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Support to the South Asian Cultural Landscape Initiatives: A UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust Project, 2016 - 2018

Bhutan Cultural Landscape © UNESCO | Roland LIN

The two years 2016-2018 UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust project “Support to the South Asian Cultural Landscape Initiatives” was officially approved by the Japanese authorities on 31 May 2016.

The project aims to support the South Asian State Parties, particularly Bhutan, in understanding, conserving and raising awareness of cultural landscapes. Notably, the project is expected to support two annual cultural landscape workshops in Bhutan in collaboration with the Department of Culture of Bhutan. While focusing mainly on Bhutan, this project will also provide valuable experience sharing for Nepal.

This main objective of this project is to attain a holistic protection of the heritage found in the cultural landscapes of Bhutan, comprising not only buildings and natural conditions but also ways of living and values. In order to achieve this, the project will focus on organizing national activities and technical assistance that will raise awareness about and enhance local capacities for the preservation of cultural landscapes in Bhutan.

The specific objectives of this project are to:

  • Create and facilitate national activities/workshops in Bhutan on the topic of cultural landscapes;
  • Provide technical assistance to improve documentation, enhance capacities, update legal frameworks, and prepare national tentative list submissions of Bhutan;
  • Strengthen awareness of cultural landscapes in Bhutan

The project was officially launched on 3 August 2016, by the Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Mechtild Rössler, together with the relevant Bhutanese authorities and leading experts from Japan, on the occasion of the first cultural landscape workshop under the project’s framework in Paro & Thimphu, Bhutan.

Lead organization/sector: World Heritage Centre and UNESCO Office in New Delhi

Donor country: Government of Japan

Total project cost: US$ 114,928 (including 13% UNESCO programme support costs)

Associated Organization(s):
Department of Culture, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs of Bhutan and the Department of Archaeology of Nepal

State Parties: Bhutan, Nepal

Contact Person: Roland Lin, WHC