28.06.2012 - UNESCO Office in Kabul

Management Coordination Meeting for the future of the Bamiyan World Heritage Site

@UNESCO/M. Amin Sadiqi-- Some participants to the meeting at the bottom of the Eastern Buddha niche.

The UNESCO Kabul Officeorganized a two-day meeting on the 18th and 19th of June 2012 in cooperation with the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture and the Agha Kahn Foundation in Bamiyan which focussed on management and coordination issues for one of Afghanistan’s two World Heritage Sites,“the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley.”

The participants in the meeting included senior Afghan government officials, such as the Minister of Urban Development and the Minister of Transport and Aviation, the Deputy Ministers for Information and Culture and of Public Works, the Governor of Bamiyan and many more officials from both Kabul and Bamiyan who joined the international experts from ICOMOS,DAFA , Aachen University, UNESCO and UNAMA. Students and professors from the Bamiyan University and civil society representatives also joined the meeting and had the opportunity to ask questions and raise their concerns regarding the World Heritage Site and future development in the Bamiyan Valley in general.

During the two-day meeting, a holistic discussion took place around the management plan for the World Heritage Property, the Cultural Master Plan for Bamiyan, urban planning and transport issues, including roads and aviation. The prospect of mineral extraction in the Bamiyan Valley, both the challenges and opportunities it could provide, were also discussed in the context of sustainable development. 

The Governor of Bamiyan, Mrs.HabibaSarabi, appreciated the fact that such a meeting was held in Bamiyanin order to assist senior government officials, non-governmental organizations, UN agencies and other participants to “directly interact with the people of Bamiyan and better understand the situation on the ground.”

Dr. Hassan Abdullahi, the Minister of urban development vowed to provide any necessary support for implementation of the “Bamiyan Cultural Master Plan” which defines the boundaries of the World Heritage property and recommends heritage and environmentally sensitive approaches to infrastructure and urban development in the Valley. He described the city as “the cultural heart of Afghanistan” and  furtheremphasized that, “Promoting the cultural heritage of Bamiyan is equal to promoting the cultural heritage of the of whole Afghanistan”.

Also Dr. Ali Najafi the Minister of transport and aviation pledged his ministry’s support for enabling tourism to increase through the transport system to and from the relatively peaceful province of Bamiyan with its historical, natural and World Heritage attractions.

The UNESCO Kabul Office, in partnershipwith the Ministry of Information and Culture<a name="_GoBack"></a>, has been coordinating efforts to preserve the Bamiyan World Heritage Site with contributions from Japan, Germany, France and Switzerland.  During the meeting, UNESCO also announcedthe beginning of Phase IV of its Project for the Safeguarding of the Bamiyan Site, funded by the government of Japan since 2003.

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