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Churches of Chiloé

Chile
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • Commercial development
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Legal framework
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Insufficient delimitation of boundaries
  • Construction of a shopping mall in the vicinity of the Castro Church
  • Insufficient legal definition of buffer zones and visually sensitive areas of each component 
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 1 (from 2002-2002)
Total amount approved : 50,000 USD
2002 Emergency assistance for the Churches of Chiloé (Approved)   50,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2017**

December 2013: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 19 February 2016, the State Party submitted a progress report on the state of conservation of the property. ICOMOS conducted an extensive Technical Review of this report, which was transmitted back in October 2016. On 9 December 2016, the State Party submitted an updated version of the state of conservation report. Summaries of both reports are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/971/documents.  The State Party submitted a traffic impact study in April 2017. The main issues addressed in the updated report are the following:

  • As part of the implementation of all previous recommendations in 2016, strong emphasis was placed on the participation of the communities, in the identification and protection of values in the areas surrounding the churches, and in their management, restoration and maintenance. An important element in this process is the revitalization of the “minga” (a form of traditional communal work) and educational and communication activities;
  • Buffer zones were formally established for 10 of the 16 churches in the form of “Typical Zones” as foreseen in the National Monuments Act. Four of these have been validated by the communities (Nercón, Detif, Vilupulli and Chelún). Vilipulli is an outstanding case thereof as this boundary was enlarged by request of the community. Work on other cases will continue in coordination with the newly elected municipal authorities;
  • The construction of the shopping mall in the city of Castro was concluded in 2016 with all municipal permits. Emphasis is now being placed on actions to prevent such cases to happen in the future. The Direction of Libraries, Archives and Museums (DIBAM) through the National Monuments Council (CMN) is working with the owner of the mall to design and implement mitigation measures to break the visual continuity of the mass of the facade on the seaside through texture, colors and materials. Slender trees that will reach the height of the building will be planted in public spaces. The owner of the mall committed to submit a proposal for visual mitigation to DIBAM/CMN by end January 2017, the implementation of which is expected to take place in 2017;
  • A study on the traffic impact of the shopping mall on the church of Castro and its surroundings was completed in January 2017. The study concludes that the traffic increase since the construction of the Mall was limited (8,7%) and that other factors in the area such as the construction of an underground parking at the Plaza de Armas and possible increase the number of buses at the terminal north of the church may have a much more significant impact. On the other hand, the construction of the Castro by-pass will be concluded in 2018 and will considerably reduce the traffic flow through the centre of Castro and near the church;
  • The CMN is in the final stage of issuing Act 17.288 that regulates all interventions in “Typical or Picturesque Zones”. Guidelines for the application of these regulations have been developed and will be applied in the already declared “Typical Zones” and will provide protection specially for the components of the property that are located in rural areas and do not have Municipal Zoning Plans (Planos de Regulación Comunal);
  • Progress has been achieved in the studies to modify the Municipal Zoning Plans for Dalcahue (churches of Tenaun, San Juan and Dalcahue) and Pulqueldón (churches of Aldachildo, Ichuac and Detif) with resources of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development;
  • Efforts to develop an Integrated Management Plan continue with the involvement of all stakeholders;
  • The CMN continues to strengthen its presence in the region and dedicates considerable human and financial resources to the restoration and conservation of the churches.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

The State Party should be commended for the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2013 Reactive Monitoring mission and of subsequent recommendations of the Committee and the Advisory Bodies. It should also be congratulated for the concerted efforts to ensure the proper management and conservation of the churches and their surroundings, and the broad and participatory approach that is being applied.

While recognizing that the implementation of several of the recommendations requires a relatively long timeframe, it should be reiterated that a number of them are of extreme urgency, particularly those relating to the protection of the wider setting, including the review of the buffer zones, arrangements to improve the legal framework, and measures to mitigate the visual impact and better integration of the Castro shopping mall. The ICOMOS Technical Review on the progress report transmitted to the State Party in October 2016 includes a great number of specific considerations and recommendations to this effect.

As to the buffer zones, 10 of the 16 churches have now formally established “Typical Zones. The State Party should be urged to accelerate this process for all 16 components of this serial property as this is an essential requirement for the conservation of its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). It is recommended that boundaries of the buffer zones be defined on the basis of the proposals made by the CMN in 2013, by the 2013 mission and the more recent ICOMOS Technical Review, to ensure that the extraordinary natural and landscape setting of the churches and their relations to the sea is taken into account. In particular, the boundaries of Chonchi, Colo, Quinchao, San Juan and Tenaun should be reviewed. The two recently adopted Typical Zones for Vilipulli and Chelín shall also be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review prior to its implementation.

It is noted that CMN Act 17.288 will establish regulations for the “Typical Zones” and that guidelines for their implementation will be applied in Chiloé in 2017-2018. A review of the effectiveness of these regulations and guidelines will need to be undertaken in due time. It is recommended that the Committee congratulate the State Party for the participatory approach in the definition of heritage components, management and maintenance of the “Typical Zones” and the extensive education and communication strategies. The revitalization of the “minga” as a means to involve and commit local communities in the maintenance of the churches is commendable.

