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City of Potosí

Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Legal framework
  • Mining
  • Surface water pollution
  • Other Threats:

    Instability and risk of collapse of the Cerro Rico; Deficiencies in conservation; Environmental impacts on the hydraulic complex

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Legal framework (inefficient enforcement of protective legislation)
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining (potential degradation of the historic site by continued and uncontrolled mining operations in the Cerro Rico Mountain)
  • Surface water pollution
  • 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
  • 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
Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2021

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 2021
Requests approved: 5 (from 1988-2015)
Total amount approved : 83,777 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

May 1995 and November 2009: World Heritage Centre technical missions; November 2005 and February 2011: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS technical missions; December 2013 and January 2014: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring missions; May 2017: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS technical mission; October 2017 and May 2018: Technical missions facilitated by the World Heritage Centre

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 14 February 2020, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, the executive summary of which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/420/documents/, providing the following information:

  • The final validation of the Integrated and Participatory Management Plan (IPMP) by the relevant authorities was initially scheduled for March 2020 and later rescheduled for 1 April 2020;
  • The clarification of boundaries has been completed; however, the articulation of the property and proposed buffer zone with existing land use regulations remains to be finalized and formalized through legal protection instruments;
  • Documentation outlining the advances in the definition of the property’s buffer zone through a future Minor Boundary Modification proposal was submitted as an annex of the report;
  • The draft Supreme Decree developed by the Mining Corporation of Bolivia (COMIBOL) for the management and conservation of the Cerro Rico was set to be analysed by the Ministry of Mining and Metallurgy in March 2020 before being sent for official approval;
  • The implementation of several of the corrective measures related to mining productive heritage will require resources and mechanisms to be created through the approval of the Supreme Decree;
  • The COMIBOL confirms that there is no authorized mining activity occurring above the 4,400m limit, but that illegal activity continues, which needs to be addressed through additional control measures and alternative employment options for these miners;
  • Stabilization works for the Cerro Rico ended in 2017 due to lack of resources and safety concerns;
  • With regard to the restoration works in the historic centre, difficulties in the enforcement of municipal and national laws and regulations related to the authorization and implementation of works in the area are reported. An inspection by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in February 2020 in the historic centre, related to heritage concerns over a restoration and conservation project of the crypts and catacombs, is highlighted in this regard;
  • The corrective measures related to environmental heritage and the conservation of the Kari Kari Lagoons, as well as several of those related to archaeological, architectural and urban heritage, are expected to be implemented through the IPMP;
  • The establishment of a management unit, as well as the consolidation of the legal framework for the property, remain pending;
  • An extension of two years to the timeline for the full implementation of the corrective measures is needed. As an explanation for this request, the State Party cites the social and political conflicts that the country is currently undergoing.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

The clear information provided by the State Party on the advances in the implementation of the Committee’s previous decisions, and on the state of each of the corrective measures, is appreciated. Given that many of the corrective measures to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) will be implemented as part of the actions outlined in the IPMP, it is of utmost importance that this plan be formally approved by the relevant authorities and communicated to the local stakeholders, and that its implementation commence as soon as possible, with adequate resources in place.

While the clarification of the property’s boundaries was approved by the Committee at its 43rd session (Decision 43 COM 8D), the Minor Boundary Modification proposal remains pending, and the State Party will need to finalise and officially submit the proposal.

It remains of serious concern that the status of the Supreme Decree for the management and conservation of the Cerro Rico has not progressed in recent years. The approval of this instrument, or a suitable alternative, should be pursued with utmost urgency, in order to ensure the resources and management mechanisms needed to address several of the corrective measures related to the property’s mining productive heritage. Further, it is noted that the relocation programme for miners working illegally above the 4,400m limit is a complex issue that could take several years to fully implement.

