Sub-Regional Workshop for the Follow-up on the 2003 World Heritage Periodic Reporting Exercise for the Central Asia Region

17 October 2005

30 October - 5 November 2005, Almaty, Kazakhstan. The workshop will follow up on the Periodic reporting exercise carried out in 2003, and shall provide an opportunity for reviewing and discussing, among international and regional experts, the main issues regarding the implementation of the World Heritage Convention as well as the conservation of World Heritage properties in the region.

Central Asia is one of the under-represented regions on the World Heritage List although it has unique and very rich natural and cultural resources. Over the past years a number of sites have been subject to the World Heritage nomination. Intensive preparatory work has been undertaken with the assistance of UNESCO, IUCN, WWF and ICOMOS, other international organizations of the sub-region, as well as bilateral donors. Efforts have also been made for conservation and management of the sites inscribed on the World Heritage List. However, there remain a lot of important issues to be addressed: capacity building of the national authorities is one of the most important elements in this regard.

In 2003, the Periodic Reporting exercise for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention was carried out for the first time in the Asian Region and the Central Asian countries also participated in this process. Recommendations have been made based on the findings of this exercise and it is now essential to review and discuss the main issues for better implementation of the World Heritage Convention.

The workshop will bring together the relevant national authorities of each State Party of the region (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) as well as international experts from UNESCO (the World Heritage Centre, UNESCO Tashkent office and UNESCO Tehran office), ICOMOS, IUCN and CRATerre-EAG.

One of the major objectives of the Workshop is to assist Central Asian countries in strengthening their capacity for implementation of the World Heritage Convention through training sessions to be organized during the Workshop. A detailed mid term action plan for implementation of the World Heritage Convention will also be elaborated.

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