1.         Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena (Colombia) (C 285)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1984

Criteria  (iv)(vi)

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/285/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1988-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 108,800
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/285/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

May-June 2003: ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; November-December 2003: ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; 2006 Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; December 2017: ICOMOS Advisory mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/285/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2023

On 2 December 2022, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/285/documents/. Progress on a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in the report, particularly on the development of management plans at architectural, urban and landscape levels:

The report also details measures undertaken to reinforce the Institute of Cultural Heritage of Cartagena (IPCC), as well as actions and strategies implemented by the IPCC Heritage Division, including:

The report also describes a number of legal procedures linked to the Aquarela project, most of which are still ongoing.

The State Party indicates that once the articulation and harmonization process for PEMP MURCA, PEMP CH and PEMP FORT BHAHIA is finished, and with the approval of the plans consolidated in a single administrative act, the process of updating the boundaries of the site will begin.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

While the State Party should be commended for the actions and activities for the development and implementation of the PEMPs, and for strengthening capacities of managers, improving communication with inhabitants and users of the property, and fostering collaboration with various agencies for an improved management of the property, it is fundamental to urgently finalize the approval of the PEMP-CH and PEMP-FORT BAHIA.

The State Party reiterated that once the two additional PEMPs are approved, the boundaries of the property can be established, and will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre. The report mentions that the PEMP-MURCA includes the definition of a buffer zone for the site, but no details are provided regarding its location and extension or related to the regulations in that area. The State Party should submit to the World Heritage Centre the cartography details of the property at the time of its inscription, as well as a Minor Boundary Modification request.

The report directly addresses the Committee’s recommendations, highlighting the main issues. However, the State Party is advised to provide more specific information on issues that have not been solved and to offer an estimated timeline for their finalization, particularly as concerns the issues of approving the two PEMPs but also pending legal procedures associated with the Aquarela project, most of which seem to be ongoing.

While the challenges for the property remain, the State Party should be commended for the actions undertaken to have adequate regulation for the property, and for the efforts undertaken to include local inhabitants and users in activities linked to a better understanding and protection of the property.

Decision Adopted: 45 COM 7B.112

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.[99] adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the measures undertaken for the implementation of the Special Management and Protection Plan (PEMP) for the Walled Enclosure and the Castle of San Felipe (PEMP-MURCA), and encourages the State Party to continue with these efforts;
  4. Also welcomes the finalization of the PEMP for the Historic Urban Complex (PEMP-CH) and the PEMP for the Fortified Cultural Landscape of Cartagena de Indias (PEMP-FORT BAHIA), and further welcomes the articulation of these plans with other existing regulation but regrets that these documents have not been approved yet, and urges the State Party to approve these documents as a priority and enable their implementation;
  5. Further requests the State Party to submit an up-to-date map of the property as inscribed in 1984 and, in accordance with paragraphs 163-164 of the Operational Guidelines, a Minor Boundary Modification request to define the buffer zone(s);
  6. Welcomes moreover the actions undertaken to address the impact of the Aquarela project on the Outstanding Universal Value, and also urges the State Party to continue the processes to resolve the outstanding legal actions, and requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the proposals for the restitution of the public space;
  7. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2024, 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 47th session.