Promoting the Protection of Heritage Sites in Nepal's Western Terai in the Face of Accelerated Development (HN)

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Archaeology

Abstract

Pilgrimage is the fastest growing motivation for travel with an estimated 600 million 'spiritual voyages' undertaken each year and Asia Development Bank (ADB) predicts that Buddhist pilgrimage to South Asia will reach an annual figure of 22 million by 2020 from four million. It has also estimated that pilgrim numbers visiting Lumbini in Nepal's western Terai, the birthplace of Buddha, will expand from 800,000 to five million by 2020. Aware of economic benefits offered by enhancing Buddhist pilgrimage circuits and the potential to alleviate acute poverty within the Terai, ADB has invested millions of dollars in a 'Tourism Infrastructure Development Project'. On account of the presence of Lumbini, ADB investment in the Terai has included all-weather roads between the light aircraft landing strip at Bhairahawa and Lumbini as well as 100 million dollars upgrading Bhairahawa to the status of an international airport with a 3000 metre long runway.

Whilst highway investment has improved journey times for farmers taking produce to market, its presence close to the Indian border has attracted industrial investment in the form of 25 cement and noodle factories near Lumbini. In addition to polluting ground water, recent studies by IUCN have identified that monuments at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lumbini have been damaged by airborne pollution. Speculative land acquisitions along roads and close to heritage sites have driven up land prices in some areas whilst proposed heritage buffer zones in others are inadvertently preventing sales. The latter has also prevented residents from raising of funds for emergencies and education through mortgages. In spite of this rapid development, many archaeological sites are still to be mapped and protected and a survey by UNESCO and Tokyo University has suggested that 97 of 136 known sites in Kapilbastu District have been damaged by the expansion of cultivation and settlement, both driven by accelerated development.

UNESCO surveys have also identified that some of the Terai's communities have weak, if any, social or economic ties to the Buddhist pilgrimage sites where much of the investment is focused. This is particularly true of the sizable Muslim community, running the risk of alienation. Additionally, UNESCO surveys have found that the majority of international Buddhist pilgrims at Lumbini are day visitors, coming across the border to visit sites before returning to India. The also survey identified that their spend within Nepal is minimal as packed lunches, vehicles and even guides are not Nepali. Whilst individually noted, these disparate challenges and opportunities have not been collectively discussed and evaluated by residents, stakeholders and policy makers.

In view of this dynamic situation, UNESCO and the Governments of Japan and Nepal launched the 'Strengthening the Conservation and Management of Lumbini, the Birthplace of Lord Buddha Project' to protect, conserve and manage key archaeological sites before sites were irreversibly adversely affected. Focused on Lumbini in Phase I (2011-2014) and Tilauarakot (identified by many as the Buddha's childhood home) in Phase II (2014-2017), the team of Durham University archaeologists and planners from the project team now recognise the need to promote the development of an agreed multidisciplinary and collaborative approach for the protection and preservation of heritage sites and the evaluation of the positive and negative social and economic impacts of contemporary Buddhist pilgrimage at them. By expanding the partnerships between Durham's UNESCO Chair and the project team to interface with managers, residents, pilgrims and stakeholders, whether Buddhist or non-Buddhist, we seek to reduce the destruction and irreversible modification of heritage sites and identify and promote benefits, and reduce negative impacts of pilgrimage through the development and dissemination of pilot toolkits and methodologies.

Planned Impact

The development of site protection methodologies and pilot toolkits for the evaluation of the social and economic impacts of heritage will provide an archetype for dissemination amongst managers and lay and religious communities within SAARC, where heritage is threatened by rapid urbanisation and associated demands for agricultural intensification and raw resources. Heritage interventions and infrastructure developments are currently conceived, scoped and implemented independently; often resulting in unintended adverse impacts for sites and communities. Research by Durham's UNESCO Chair has demonstrated that the promotion of, and investment in, certain heritage sites can alienate communities with few social or economic linkages. Pilgrimage sites in SAARC have been targeted in a number of high profile cases, including the Bombing of the Temple of the Tooth in 1998, the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 and the Bombing of Bodhgaya in 2013. In parallel but at a low profile, Buddhist heritage has been targeted by the art market as many marginalised communities are not engaged with protecting heritage and fail to recognise sustainable linkages with such sites and are keen to exchange heritage for immediate reward.