The information provided on the enforcement challenges of municipal and national laws and regulations in the historic centre of Potosí, as illustrated by the example provided on the crypts and catacombs project, is worrisome. Finally, the State Party’s report that the property’s legal framework as a whole, including land use regulations, requires further consolidation suggests that significant work is needed on this aspect.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7A.35
City of Potosi (Bolivia, Plurinational State of) (C 420)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.48, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Takes note with appreciation of the efforts made by the State Party to implement the previous Committee decisions and the set of corrective measures for achieving the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and encourages the State Party to provide further documentation in annex that informs of the progress underway in greater detail;
  4. Takes note of the information submitted regarding the development of a Minor Boundary Modification for the establishment of the property’s buffer zone, and requests the State Party to submit the final proposal for a Minor Boundary Modification to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies and approval by the World Heritage Committee, as per Paragraphs 163 and 164 of the Operational Guidelines, as soon as it is available, and to ensure that the buffer zone is adequately reflected in the relevant legal framework and planning instruments for the property;
  5. Urges the State Party to officially approve the Integrated and Participatory Management Plan (IPMP) for the property and ensure its full implementation with adequate resources in place;
  6. Also urges the State Party to approve the Supreme Decree, or a suitable alternative instrument, for the management and conservation of the Cerro Rico, in order to ensure the appropriate resources and mechanisms needed to address long-standing and serious concerns related to the property’s productive mining heritage;
  7. Also requests the State Party to continue its work related to the delivery, consolidation and enforcement of the legal framework and regulations related to the entire property, in order to ensure that heritage requirements are adequately considered and respected in the management of the property and implementation of future projects, such as that mentioned at the crypts and catacombs in the historic centre;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, 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 45th session;
  9. Decides to retain City of Potosí (Bolivia (Plurinational State of)) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
44 COM 8B.66
City of Potosí, (Plurinational State of Bolivia)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Documents WHC/21/44.COM/8B.Add and WHC/21/44.COM/INF.8B1.Add,
  2. Refers the proposed buffer zone of the City of Potosí, Plurinational State of Bolivia, back to the State Party in order to allow it to:
    1. Elaborate a clear description of the limits of the buffer zone and clarify the rationale for the delineation of these boundaries, by taking into account the protection of the visually sensitive areas around the property, as mentioned in the Decision 38 COM 7B.38 (Doha, 2014),
    2. Provide clear information on the legal and management aspects, such as land use regulations, that are applied in the regulation of the newly defined buffer zone, in order to understand how the buffer zone will provide an added layer of protection to the property, in compliance with paragraphs 104 and 105 of the Operational Guidelines,
    3. Explain the scope of the different regulations in place in the buffer zone, especially regarding the overlapping of the different protection mechanisms.
44 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/21/44.COM/7A, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 44 COM 7A.28)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 44 COM 7A.29)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 44 COM 7A.32)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 44 COM 7A.35)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.39)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.41)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.42)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.43)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.45)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 44 COM 7A.5)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.55)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 44 COM 7A.52)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 44 COM 7A.6)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 44 COM 7A.7)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 44 COM 7A.8)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 44 COM 7A.10)
  • Kenya, Lake Turkana National Parks (Decision 44 COM 7A.47)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 44 COM 7A.11)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 44 COM 7A.12)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 44 COM 7A.13)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 44 COM 7A.14)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 44 COM 7A.15)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 44 COM 7A.48)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 44 COM 7A.1)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 44 COM 7A.2)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 44 COM 7A.3)
  • Mexico, Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California (Decision 44 COM 7B.56)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 44 COM 7A.30)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 44 COM 7A.49)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 44 COM 7A.17)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 44 COM 7A.16)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 44 COM 7A.36)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 44 COM 7A.37)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.50)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 44 COM 7A.33)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 44 COM 7A.53)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 44 COM 7A.18)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 44 COM 7A.19)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 44 COM 7A.20)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 44 COM 7A.21)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 44 COM 7A.22)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 44 COM 7A.23)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 44 COM 7A.4)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.51)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.54)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 44 COM 7A.31)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 44 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 44 COM 7A.25)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 44 COM 7A.26)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 44 COM 7A.27).
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7A.35

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.48, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Takes note with appreciation of the efforts made by the State Party to implement the previous Committee decisions and the set of corrective measures for achieving the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and encourages the State Party to provide further documentation in annex that informs of the progress underway in greater detail;
  4. Takes note of the information submitted regarding the development of a Minor Boundary Modification for the establishment of the property’s buffer zone, and requests the State Party to submit the final proposal for a Minor Boundary Modification to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies and approval by the World Heritage Committee, as per Paragraphs 163 and 164 of the Operational Guidelines, as soon as it is available, and to ensure that the buffer zone is adequately reflected in the relevant legal framework and planning instruments for the property;
  5. Urges the State Party to officially approve the Integrated and Participatory Management Plan (IPMP) for the property and ensure its full implementation with adequate resources in place;
  6. Also urges the State Party to approve the Supreme Decree, or a suitable alternative instrument, for the management and conservation of the Cerro Rico, in order to ensure the appropriate resources and mechanisms needed to address long-standing and serious concerns related to the property’s productive mining heritage;
  7. Also requests the State Party to continue its work related to the delivery, consolidation and enforcement of the legal framework and regulations related to the entire property, in order to ensure that heritage requirements are adequately considered and respected in the management of the property and implementation of future projects, such as that mentioned at the crypts and catacombs in the historic centre;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, 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 45th session in 2022;
  9. Decides to retain City of Potosí (Bolivia (Plurinational State of)) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2021
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 (2020) .pdf
Initialy proposed for examination in 2020
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
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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