21 June 2019
Central Asian Workshop for the Conservation and Management Strategies for Silk Roads Heritage Corridors and Closing Meeting of the UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust Project “Support for Silk Roads World Heritage Sites in Central Asia (Phase II)” take place in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 26-28 June 2019.In cooperation with the related Kazakh authorities, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty are organizing the Central Asian Workshop for the Conservation and Management Strategies for Silk Roads Heritage Corridors and the Closing Meeting of the UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust project “Support for Silk Roads World Heritage Sites in Central Asia (Phase II)” from 26 to 28 June 2019 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
This meeting is a follow-up of the decisions adopted during the Fifth Meeting of the Coordinating Committee on the Serial Transnational World Heritage Nomination of the Silk Roads, held on 4–5 December 2018 in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) and financed by the UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust via the project “Support for the Silk Roads World Heritage Sites in Central Asia (Phase II)”.
Together with five Central Asian countries and China, the World Heritage Centre has coordinated the preparation of the serial transnational World Heritage nomination of the Silk Roads since 2003. Central Asia and China have supported the project by organizing regional and sub-regional consultation meetings, by establishing the Inter-governmental Coordinating Committee which brings together 14 countries (along with Bhutan as an observer), and by elaborating a Thematic Study on the Silk Roads with ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre.
Since 2003, projects funded by the UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust, the UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust and the UNESCO/Norway Funds-in-Trust have supported capacity-building activities and nomination preparation in Central Asia, in addition to the support provided since July 2013 to the South Asian Silk Roads project by the UNESCO/Republic of Korea Funds-in-Trust.
Since 2011, with the generous support of the UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust, UNESCO has implemented two successive projects in Central Asia entitled “Support of documentation standards and procedures of the Silk Roads World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination in Central Asia” (2011-2014) and “Support for the Silk Roads World Heritage Sites in Central Asia” (Phase II, 2015-2019). A number of initiatives and events were organised to enhance the capacities of the national authorities of the Central Asian Republics for the protection of cultural heritage: training was provided on the documentation of heritage, archaeological research, conservation and management planning, in an effort to ensure the sustainable management of the Silk Roads corridors.
Under these projects, UNESCO promoted sustainable regional dialogue and cooperation amongst the Central Asian countries. Thanks to the efforts of the four Inter-governmental Coordinating Committee meetings held between 2009 and 2017, two nomination files were submitted and reviewed at the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in June 2014 (Doha, Qatar), which led to the inscription of “The Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an - Tian-shan Corridor” (China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan) on the World Heritage List.
The workshop and meeting to be held this June will bring together National Focal Points and experts from Central Asian countries that are members of the Silk Roads Coordinating Committee (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan). The meeting organisers also invited UNESCO representatives and international experts from China, Japan and the United Kingdom, including experts from the ICOMOS International Conservation Centre in Xi’an (IICC-Xi’an, which acts as the Secretariat of the Coordination Committee). Their participation ensures informed discussions on further technical assistance and cooperation from the point of view of international experts.