As part of the Indian Heritage Cities Network project, and in link with the “Rivers and heritage” initiative, a seminar was held in February 2007 in Varanasi, India. The objective was the enhancement of this religious and symbolic city, rich in living urban heritage, with a unique landscape, but with significant heritage management issues including conservation and respect for human use, notably in regard to management of the river.
The seminar recommended the establishment of a River Centre. A partnership was initiated with the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement and Rhône River Centre, France. The challenge in Varanasi is to develop a strategy for integrated conservation and development across the city and river territory.