17.05.2017 - UNESCO Office in Kabul

Community Involvement Workshop on the Bamiyan Cultural Master Plan in Bamiyan on 23-24 April, 2017

April 2017 – Following a previous workshop held in Bamiyan in October 2016, UNESCO, together with the Bamiyan Provincial Governor H.E. Mr. Mohammad Tahir Zuhair, Engineer Mr. Abdul Ahad Abassi, Director of Department of Historical Monument at the Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC), Mr. Noor Agha Noori, Director of the Institute of Archaeology of the MoIC and other officials from central and local Governments (Agriculture, Municipality, Environment Protection, City Planning) as well as UNHABITAT, organized a joint workshop in Bamiyan with local community representatives to discuss and implement the Bamiyan Cultural Master Plan. Professor Michael Jansen and Mr. Georgios Toubekis from the Aachen University, Germany also joined the meeting as facilitators.

The workshop was held in four different community areas including Qala-e Ghamay, Tolwara, Sukhqohl, and Jogra Khel in Bamiyan. These areas were identified by the local government on the base of the challenges they encountered due to the implementation of the Cultural Master Plan. The Cultural Master Plan, officially integrated into a City Development Plan in November 2013, indicates protection areas of Cultural Heritage of the Bamiyan World Heritage site and the corresponding necessary safeguarding actions, through a brief set of guidelines. 

Around 500 local people attended the workshop for a lively discussion about the needs of communities and the importance of protecting cultural heritage. The workshop provided an important opportunity for local stakeholders to express their opinions and concerns regarding local development and the safeguarding of their culture, and for government representatives to provide a response and present ideas for ensuring quality of life for the locals and heritage preservation.

UNESCO assisted facilitating this dialogue, and provided suggestions to the local stakeholders concerning challenges raised by the local communities, mostly related to the regulations to be applied in the different areas designated as a World Heritage site. After the workshop, a further meeting was organized between UNESCO and the central and local authorities on 25 April, in order to identify and share action points that would respond to the current challenges encountered by the local stakeholders.

In order to protect heritage sites while ensuring the locals' basic needs for the quality of livelihood, UNESCO will continue to assist the authorities in preparing a detailed guidelines of the measures, such as land-use guidelines with building codes and a house design plan within the World Heritage site in Bamiyan, to be implemented on the different areas identified by the Cultural Master Plan. 

This workshop was generously supported by the Government of Japan within the framework of the Phase V project of the 'Safeguarding of the Bamiyan World Heritage Site, and will be the first of a series of forums between the government and local communities to discuss challenges and opportunities for regional development and heritage protection

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