This meeting, which is being held in France, will bring together several experts from different countries (Kazakhstan, Norway, Uzbekistan, Germany and France) as well as ICOMOS experts and the UNESCO Central Asia field offices representatives to discuss with the World Heritage Centre the draft Concept Paper of the World Heritage Nomination of the Rock art Sites in Central Asia.
In 2005 an Action Plan was adopted aiming for better implementation of the World Heritage Convention in Central Asia, which included serial nominations, one of them the "Central Asian Petroglyph sites". In 2006, an assessment mission to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan was carried out for UNESCO by an Central Asian expert, aiming to identify the priority petroglyph sites of potential outstanding universal value and the first potential Rock Art sites in the Central Asian countries. In the 31st Session of the World Heritage Committee (Christchurch, 2007), within the Asia-Pacific Periodical Reporting follow-up, the Committee approved an amount of US$ 30,000 to support this serial nomination process. In 2008, the first UNESCO Sub-Regional Workshop on Serial Nomination for Central Asian Petroglyph Sites financed under the World Heritage Fund (International Assistance Request submitted by Kyrgyzstan) and the UNESCO-Norwegian Trust Fund project for supporting Central Asian Serial nominations, was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (26-30 May 2008). The Workshop was organized in order to discuss the challenges and opportunities for a possible World Heritage serial nomination for the Central Asian Petroglyphs, as well as to develop a common nomination strategy. An Action Plan and Time Table has been drafted. In 2009, an "UNESCO-IICAS (International Institute for Central Asian Studies) scientific-methodological workshop on Central Asia Rock Art World Heritage Serial Nomination" was organized in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, from 2 to 6 March.
The present working meeting in Paris will be an important occasion to further develop and comment on the draft Concept Paper of the Central Asia Rock Art World Heritage Serial Nomination. After this Expert meeting, it is proposed that the Revised Concept Paper will be presented to the second UNESCO Sub-Regional Workshop on Serial Nomination for Central Asian Petroglyph Sites foreseen in October 2009 in Tajikistan or in Uzbekistan, in order for the participating State Parties to adopt the Concept Paper for the Central Asia Rock Art World Heritage Serial Nomination.
This meeting is organized by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre with financial support from the Norway Funds-In-Trust and the World Heritage Prehistory Action Plan.