With the aim of making an evaluation of the state of the property and identifying priorities for future projects, the Government of Japan, at the invitation of the State Party, sent an exploratory mission in August 2002, which included Japanese and international experts, as well as representatives from UNESCO and the Bolivian authorities. A mission for the preparation of the project document for the Japan Funds-in-Trust (JFIT) took place in November 2007, with the participation of the World Heritage Centre and national and international experts.
This mission noted that updating the management and conservation plans was extremely urgent in order to guarantee appropriate conservation of the property. Due to limited capacities, conservation techniques and archaeological research activities are not always implemented to international standards. There is an evident need to precisely define regulations for the conservation and preservation of the main archaeological complex and the site museum. Currently, the construction of new laboratories and facilities for archaeologists are being carried out.
The mission also highlighted that the Tiwanaku communities are aware of the value of the property and are very interested in collaborating in its conservation and preservation. All projects and decisions concerning exploration and conservation of the property are made in close collaboration with the Comité Interinstitucional para la Gestión de Tiwanaku (CIACSAT), a consortium of seven organizations involved and related to Tiwanaku at the national, regional and local levels. The organization includes: the Vice-Ministry of Culture, Vice-Ministry of Tourism, the Prefecture of La Paz, the Municipality of Tiwanaku, the Central Agraria (agriculturist association), Junta de Vecinos (residents association of the town of Tiwanaku) and the National Archaeology Unit (UNAR) at the technical level. Indigenous communities of the surrounding areas are represented as well.
The 2002 mission recognized the need for a buffer zone. Little progress has been made in this matter due to land tenure problems. To date, the Bolivian Government is the owner of the 71 ha property, but the total archaeological area extends to approximately 600 ha.
The town of Tiwanaku, which is located just beside the property, has not been properly monitored or regulated in terms of its growth and development for its impact on the outstanding universal value of the property. The Municipal Government explained that a cadastral mapping of the town is in progress as well as a project for the elaboration of a Land Use Regulation Plan, however, no clear explanation of its content nor any definition concerning environmental policies has been made. More coordination between the Vice-Ministry of Culture/UNAR and institutions such as universities and researchers is urgently needed to identify proper intervention mechanisms at an international standard level.
In March 2008, a total budget of USD 870,000 (JFIT) was approved for a three-year project for the “Preservation and conservation of Tiwanaku and the Akapana Pyramid” for the following main activities:
a) Update and implement the management and conservation plans including the archaeological complex of Tiwanaku;
b) Promote more efficient support and coordinated participation of local communities;
c) Develop conservation methodologies for the excavated and exposed areas;
d) Document and conserve excavation materials; publish results;
e) Ensure appropriate museum management;
f) Train staff and community members in conservation and excavation techniques;
g) Strengthen efforts for sustainable development in local communities;
h) Promote understanding and awareness among local inhabitants of the outstanding universal value of the property;
i) Develop national capacities for the conservation of cultural heritage.