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Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works

Chile
Factors affecting the property in 2010*
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Wind
  • Other Threats:

    Extremely fragile nature of the industrial buildings that were constructed using local materials such as timber for frames, corrugated iron sheets for roofs and some walls, in addition to stucco and lightweight construction ; Lack of maintenance over the past 40 years ; Corrosion of metal cladding and dismantlement of some of the structural elements. A few buildings, such as the Leaching house, are liable to structural collapse if no support is given ; Very little conservation work carried out

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Extremely fragile nature of the industrial buildings that were constructed using local materials such as timber for frames, corrugated iron sheets for roofs and some walls, in addition to stucco and lightweight construction
  • Lack of maintenance over the past 40 years as well as vandalism at the property
  • Corrosion of metal cladding and dismantlement of some of the structural elements. A few buildings, such as the Leaching House, are liable to structural collapse if no support is given
  • Very little conservation work carried out
  • Damage caused by the wind
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Extremely fragile nature of the industrial buildings
  • Lack of maintenance for 40 years
  • Vandalism due to looting of re-usable materials
  • Damage caused by the wind
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

The State Party is preparing a desired state of conservation that will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.

Corrective Measures for the property

a) Establishment of the management team with adequate human and financial resources;

b) Structural consolidation and rehabilitation works for several emblematic buildings, such as the public buildings, the housing sector and the industrial zone buildings, using available materials within the property;

c) Security measures for visitors in some buildings, such as those located in the industrial zone;

d) Specific regulations for the buffer zone.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

a) The work plan for the first phase includes security measures for visitors, cleaning and selection of materials, and low cost corrective measures. The second phase foresees the urgent structural consolidation of all the identified buildings which should be done by 2009;

b) The implementation of the work plan is dependent on the availability of funds. 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2010
Requests approved: 1 (from 2007-2007)
Total amount approved : 30,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2010**

October 2004: ICOMOS evaluation mission; May 2007: World Heritage Centre site visit; April 2010: Joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010

The State Party provided a report on the state of conservation of the property on 15 March 2010, which includes information on the actions implemented to comply with the Decisions of the World Heritage Committee, and on activities carried out to address the identified corrective measures.

From 19 – 23 April 2010, a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission was carried out at the property, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009).

a. State of conservation and consolidation projects

The State Party reports that the intervention study and projects have been concluded for the 15 buildings considered in the Priority Interventions Programme in August 2009, and were sent to the World Heritage Centre. It indicates that consolidation works were finalised at the Boy Scout’s meeting place and also that consolidation works were tendered for the Humberstone chimney, with financial resources from the Council of National Monuments (CMN), and was expected to be completed in March 2010. The report states that additional funding is being sought for interventions at the upper part of the Santa Laura Leaching Plant and for the Santa Laura Surgery. The State Party mentions that although elements exist to implement the emergency consolidation projects, limited funding has hindered its sustained implementation.

The reactive monitoring mission verified the state of conservation of the property and the interventions carried out to date. It noted that notwithstanding the existence of the intervention study, scientific studies for both metal and wood materials are still needed to understand the decay mechanisms, so as to better identify interventions that do not compromise the attributes of the property. The mission noted with concern the considerable damage that exists at some structures, particularly in Santa Laura, with some of them at imminent risk of collapse. Interventions need to consider the potential impacts on the authenticity and integrity of the property. The mission report also highlights the need to review some of the interventions carried out and identify more suitable solutions, particularly with regards to modern constructive systems that have been integrated and their compatibility with original materials.

The mission suggested organizing an international meeting to assist the State Party in identifying the required measures to stop or mitigate the degradation of wood and timber structures, and to provide the guidelines to ensure the conditions of authenticity and integrity of the property. The meeting will be organized in coordination with the International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH).

 

b. Buffer zone

The report submitted by the State Party indicates that no significant progress has been made with the protection of the buffer zone. The CMN has requested assistance in its definition, taking advantage of the Municipal Zoning plan. In addition, it is exploring whether the area can be effectively protected through a National Monuments Act. The Saltpeter Museum Corporation is working towards getting a concession over government owned land at the northern and eastern limits to manage areas where the Peña Chica Saltpeter works and the Don Guillermo camp are located, including nitrate extraction areas.

The State Party also reports that the perimeter fence was completely established, and as of November 2009, its maintenance is under the responsibility of the Saltpeter Museum Corporation. It indicated that the documentation to apply for the review of boundaries, as indicated in 2009, would be submitted after the mission.

The reactive monitoring mission noted the importance of reviewing the legislative framework to control activities at the buffer zone. It stated in particular the importance of regulating activities at the existing Iodine Factory to the south of Humberstone, to mitigate the visual impacts derived from the industrial buildings and to address environmental concerns, including dust generated during the extraction of materials.

The mission also verified the proposed new trace for the bypass of Route A-16. It noted that while the revised route has diminished impacts on Humberstone, it will create visual impacts on Santa Laura which is already in a vulnerable state. It also underscored the need to revise the proposed boundaries and buffer zone, taking into account the conditions at Santa Laura. It noted that once approved, efforts should be made to disseminate information on the proposed boundaries to avoid potential conflicts with neighbouring properties.

 

c. Management plan

The State Party reports that funding is being sought for the update and review of the management plan.

The mission noted that the management plan originally defined to be implemented between 2005 and 2009 was not implemented due to limited funding and resources. Although personnel have been assigned to the property, there is still insufficient collaboration for the implementation of actions at the property. The mission underscored the need to have personnel on site to coordinate the implementation of the management plan, and to define strategies to secure funding for its implementation.

