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Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena

Colombia
Factors affecting the property in 2023*
  • Commercial development
  • Governance
  • Housing
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Marine transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Construction of TRANSCARIBE, a new public transportation system and its impact on the wall (issue resolved)
  • Marine transport infrastructure (impact of the harbour public works on the fortifications of Cartagena)
  • Management Systems/Management Plan (lack of a Management Plan; lack of a regulatory conservation management system for the property; need for urban regulations for the protected area)
  • Impacts of tourism/visitor/recreation
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Housing
  • Commercial development
  • Governance
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2023

N/A

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2023
Requests approved: 6 (from 1988-1999)
Total amount approved : 108,800 USD
Missions to the property until 2023**

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

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:

  • At the architectural level, the Special Management and Protection Plan (PEMP) for the Walled Enclosure and the Castle of San Felipe (PEMP-MURCA), was approved in 2018, establishing building parameters, and defining a buffer zone. In the framework of this Plan, short term project as well as preventive and corrective maintenance works are in progress, while the development of mid-term plans to promote the appropriation and protection of the property has begun;
  • At the urban level, the PEMP for the Historic Urban Complex (PEMP-CH), and at the landscape level, the PEMP for the Fortified Cultural Landscape of Cartagena de Indias (PEMP-FORT BAHIA), developed in conjunction with the District of Cartagena and other local and national entities, have been finalized, and are in the process of being adopted via administrative act.

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:

  • Development of an app (BIEN MIO) to monitor changes in the property and improve response times, and of the SH CITY CTG monitoring system for preliminary studies to develop tools to understand visitor and user flows in the historic centre;
  • Implementation of projects to enhance the social appropriation of heritage for different groups of the population; to identify the state of crafts and trades related to heritage, to define strategies for their protection;
  • Implementation of online capacity building courses for managers in the city;
  • Participation in working groups with the Police Inspectorate and the Risk Management Office to define joint actions for the protection, inspection and surveillance of buildings;
  • Participation in meetings with the District Council of Cultural Heritage and the community to disseminate information on buildings in the property which were declared as assets of cultural interest, and to disseminate the progress in the implementation of the Special Safeguarding Plans;
  • Monitoring the state of conservation of buildings in the property and provision of technical advice to owners of properties with decay problems on actions to be taken;
  • Proposal for joint actions with the Heritage and Culture Sectorial Committee to deal with urban art, sculptures and monuments and graffiti;
  • Reviewing proposals for projects in the property in view of their authorization, and suspension of work and sanctions for inadequate interventions.

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 Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2023

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.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2023
45 COM 7B.112
Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena (Colombia) (C 285)

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.
Draft Decision: 45 COM 7B.112

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.167, 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.
Report year: 2023
Colombia
Date of Inscription: 1984
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2022) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 45COM (2023)
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.