The mission found that although the National Institute of Culture (Instituto Nacional de Cultura - INAC), the National Historic Heritage Directorate (DNPH) and the Historic Centre office (Oficina del Casco Antiguo - OCA) are working hard and demonstrate serious concern regarding the solutions for the issues pointed out by the World Heritage Committee, many negative aspects currently persist. Various buildings have been rehabilitated and many others are currently being restored, however there are a significant number of neglected buildings at risk of collapse. It also noted that real estate speculation and interests continue to pervade decision-making processes, leading to detrimental interventions at the property.
Housing policy for the Historic District
The information sent does not specify whether a decision or progress has been made in this respect. The Emergency Plan should comprise a detailed programme about the buildings to be intervened for housing purposes, the types of interventions foreseen, timelines and budgets for implementation, among others. No information regarding the implementation of some of the recommendations of the reactive monitoring mission of 2009 was included, specifically with regards to the financial mobilization for public investment processes on housing and infrastructure, and the sustainable policy for the improvement of the low income families´ living conditions.
The mission noted that very limited works for the provision of social housing are currently being implemented and that acute social conflicts have not decreased. It also underscored that funds allocated by the IDB for social housing have been allocated to other areas, leading to the cancellation of initiatives that had proven successful. The mission considers that the gentrification of the property has gradually increased.
This project concerns mainly Panama Viejo, where five alternative routes have been identified and submitted to the national authorities, and are currently being evaluated by the Ministry of Public Works and other involved entities. No evidence of an approved budget or implementation project dates has been provided. According to the 2010 expert mission, the
Patronato supports the alternative proposed by the 2009 reactive monitoring mission, which would see the project being developed along one edge of the site, as this option seems to cause the least impact and will help with a better de-limitation of the property.
The Cinta Costera project is a coastal freeway being executed at the seaside area of Terraplan that is projected to continue along the border of the Historic Centre with plans for a tunnel beneath the Centre’s core. At the 33rd session of the World Heritage Committee, the State Party was requested to, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guideline, to submit to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, a final report, including the analysis and monitoring of the potential impacts of this project.
The Mission in 2010 realised that the State Party had commenced the execution of this project. No additional information could be procured regarding the social impacts, conservation requirements, impact assessments, etc. of this project. The Mission was therefore left to conclude that these assessments were not undertaken.
Within the framework of the Periodic Reporting exercise for the Region, the “Workshop on the preparation of the Retrospective Inventory, retrospective statement of Outstanding Universal Value of the properties included on the World Heritage List and an introduction to the Second Cycle of the Periodic Reporting for the Latin America and Caribbean Region” took place November 2009 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The focal point for Panama participated and was trained on how to produce the Retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value. The State Party has sent a proposal which needed to be revised and resubmitted to the World Heritage Centre by 31 July 2010.
State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 195