Afghanistan- Preparing the Removal of Bamiyan from the List of World Heritage in Danger

(MENAFN- Wadsam) Afghanistan officially endorsed a new project in the Culture Sector, in an agreement signed between Mitsuji Suzuka, Ambassador of the Embassy of Japan and Jordan Naidoo, Director of the UNESCO Kabul Office and Representative to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The new project signed 'Sustainable Management of the World Heritage Property in Bamiyan - Preparing the Removal of Bamiyan from the List of World Heritage in Danger', totals approximately USD 3.8 Million (423 Million Japanese Yen) and marks nearly two decades of cultural cooperation between Japan and Afghanistan. For the past 20 years, since its inscription as a World Heritage property, the people of Japan have generously provided support to Bamiyan, contributing more than USD 7M over five consecutive Funds in Trust programs.

The Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 2003, and simultaneously placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Since then, UNESCO and the Afghan authorities have been working closely together to protect this unique site, promoting cultural heritage as a driver to poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

In spite of conflict and destruction, Bamiyan has seen a significant increase in both domestic and foreign tourists who visit the sites within the World Heritage property and support the local economy. This has been made possible due to the contribution of all those involved, including both the central and local governments, experts, UNESCO, the local Bamiyan communities, and the people of Japan's generous financial support.

The new project just approved provides continuity to nearly two decades of successful collaboration. In addition to completing the stabilization of the Western Buddha niche and conducting research and training in the fields of archaeology and mural painting, this project will support the establishment of a National World Heritage Centre from where the Government of Afghanistan and UNESCO can continue working closely on the preservation of this country's unique and significant cultural heritage.

"I believe that the Afghans will reaffirm their dignity and pride through conservation and restoration of their historical heritage. In addition, this project will also enable effective management of Bamiyan World Heritage site and tourism development, which will contribute to job creation and income generation opportunities in Afghanistan,' said Suzuka.

Rasul Bawary, Deputy Minister of Culture and Art, Ministry of Information and Culture said the project will ensure safeguarding of Bamiyan cultural properties and will focus on to tackle the benchmarks defined by World Heritage committee to remove the site from the list of World Heritage in Danger.

Japan has been assisting Afghanistan's nation building efforts in various fields including security, health, culture, humanitarian assistance, agriculture, and capacity development. The Government of Japan and UNESCO remain committed to continue providing support to Afghanistan in the Culture Sector, contributing to the removal of Bamiyan from the List of World Heritage in Danger.



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