owned monumental buildings;
  5. Expresses its very serious concern about the potential real-estate development at the Waterfront and strongly urges the State Party to withdraw the license granted to a private company and to take the necessary measures for the proper conservation of the Waterfront area and proceed with the proposed extension of the World Heritage property to include a strip of the river of at least 50 meters;
  6. Invites the State Party to submit the above mentioned extension as a minor boundary modification according to paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines, for examination by the World Heritage Committee;
  7. Regrets that the technical review of the “Monument for Victims” at the Waterfront could not be completed by the Advisory Bodies due to the incomplete documentation provided by the State Party and requests the State Party to urgently provide information about the construction of this monument;
  8. Welcomes the initiative of the State Party to develop a major Urban Rehabilitation Programme with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank in which the Management Authority of the property should be intimately involved and also invites the State Party to seek the advice of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in its further design and implementation;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, 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 42nd session in 2018.
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7B.9

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.47, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the State Party for the adoption of the Paramaribo World Heritage Management Plan 2011-2015 and the Emergency Action Plan 2014;
  4. Urges the State Party to take the necessary measures for their implementation, also taking into account the recommendations of the 2013 ICOMOS Advisory mission, with particular attention to the strengthening of the Management Authority and the provision of funding for its operation as well as for urgently needed conservation and restoration works at government-owned monumental buildings;
  5. Expresses its very serious concern about the potential real-estate development at the Waterfront and strongly urges the State Party to withdraw the licence granted to a private company and to take the necessary measures for the proper conservation of the Waterfront area and proceed with the proposed extension of the World Heritage property to include a strip of the river of at least 50 meters;
  6. Invites the State Party to submit the above mentioned extension as a minor boundary modification according to paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines, for examination by the World Heritage Committee;
  7. Regrets that the technical review of the “Monument for Victims” at the Waterfront could not be completed by the Advisory Bodies due to the incomplete documentation provided by the State Party and requests the State Party to urgently provide information about the construction of this monument;
  8. Welcomes the initiative of the State Party to develop a major Urban Rehabilitation Programme with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank in which the Management Authority of the property should be intimately involved and also invites the State Party to seek the advice of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in its further design and implementation;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, 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 42nd session in 2018.
Report year: 2016
Suriname
Date of Inscription: 2002
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2016) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 40COM (2016)
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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