Building on Durham's UNESCO Chair's participation in UNESCO's program in Rupandehi and Kapilbastu Districts, this network will have an immediate articulation with an established constituency of archaeologists, development anthropologists, planners, economists, accountants, environmental scientists, nature conservators, site managers, residents, monks, nuns, tourist operators and specialists in conflict resolution drawn from international and national HEIs, NGOs, GOs, INGOs and IGOs. Resultant data and recommendations will directly feed into UNESCO's International Scientific Committee for Lumbini, which meets annually with representatives from the Government of Nepal, local municipalities, UNESCO experts (one of which is the UNESCO Chair), ADB, NGOs, districts and religious communities to discuss broader articulation with Government, UNESCO and ADB programs. Confirmed participation in the Scoping Workshop includes representatives from UNESCO, the Government of Nepal, the Lumbini Development Trust, Lumbini Buddhist University, Tribhuvan University, WWF, WHO, ICOMOS and the Nepal Bauddha Association and the Dharmodaya Sabha. Participation by Tradecraft UK and development economists will also allow the recognition of the potential for future commercial links with neighbouring communities and households.

Using the western Terai as the archetype, the Dissemination Workshop will share site protection methodologies and pilot monitoring toolkits with the broader SAARC community to illustrate ways in which heritage site can be preserved and developed yet ensure that stakeholders, pilgrims and residents benefit positively from impacts. To intensify this impact, participation from the offices of the Directors-General of Archaeology in India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh has been confirmed as well as NGO and GO representatives, including the Director-General of Sri Lanka's Central Cultural Fund, the King of Bhutan's Archaeological Advisor, the President of the Orient Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance and the Director of the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education, India. The data will also serve to communicate to stakeholders and residents about the potential value and benefit of hosting heritage sites and thus reduce or decrease their targeted destruction, whether intended or unintended.

Our potential impact was recognised in April 2016 by UNESCO's Director-General, who stated that "There is no need to choose between the preservation of heritage and the needs of the Buddhist pilgrims...This is the role of UNESCO and this International Scientific Committee, and we are determined to carry forward this important task...I know this works lies at the heart of UNESCO Chair at Durham"
 
Title Risks and Threats to the Heritage of Nepal's Terai 
Description Temporary photographic exhibition illustrating the richness of the heritage of the Nepali Terai and the threats to its survival. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact The exhibition was opened to coincide with the visit from the Chief District Officer and also the delegates from UNESCO's Scientific Committee for Lumbini. 
URL https://www.instagram.com/p/Bfvit1JH8-I/
 
Title Walking with the Buddha 
Description Development of temporary exhibition showcasing the Buddhist holdings of the Oriental Museum at Durham and the AHRC and UNESCO sponsored fieldwork in Lumbini and the Nepali Terai in the Buddha Museum in Taiwan 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact This exhibition offers an ideal opportunity to showcase the risks and threats to the heritage of the Terai to pilgrims before they actually travel out to Nepal. The exhibition was open to the public from 12th May to 30th September 2018 at the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. During its 20 week run, the exhibition received 992,989 visitors from at least 25 countries. 95% of visitors rated the exhibition as 'excellent' or 'very good'. No visitors rated the exhibition as 'poor'. Direct Impact of the exhibition • 45% of visitors did not know that the Buddha was born in present-day Nepal before visiting the exhibition • 48% of visitors did not know there are a number of sites relating to the life of the Buddha in present day Nepal • 70% of visitors were not aware of the threats that the sites relating to the life of the Buddha are facing before visiting the exhibition • 84% of visitors said they were more likely to visit the sites from the life of the Buddha located in Nepal after visiting the exhibition • 69% of visitors said that if they do visit these sites, they would be more likely to purchase locally made handicrafts like those seen in the exhibition Examples of visitor feedback from the exhibition and academic workshop "I'm not a Buddhist, but going through the exhibition triggers my interest to discover more about Buddha, his life and what he teaches." "I like how the story of the Buddha was told with help from pictures, sculptures, videos, paintings and other artworks. I was mostly impressed with how the story was told with specific details and was delivered clearly to us." "I was amazed with the Gandharan sculptures. Despite the lack of technology, the sculptures were created with extreme detail. I really want to know more about the natal landscape of the Buddha." "Preservation, education and conservation of Kapilavastu is essential, and it must be protected before further industrial development." 
URL http://www.fgsbmc.org.tw/en/ennews.aspx?NID=201801001
 
