23.07.2012 - UNESCO Office in New Delhi

Bhutan submits its first Tentative List under World Heritage Convention

After a long 10 year gap of the ratification of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, the Royal Government of Bhutan finally submitted in February of this year, a first ever tentative list to the World Heritage Centre (WHC) for the consideration of their sites for future World Heritage status.

Preparation of a Tentative List is a first step required for State Parties prior to submitting an official nomination dossier to the WHC, after which the WHC committee reviews these for world heritage recognition. Bhutan, in their tentative list to the WHC submitted 4 cultural and 4 natural sites for consideration.

  • Ancient Ruin of Drukgyel Dzong
  • Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Dzongs: the centre of temporal and religious
  • authorities (Punakha Dzong, Wangdue Phodrang
  • Dzong, Paro Dzong, Trongsa Dzong and Dagana Dzong)
  • Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP)
  • Royal Manas National Park (RMNP)
  • Sacred Sites associated with Phajo Drugom
  • Zhigpo and his descendants
  • Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS)
  • Tamzhing Monastery

This tentative list was jointly prepared by the Division for Conservation of Heritage Sites, Department of Culture at the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and the Wildlife Division of the Ministry of Forest and Agriculture, Royal Government of Bhutan. The process was supported by the donation of the Oriental Cultural Heritage Site Protection Alliance. For centuries, the people of Bhutan have treasured their natural landscapes. Bhutan boasts of beautiful national parks like the Jigme Dorji National Park which has been included in the aforementioned list, Phipsoo Wildlife Sanctuary etc. The people of Bhutan take great pride in their country’s natural beauty and are keen on maintaining this beauty whilst at the same time developing into the 21st Century. The cultural heritage of Bhutan consists of various typologies of structures, namely monasteries, fortresses, watch towers and shrines. The vernacular housing type construction are also a very important component of Bhutanese cultural heritage that has evolved as a sensitive response to local resources and climate. These natural and cultural sites together form an integral part of a unique cultural landscape defining relationship of natural elements (mountains, rivers, flora and fauna) to humans and their built environment, reinforced through religious beliefs and practices. This world recognition to Bhutan’s heritage site is truly a proud moment for its citizens, who can pass on their Country’s rich heritage to future generations to come.

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