In spite of its remarkable historical background and numerous historic and cultural sites in the region, Central Asia and western China remain one of the most under-represented regions on the World Heritage List, with no cultural or natural heritage properties from Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan inscribed on the List.
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS have been assisting the States Parties in identifying new types of properties for World Heritage nomination, such as the Silk Roads for serial and/or transnational World Heritage nomination. Spanning a quarter of the globe, the Silk Road includes several routes of integration, exchange and dialogue between East and West that have contributed greatly to the common prosperity of various civilizations over more than two millennia. Their location across so many countries with different legal and administrative systems, however, makes it very difficult to ensure their conservation for future generations.
Previous consultation meetings were held in Turpan (August 2006, China), Samarkand (October 2006, Uzbekistan) and Dushanbe (April 2007, Tajikistan), where the "Concept Document for the Serial Nomination of the Silk Roads in Central Asia and China" was adopted. The present workshop will bring together relevant authorities of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and China to further develop the preparation of Tentative Lists for cultural heritage sites along the Silk Road. The workshop will also invite representatives and experts from other countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Italy, Japan and Mongolia to review potential cooperation on the serial World Heritage nomination of the Silk Roads.
The meeting will address issues relating to World Heritage Tentative Lists harmonization, statements of Outstanding Universal Value, and management mechanisms for the serial and transnational World Heritage nomination of the Silk Road. The meeting will also include field visits to some cultural heritage sites around the Xi'an city of Shaanxi Province of China.
This meeting is jointly organized by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and China's State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH), in collaboration with the Xi'an Municipal Government of Shaanxi Province, with financial support from the Netherlands Funds-In-Trust and the Italian Funds-In-Trust.