10.07.2013 - UNESCO Office in Kathmandu

UNESCO World Heritage Committee requests Nepal to report on developments in Pashupati

©UNESCOPashupati nath, a monument zone in Kathmandu Valley world heritage site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has welcomed Nepal’s efforts in finding an alternative to the road that was cut in 2007 through the Slesmantak forest in Pashupati, one of the seven monument zones of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage property, and requested the country to submit details of its substitution plans as soon as possible.

These plans should be sent to UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre preferably at the concept stage and before irreversible commitments are made, says the Decision that the World Heritage Committee took at its recent 37th session in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh (Decision 37 COM 7B.65).

Also in relation to Pashupati, the Committee regretted that the Heritage Impact Assessment of the new crematorium presently under construction in the monument zone was not undertaken in time to improve its design and position, especially with regard to the 30m high chimney, which will have an adverse visual impact on the property.

In its Decision, the Committee requests information on how Nepal intends to mitigate the impact of the chimney of the crematorium, and on the verification of the closure of the road through the Slesmantak forest. It also demands Nepal to prepare Heritage Impact Assessments of other significant development proposals in the property, including the visitors and parking provisions as outlined in the Pashupati Master Plan and the extension of the airport.

In addition to information on these issues, Nepal is to submit a general report on the state of conservation of the World Heritage property of the Kathmandu Valley by 1 February 2015.

The decision came after the World Heritage Committee had reviewed the state of conservation of the Kathmandu Valley that was part of the agenda of the thirty-seventh session of the Committee from 16 to 27 June 2013 (Document  WHC-13/37.COM/7A)

Noting the considerable conservation efforts undertaken along with awareness of and adherence to good conservation practice to protect historic monuments within the property, the Committee welcomed the adoption of ecological measures to manage environmental damage in the Mrigasthali deer park.

The Committee also showed its satisfaction to the progress on the review of the Integrated Management Plan (IMP) for the Kathmandu Valley. The IMP was prepared as a main basis to guide conservation and management processes within the property and is an important component of the Integrated Management Framework adopted in 2007 which provides an overall integrated approach to managing the seven monument zones of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage property.- three durbar squares of Hanumandhoka, Patan, Bhaktapur, two Hindu temple sites of Pashupati and Changu Narayan and two Buddhist sites of Swayambhu and Bauddhanath

A ten member delegation led by the Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Sushil Ghimire, including the Permanent Delegate of Nepal to UNESCO, two officials from the Department of Archaeology and six from the Lumbini Development Trust represented Nepal in Cambodia.

Kathmandu Valley is one of the four world heritage sites of Nepal. Other sites are: Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the Chitwan National Park, and the Sagarmatha National Park.

Forty-five new sites were inscribed during the thirty-seventh session in Cambodia this year.  The World Heritage List now numbers 981 properties, 759 cultural, 193 natural and 29 mixed as having outstanding universal value for humanity, in 160 States Parties. One-hundred-ninety States Parties have ratified the World Heritage Convention to date.

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