Silk Roads Heritage Corridors in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Iran – International Dimension of the European Year of Cultural Heritage


Focused on the Silk Roads Heritage Corridors in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Iran, a project was designed by the UNESCO Offices in Almaty, Kabul, Tashkent and Tehran, with the support of the European Union and in cooperation with the national authorities of the participating countries. The overall project objective is to strengthen the contribution of culture to sustainable development, notably through heritage-based tourism development, diversifying tourism products and delivering high-quality visitor experiences along the Silk Roads heritage corridors in the participating countries. These activities aim to contribute to improving livelihoods of the communities in the region, including youth and women, through capacity building and the creation of opportunities for income-generation and jobs. 


The immediate objectives are:


  • Promote tangible and intangible cultural heritage in the participating countries      locally and internationally.
  • Promote the role of tangible and intangible cultural heritage as a foundation for    sustainable development, including sustainable tourism, job opportunities and      social cohesion.
  • Strengthen human and institutional resources in the participating countries for    protecting tangible and safeguarding intangible cultural heritage.
  • Promote and facilitate partnerships and improve communication on the      understanding, safeguarding and protection of common cultural heritage.
  • To ensure the achievement of the objectives, the project will have the following activities in Afghanistan:
  • Rehabilitation of a Silk Roads related property at a World Heritage site (or  WH    Tentative Listed site) in Afghanistan;
  • Building capacities of traditional handicrafts masters and promote local      craftsmanship for improved livelihoods of local communities in Afghanistan;
  • Community-based inventorying and other safeguarding activities in    Afghanistan to safeguard Intangible Cultural Heritage around a rehabilitated        Silk Roads related property; and
  • Participation in International Silk Road Conference organized in the framework    of the year 2018 'Turkmenistan is the Heart of the Silk Road"

In addition, UNESCO keep in assisting the Afghan Government and Afghan people in safeguarding their intangible cultural heritage, by building the capacity of the government to effectively implement the 2003 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage. It will do so through trainings, workshops, and by creating the framework for a thorough inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage (2018-2019).

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