The “Workshop for Cultural Landscape and Sustaining its Significance – Bhutan 2017” will be held in Thimphu, Bhutan, from 22 to 27 October 2017. The 2017 workshop aims to assist the staff of the Department of Culture of Bhutan with reviewing the development of management plans for six selected cultural sites located in five of the twenty Dzongkhags/Districts of Bhutan (Bumthang, Samtse, Trongsa, Wangduephodrang and Zhemgang).
This event is part of an ongoing series of workshops on cultural landscapes in Bhutan and follows three previous annual workshops: in 2014, for the International Competition of Cultural Landscape of Bhutan, post-degree university teams from Japan, Thailand and UK were invited to work with Bhutanese experts. In 2015, young professionals from Bhutan, China, Cyprus, France, India, Japan and Serbia were invited to conduct a study of a village in the Haa District of Bhutan, in order to identify and analyse various elements that constitute the cultural landscape of the village (e.g. architecture, settlements, natural environment, community and peoples’ lifestyle), while the 2016 Workshop for Cultural Landscape of Bhutan assisted with the development of management frameworks for two selected cultural landscape sites in Paro, Bhutan.
Since 2011, Bhutan has embarked upon the development of a national strategy and capacity-building towards the holistic protection of its cultural heritage and cultural landscape, in close association with UNESCO. In 2017, as part of ongoing activities to reach this goal, the Division for Conservation of Heritage Sites (DCSH) of the Department of Culture at the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs of Bhutan and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre are organising this fourth edition of the Workshop on ‘Cultural Landscape and Sustaining its Significance – Bhutan 2017’.
The expected outcomes of the workshop are: improved capacity for the DCHS; the development of management plans for potentially important cultural sites in Bhutan; and an improved understanding by the Bhutanese authorities of the methodology used for the management of cultural landscapes. More specifically, the Final Panel Review Session, scheduled for 25–26 October 2017, will engage both national stakeholders and international experts in a discussion about the revision of implementable management schemes for six selected cultural sites/cultural landscape located in five different Dzongkhags/Districts of Bhutan.
This workshop is organised thanks to the continuous collaboration between the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs of Bhutan, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and UNESCO Office in New Delhi, and is being supported financially by the UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust Project “Support to the South Asian Cultural Landscape Initiatives”, the NGO Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance (Paris, France), and Kyushu University (Japan).