Placed on the World Heritage List in 1979 under criteria (iii), (iv) and (vi), Kathmandu Valley is the subject of an international safeguarding campaign which has served in the first place to draw up a Master Plan for the management and conservation of the cultural monuments throughout the valley.
Under the terms of the nomination submitted in 1979 by the Nepalese authorities, seven sites were included in the World Heritage List: the Kathmandu, Patan and Bhadgaon (Bhaktapur) Darbar Squares, the two Buddhist stupas of Swayambhu and Bodhnath and the two groups of Hindu temples in Pashupati and Changu Narayan. Considering that the three Darbar Squares are composed of 91 large buildings, the Swayambu stupa of 12 architectural structures and the groups of Hindu temples of 28 buildings, regarded as being of exceptional importance, monitoring the state of these various monuments is proving to be a complex task, both for Unesco and for the Nepalese authorities.
In 1989 Kathmandu Valley was the subject of the questionnaire sent in on the monitoring of the state of conservation of cultural properties. The authorities touched in general terms on the restoration work done under the Action Plan for the Campaign. Only two properties, the Changu Narayan temple and Mani Keschav Narayan Chok on Patan Darbar Square, were cited as requiring urgent restoration measures in both cases, the rebuilding of certain parts of structural consolidation proved necessary. At its thirteenth session the Committee had been informed that the roof of the Bishwanath temple on Patan Darbar Square had fallen in.
Emergency assistance has been requested three times from the World Heritage Fund: in 1979 and 1980 to consolidate the Swayambhu temple ($32,500) which was threatened by a landslide, and in 1989 for the work to be carried out on Biswanath temple ($34,000).
Therefore, it is considered that an UNDP project could assist the Campaign to continue the development of the type of institutional infrastructure that will be required in Nepal to preserve the cultural heritage of that country. The UNDP project would provide front end funding for broader planning issues, a detailed planning of the Campaign, and some core funding for training and associated equipment prior to the relaunching of the Campaign and during the first 1 1/2 to 2 years of the Campaign. The project would run for three years with a budget of approximately $435,000 from UNDP and a contribution of $87,000 (in kind) from the government. The specific objectives of the project would be as follows:
1. to review and update the Master Plan and develop a General Action Plan for the Kathmandu Valley;
2. to develop a detailed Action Plan and Marketing Plan for the re-defined International Safeguarding Campaign;
3. to increase the capacity of the Department of Archaeology to conserve and present the cultural heritage of Nepal by:
a) providing additional training of the staff,
b) improving the conservation laboratory.
As part of the review of the implementation of the Action Plan for the Campaign, the state of restorations in progress has been ascertained (a copy of the report can be consulted in the Secretariat). The working group that met to evaluate the Campaign recommended that a limited number of monuments and sites be concentrated on. Of the 88 originally included in the inventory drawn up for the Campaign, the following were singled out: the Swayambhu stupa with its 12 buildings, Patan Darbar Square (19 buildings) and the Hindu temple of Pashupati consisting of 13 parts, all three specifically listed at the time of the inclusion of Kathmandu Valley in the World Heritage List.