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World Heritage Convention

Decision 43 COM 7B.101
Archaeological Site of Panamá Viejo and Historic District of Panamá (Panama) (C 790bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 37 COM 8E, 37COM 7B.100, 40 COM 8B.34, 41 COM 7B.63 adopted at its 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013), 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 41st (Krakow, 2017) sessions respectively,
  3. Expresses its appreciation for the commitment of the State Party towards the implementation of a number of the Committee´s requests;
  4. Notes that the implementation of the Plan del Centro achieved improvement on vehicular access and on urban infrastructure and services in the Historic District, and welcomes the initiative by the Oficina del Casco Antiguo (OCA), the Dirección Nacional de Patrimonio Histórico (DNPH) and the Municipality to extend the property’s buffer zone;
  5. Regrets that the project of the Hotel Casco Viejo is under advanced implementation, that it was not submitted to the World Heritage Committee as per Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines and that no Heritage Impact Assessment was undertaken, and requests the State Party to seek the Committee’s advice regarding large-scale rehabilitation or construction projects well before their approval and/or initiation;
  6. Appreciates the close cooperation between the Patronato of Panamá Viejo and developers of new projects to be built in the buffer zone of the property, which demonstrates improvement in the coordination of local authorities in the planning process and decision-making related to the property;
  7. Also notes the development of the Plan for the Sustainable Recovery of Cultural Landscape of Archaeological Site of Panamá Viejo, but expresses its concern that in spite of conservation initiatives, visual impact and most of the factors currently affecting the property cannot be fully mitigated;
  8. Encourages the State Party to consider improvements to the extension and regulation of the buffer zone of Archaeological Site of Panamá Viejo, and recommends that the urban dimension of the property be fully reflected in the policies, measures and tools adopted to ensure the conservation of this component;
  9. Further notes that the State Party submitted a proposal for a significant boundary modification for the property, which takes the form of a new serial nomination to be examined by the World Heritage Committee in the present session, and reiterates its requests to the State Party to continue to ensure the necessary measures to maintain the authenticity and integrity of both site components of the property, particularly in the buffer zone and wider setting of Panama Viejo;
  10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, 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 2021.
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision