The 12th Expert Working Group Meeting on the Safeguarding of the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan will take place from 10 to 11 December in Orvieto, Italy. Uniting national experts and representatives from Afghanistan, representatives of the donors governments of Italy and Japan, and international experts from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and representatives of UNESCO, the 12th Expert Working Group plans to assess the progress made on the range of field projects at the Bamiyan Valley World Heritage Property since the 11th Expert Working Group Meeting, in Aachen, Germany, December 2012. The 12th Bamiyan Expert Working Group has been made possible by the collaboration of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Governments of Italy and Japan, the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection & Research (ISPRA), the Municipality of Orvieto, and UNESCO.

Experts and representatives attending the meeting will focus on the progress made in two major projects now underway in the Bamiyan Valley: the Italian Funds-in-Trust project for “Heritage Conservation, Development and Coordination in Afghanistan” and the Japanese Funds-in-Trust Project for the “Safeguarding of the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley, Phase IV”. The niche housing the remains of the Western Buddha has seen emergency stabilization measures; conservation measures have equally been put in place for recently excavated archaeological remains and for Bamiyan’s caves and mural paintings, with related training activities for Afghan experts; and advances have been made towards a management plan for the Bamiyan Valley. Reflections on the outcomes of these Bamiyan field activities—as well as on studies of the future conservation of Shahr-i Zuhak and Shahr-i Ghulghulah, and the development of a Bamiyan Museum—will provide the basis for participants’ to draft the recommendations for the consideration of the related Afghan authorities on conservation and research priorities activities in the Bamiyan World Heritage site for the year to come.