 

d. Statement of Outstanding Universal Value and desired state of conservation

The State Party indicated in its report that the draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value and the desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger would be discussed during the reactive monitoring mission. Attributes that sustain the Outstanding Universal Value of the property were briefly discussed during the reactive monitoring mission.

Within the framework of the Periodic Reporting exercise for the Region, the “Workshop on the preparation of the Retrospective Inventory, Retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value of the properties included in the World Heritage List and an introduction to the Second Cycle of the Periodic Reporting for the Latin America and the Caribbean Region” took place November 2009 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The focal point for Chile participated and was trained on how to produce the Retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value which should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre by 31 July 2010.

The State Party reports that at least three more years are needed to fully comply with the corrective measures previously set forth.

 

e. Other issues

The State Party noted the efforts made by the Saltpeter Museum Corporation in promoting the property as a tourism destination and also works implemented to facilitate access and interpretation, including the recovery of movable heritage and historic documentation.

The reactive monitoring mission considers that cultural aspects of the Pampinos need to be effectively integrated in this respect, to create a stronger commitment to the conservation of the property and to highlight their role in the cultural process. It noted that information and capacity building is needed among tour guides to better understand and convey the significance of the property, and mentioned the need to create facilities for emergency medical services and other elements for civil protection.

In conclusion, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the progress made by the State Party in addressing concerns that caused the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger. However, they remain concerned about the conditions affecting the structural stability of emblematic buildings, particularly at Santa Laura. They also note that interventions have to balance the potential impacts on the authenticity of the property with the need to secure the structural stability of the elements, and the importance of revising methodologies and materials for intervention to guarantee their appropriateness. They recognise the achieved progress in spite of limited funding, but highlight the need to secure the required resources to have a fully operational management system in place that can coordinate both interventions at the property and the management of the buffer zone.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2010
34 COM 7A.29
Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Chile) (C 1178)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7A.28 adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Recognizes the efforts made by the State Party in addressing conservation conditions and recommendations made by the World Heritage Committee;

4. Notes the results of the April 2010 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission and endorses its recommendations;

5. Notes with satisfaction that the government owned land concession has been given to the Saltpeter Museum Corporation, covering a part of the buffer zone and ensuring the conservation of significant Saltpeter remains;

6. Expresses its concern about the state of conservation of the property and urges the State Party to:

a) Secure the necessary financial, technical and human resources for the implementation of the Priority Interventions Programme,

b) Finalize the revision of the Management Plan and ensure conditions for its effective implementation,

c) Finalize the process for establishing adequate regulatory measures in the buffer zone,

d) Consider strengthening the mitigation measures in order to avoid any potential impacts of the new trace for the bypass of Route A-16 on the Santa Laura area,

e) Submit the required documentation for boundary modifications, including appropriate cartography, for approval by the World Heritage Committee;

7. Reiterates its requests to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a proposal for the Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011,

8. Welcomes the idea of organizing an international expert meeting in coordination with the International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage in order to assist the State Party in the identification of the required measures to stop or mitigate the degradation of wood and timber structures and to provide guidelines to ensure the conditions of authenticity and integrity of the property;

9. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, 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 35th session in 2011;

10. Decides to retain Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Chile) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

34 COM 8C.2
Establishment of the World Heritage List in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following the examination of the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-10/34.COM/7A, WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add and WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add.2),

2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 34 COM 7A.22)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 34 COM 7A.23)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 34 COM 7A.13)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 34 COM 7A.29)
  • Colombia, Los Katios National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.14)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 34 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Virunga National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Garamba National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Salonga National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 34 COM 7A.8)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 34 COM 7A.17)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.9)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 34 COM 7A.27)
  • India, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (Decision 34 COM 7A.12)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 34 COM 7A.18)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 34 COM 7A.19)
  • Islamic Republic of Iran, Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Decision 34 COM 7A.24)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 34 COM 7A.20)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 34 COM 7A.10)
  • Pakistan, Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Decision 34 COM 7A.25)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 34 COM 7A.30)
  • Philippines, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Decision 34 COM 7A.26)
  • Senegal, Niokolo Koba National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.11)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 34 COM 7A.28)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 34 COM 7A.16)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 34 COM 7A.31)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 34 COM 7A.21)
Draft Decision: 34 COM 7A.29

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7A.28 adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Recognises the efforts made by the State Party in addressing conservation conditions and in addressing recommendations made by the World Heritage Committee;

4. Notes the results of the April 2010 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission and endorses its recommendations;

5. Expresses its concern about the state of conservation of the property and urges the State Party to:

a) Secure the necessary financial, technical and human resources for the implementation of the Priority Interventions Programme,

b) Finalize the revision of the Management Plan and ensure conditions for its effective implementation,

c) Finalize the process for defining the buffer zone and for establishing adequate regulatory measures,

d) Consider a new trace for the bypass of Route A-16 in light of the potential impacts the currently projected one might have on the Santa Laura area,

e) Submit the required documentation for boundary modifications, including appropriate cartography, for approval by the World Heritage Committee;

6. Reiterates its requests to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value and a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011,

7. Welcomes the idea of organizing an international expert meeting in coordination with the International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage in order to assist the State Party in the identification of the required measures to stop or mitigate the degradation of wood and timber structures and to provide the guidelines to ensure the conditions of authenticity and integrity of the property;

8. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, 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 35th session in 2011;

9. Decides to retain Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Chile) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2010
Chile
Date of Inscription: 2005
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2005-2019
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 34COM (2010)
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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