As to the Integral Management Plan, it is noted that progress has been made in the diagnosis of institutional and legal issues and the promotion of a broad participation of institutions and civil society, and that work will continue in 2017.

Regarding the shopping mall in Castro, it is welcomed that there is a general recognition that such constructions should not be allowed in the future and that the State Party is undertaking an inter-institutional effort in this respect.

At the same time, it is highly regrettable that no adequate solution has been provided to mitigate the impact of the mall on the visual characteristics and setting of Castro’s San Francisco Church and the city. It is noted that the DIBAM/CMN and the owner of the mall are working together to develop proposals. However, the superficial intervention on the north-east facade, facing the sea, with colors, materials and structures, as well as the planting of trees in public spaces around the mall are most likely not sufficient to reduce its impact significantly. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit the designs that will be prepared by the owner of the mall as soon as they become available for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.

The information on the continued construction of the Castro By-Pass that will be concluded in 2018 is welcomed, as is the completion of the Study of Traffic Impact of Castro Mall on the immediate surroundings of the church. The traffic impact study concludes that the impact of the shopping mall on traffic flows is moderate, particularly as long as the entrance to the parking garage at the Calle San Martin remains closed. At the same time, it reveals that there are other factors that may have a much more significant impact such as the construction of a parking garage under the Plaza de Armas and a potential increase the number of buses at the terminal north of the church. It is to be noted that the Plaza de Armas constitutes the buffer zone for the church and that any intervention would require extensive archaeological studies and could seriously affect the setting and the OUV of the property. It is recommended that traffic flows be carefully monitored and that Heritage Impact Assessments be undertaken for all projects in the surroundings of the church. An integral approach to the urban area is required and it is therefore welcomed that the process to update Castro’s urban regulation through the Study “Modifications on the Communal Regulation Plan” is ongoing.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7B.59
Churches of Chiloe (Chile) (C 971)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.89, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Congratulates the State Party for the progress made in the implementation of its recommendations and for the participatory approach it has taken in the definition of protective areas around the churches, as well as for concrete restoration, communication and education programmes that are under execution;
  4. Urges the State Party to finalize the identification of buffer zones around all remaining churches and to proceed urgently with their submission as a minor boundary modification proposal encompassing all 16 components of the property;
  5. Notes the progress made in the preparation of the Integrated Management Plan;
  6. Welcomes the progress made with the construction of the by-pass in Castro and the conclusion of the traffic studies related to the shopping mall in Castro, and recommends that the State Party:
    1. Continue to monitor the traffic flows around the church including the impact of the bus terminal north of the church,
    2. Keep the vehicular access to the shopping mall in Calle San Martin closed,
    3. Undertake Heritage Impact Assessments of projects in the surroundings of the church, particularly of the proposed parking garage in the buffer zone under the Plaza de Armas that could potentially affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
  7. Strongly regrets that the construction of the shopping mall in Castro was completed without significant modifications to its design and that the mitigation measures that are now being considered are limited to the application of colors, texture and material on the facade facing the sea and the planting of trees; and requests the State Party to submit the designs and mitigation measures agreed between the owner of the mall, the Direction of Libraries, Archives and Museums (DIBAM) and the National Monuments Council (CMN), as soon as possible to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, prior to their implementation;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019.
Draft Decision: 41 COM 7B.59

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.89, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Congratulates the State Party for the progress made in the implementation of its recommendations and for the participatory approach it has taken in the definition of protective areas around the churches, as well as for concrete restoration, communication and education programmes that are under execution;
  4. Urges the State Party to finalize the identification of buffer zones around all remaining churches and to proceed urgently with their submission as a minor boundary modification proposal encompassing all 16 components of the property;
  5. Notes the progress made in the preparation of the Integrated Management Plan;
  6. Welcomes the progress made with the construction of the by-pass in Castro and the conclusion of the traffic studies related to the shopping mall in Castro, and recommends that the State Party:
    1. Continue to monitor the traffic flows around the church including the impact of the bus terminal north of the church,
    2. Keep the vehicular access to the shopping mall in Calle San Martin closed,
    3. Undertake Heritage Impact Assessments of projects in the surroundings of the church, particularly of the proposed parking garage in the buffer zone under the Plaza de Armas that could potentially affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
  7. Highly regrets that the construction of the shopping mall in Castro was completed without significant modifications to its design and that the mitigation measures that are now being considered are limited to the application of colors, texture and material on the facade facing the sea and the planting of trees; and requests the State Party to submit the designs and mitigation measures agreed between the owner of the mall, the Direction of Libraries, Archives and Museums (DIBAM) and the National Monuments Council (CMN), as soon as possible to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, prior to their implementation;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019.
Report year: 2017
Chile
Date of Inscription: 2000
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2016) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 41COM (2017)
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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