Historic Inner City of Paramaribo (Suriname) (C 940rev)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 2002
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger N/A
Previous Committee Decisions see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/940/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/940/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
August 2013: ICOMOS Advisory mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Legal framework
- Management systems/ management plan
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/940/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018
On 20 December 2017, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/940/documents/ and reports the following:
- A USD 20 million loan has been obtained from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the Paramaribo Urban Rehabilitation Programme (PURP) to be implemented from 2017 to 2022 and whose objectives are to contribute to the socio-economic revitalization of the inner city and the conservation of its built heritage, including the strengthening of the Management Authority and the development of a Tourism Plan. The Programme is implemented by the Suriname Built Heritage Foundation, which is the designated Management Authority of the World Heritage property, under the overall responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture;
- In the framework of the IDB-PURP programme, the 2011-2015 Management Plan will be updated for the period 2018-2022. Government-owned monumental buildings will be restored and the Management Authority will be strengthened. The reconstruction project of the monumental National Assembly buildings that were destroyed by fire in 1996 is in its design phase. ICOMOS issued a technical review in late 2017 and its recommendations are now under review by the State Party. To this end, on 22 March 2018, the State Party submitted additional information as follow-up to this technical review;
- As to the Waterfront, the State Party is considering the termination of a land-lease for a major development project by a private company, as noted at the previous Committee session. A project for the construction of an Ice Cream Parlour was submitted to ICOMOS for technical review, and its recommendations are now under consideration by the State Party. The overall approach to the Waterfront is also an important component of the IDB-PURP programme in the context of flood prevention and adaptation to climate change. The preparation of a strategic Master Plan for the Waterfront has been initiated. In the meantime, the report confirms that the Monument for Victims was constructed and inaugurated on 17 March 2016;
- No action was taken with respect to the extension of the boundary of the property to include a 50 metre strip of the river, nor to the expansion of the buffer zones;
- Two historic wooden monuments (one in the buffer zone and one within the World Heritage property) were illegally demolished by their owners in 2017, and two other historic buildings were partly destroyed by fire.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
The approval and implementation of the PURP is highly welcomed, and the State Party should be commended for this achievement and for the fact that the World Heritage Management Authority is the main actor in its implementation. From the information provided by the State Party, it appears that the programme includes all relevant components, such as the updating of the Management Plan, the strengthening of the Management Authority, and the preparation of a Tourism Plan, as well as a Strategic Plan for the Waterfront. It would be recommended, however, that the Committee request the State Party to submit a copy of the programme documentation to the World Heritage Centre as well as periodic reports on its implementation, including information on the community’s participation.
As to the Waterfront, a Strategic Plan is urgently required in order to prevent constructions that could potentially have a negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. One key example is the Monument for Victims built without having undergone a technical review of the information on the project requested by the Committee, as well as the proposed Ice Cream Parlour for which ICOMOS issued a technical review in late 2017 with a negative conclusion. In this sense, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate that the Waterfront is a key attribute of the World Heritage property, and that any significant intervention could pose a potential threat to its OUV. The further developments in the Waterfront area should be closely monitored to prevent any negative impacts to the property’s OUV.
As such, it is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to withdraw the licence granted to a private company for construction at the Waterfront, and to proceed urgently with the expansion of the World Heritage property boundaries to include a 50 metre strip of the river, and the extension of the buffer zones, as clearly expressed in previous Committee decisions.
The reconstruction of the previous National Assembly buildings was the subject of a technical review by ICOMOS in late 2017, which concluded that it is commendable to undertake such an endeavour, but that certain aspects of the reconstruction of the wooden front and side facades should be further studied, along with the visual impact of the complex on its wider setting. The World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies are in consultation with the State Party about the further development of this important project.
It is regrettable that two monumental buildings were illegally demolished by their owners in 2017, and that another two were partly destroyed by fire. It is recommended that the Committee request further information on the extent of these incidents, their relevance to the property’s OUV, and any corrective measures identified and implemented. Fire prevention and participation of private owners, as well as awareness-raising activities, should be strongly emphasized in the framework of the PURP programme.
Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7B.42
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.9, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
- Welcomes the approval and implementation of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-funded Paramaribo Urban Rehabilitation Programme (PURP) that addresses key issues of the management and conservation of the property, and requests the State Party to provide a copy of the programme documentation and periodic progress reports on its implementation, including information on the community’s participation, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
- Urges the State Party again to withdraw the licence to the private company for the development project at the Waterfront, and to urgently proceed with the expansion of the property’s boundaries to include a 50 metre strip of the river, and with the extension of the buffer zones as recommended in earlier Committee decisions by means of a formal Minor Boundary Modification in accordance with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines;
- Recommends that the State Party pay particular attention to the development of the whole Waterfront which is a key attribute of the property and to submit the Strategic Plan for the Waterfront, once it becomes available, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
- Regretting that four historic buildings were either destroyed by fire or illegally demolished by their owners in 2017, also requests the State Party to provide further information on the most recent incidents in regard to their relevance for the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
- Further requests the State Party to give high priority to fire prevention and awareness raising among private owners of historic buildings in the property and its buffer zone;
- Commends the initiative of the State Party to re-build the former National Assembly buildings and requests furthermore the State Party to take into account the recommendations made by the ICOMOS technical review, and to engage in further consultations with ICOMOS on the elaboration of updated architectural designs;
- Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, 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 44th session in 2020.