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), Dushanbe (April 2007, Tajikistan) and in Xi'an (June 2008, China). The "Concept Document for the Serial Nomination of the Silk Roads in Central Asia and China" was adopted in Dushanbe, and in an action plan was developed in Xi'an. The present workshop will bring together relevant authorities of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to further develop a statement of outstanding universal value for the Silk Roads Sites. The workshop will also invite representatives and experts from other countries such as Afghanistan, India, Iran, Italy and Japan to review potential cooperation on the serial World Heritage nomination of the Silk Roads and other institutes such as the International Institute for Central Asian Studies (IICAS, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, UNESCO Category II Centre).
The meeting will address issues relating to the implementation of the Action Plan, harmonization of the World Heritage Tentative Lists, a statement of Outstanding Universal Value, implications of future extension nominations and management mechanisms for the serial and transnational World Heritage nomination of the Silk Roads. The meeting will also include field visits to some cultural heritage sites in Kazakhstan.
This meeting is organized by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre with financial support from the Norway Funds-In-Trust and the World Heritage Fund in close collaboration with the Kazakh authorities.