been cases of aggressive interventions and alterations resulting in irreversible damage to the site’s integrity and authenticity. Neglected buildings are in danger of collapse and funds previously allocated by the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) for social housing have been rerouted to other projects, further compounding the poor social conditions that exist at the site.
ICOMOS evaluated the document submitted by the State Party and considers that it encompasses a characterization of the property, an assessment of current conditions by means of SWOT matrixes and conclusions on risks and vulnerabilities, and a list of measures focused on addressing identified risks and threats. The document reflects the efforts made in comprehensively analysing the current situation from the state of conservation of the property to the assessment of existing legislative and regulatory frameworks, which confirms concerns pointed out during the reactive monitoring and expert missions, and identified in previous Decisions of the World Heritage Committee. Notwithstanding the detailed assessment, the proposals for actions are limited and there is no indication regarding timelines, sources of funding or how corrective measures and actions will be implemented. Similarly, criteria and methods for interventions at historic buildings are lacking. The document is more focused on a long-term strategic vision for the management and conservation of the property, which would still require further work, than on the emergency action plan requested by the World Heritage Committee.
Legislative and regulatory measures and management arrangements for the property
The submitted plan provides a detailed analysis on the governance mechanisms for the property, however there is no indication whether existing arrangements will be revised in the near future to enhance the protection of the property and to ensure the sustainability of the management system currently in place. Measures for enforcing legal instruments are not indicated.
According to previous World Heritage Committee Decisions, there has been no significant improvement in terms of a coordinated management of the property. It was also emphasized that the management conditions of the two sites which integrate the World Heritage property are quite different: Panama Viejo is being managed by the Patronato, while the arrangements for the Historic District still need to be evaluated and organized, as suggested by previous Decisions of the World Heritage Committee, the 2009 reactive monitoring mission and the 2010 expert mission. A coordinated management system for both sites needs to be established as soon as possible.
The document indicates that the buffer zone for the Historic District is currently under evaluation. There is no additional information on the timeframe for legal approval or on the regulatory measures foreseen.
Interventions at historic monuments
Regarding Panama Viejo, the document submitted by the State Party includes the proposal for the intervention at Plaza Mayor. The mission found that the Patronato continues working with efficiency and commitment. Several interventions to adapt a portion of the monumental space for new functions have been carefully implemented. The project for the new exhibition and interpretation facilities at the site was recently modified, moving its location to some distance from the old tower, following the recommendations of the 2009 mission.
With regards to the Historic Centre, information on planned and ongoing projects, including the structural changes at the Hotel Central and the impacts of the PH Plaza Independencia condominium, was not included.
State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 194