Description There is a challenge for archaeology and heritage protection practitioners who want to engage seriously and involve communities in the excavation, conservation and preservation of their cultural history. Learning from this prior experience so as to refine methods that tackle such tensions in a meaningful and sustainable manner is still an issue. This requires a multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary team approach in which discipline interests and priorities need to be negotiated within the overarching context of "what does a community think is best for them?" and "how might we help them achieve this?". The balance between site protection and community needs and interests can give rise to tensions. For example, when sites may be linked to community agricultural livelihood or religious practice, or when funding objectives and priorities do not mesh with community needs and perceptions of site importance, or when the local community has no connection with the culture of the site to be protected and sees it only as a resource..During our Kathmandu meeting of Heritage at Risk 2017: Pathways to the Protection and Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage in South Asia, sponsored by AHRC-GCRF, UNESCO, ICOMOS and the Government of Nepal, it became increasing clear that community engagement is critical for the future protection of the heritage of the natal landscape of the Buddha in Nepal's Western Terai and we mobilised a series of practitioners and policy makers from across SAARC to devise a set of guiding resolutions and a network to spread and communicate best practice.
Exploitation Route We are keen to see the individual case-studies presented by practitioners across SAARC to be published and disseminated as well as the pilot implementation of its recommended parallel streams of community engagement and archaeological assessment within the Nepal Terai during the third phase of UNESCO-Japanese-Government of Nepal funding from July 2018.
Sectors Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL https://www.dur.ac.uk/cech/unescochair/research/protectnet/
 
Description The project successfully mobiliaed a multi-disciplinary network of academics and practitioners from across South Asia and the UK, including archaeologists, historians, philologists, conservators, architects, environmental scientists, heritage managers, planners, engineers and economists. Through interaction with, and feedback from, local stakeholders, community leaders and administrators the participants co-produced the following resolutions for the enhanced protection and rehabilitation of heritage in the face of accelerated development. Many pertinently reiterate existing resolutions agreed by the delegates of the 2014 Lumbini International Buddhist Conference (IBC2014) and UNESCO's 2017 International Scientific Committee for Lumbini (ISC2017). B1. A Heritage Impact Assessment should be conducted before every new development project (including construction, roads, drains, walls and carparks etc.) or a contractual agreement, at sites protected as heritage and archaeological areas within the Greater Lumbini Area (ISC2017). B2. Archaeological investigations must be carried out to understand the potential of archaeological sites within the Greater Lumbini Area, before any infrastructure work, and risk mapping prepared for all potential archaeological areas (ISC2017). B3. Recognising that Buddhist archaeological sites form living cultural landscapes, that any new structures at sites should be located only in areas of low risk to heritage and that they respect 8 design concepts: non-intrusive, reversibility, shelter, visibility, focus, access, ownership and authentic materials and that interventions or new constructions within Buddhist cultural sites should be tested against these criteria during Heritage Impact Assessments (IBC2014). B4. If machinery is necessary to be used at the sites protected as heritage areas and archaeological sites within the Greater Lumbini Area, including Lumbini Development Area, it should be accompanied by archaeological watching briefs by the Department of Archaeology and the Lumbini Development Trust (ISC2017). B5. The natural surroundings of the Lumbini area should be safeguarded and sources of air, noise and ground water pollution should be monitored and controlled and existing regulations enforced by the government. No new industrial factories shall be approved or existing ones expanded by the government within the Lumbini Protected Zone (ISC2017). Polluting industries should be relocated in accordance with the 2009 decision of the Nepal's Industrial Promotion Board (IBC). B6. Approach and take off flight paths from Bhairahawa Airport should avoid key heritage sites, in particular Ramagrama and Lumbini (ISC2017). B7. Bylaws and planning regulations should be implemented at protected and potential archaeological sites within the Greater Lumbini Area (ISC2017). B8. Land acquisition by the Department of Archaeology is an appropriate planning development and should be continued (ISC2017). B9. A systematic GIS-based cataloguing and digital documentation of inscribed and non-inscribed movable and non-movable objects should be established and implemented together with pro-active monitoring process. B10. Every archaeological assessment and excavation process should be linked in a coherent and integrated approach with community consultation and engagement. This should be implemented through the development of a long-term sustainable partnership and shared custodianship. B11. Community engagement should be linked with realistic social and economic benefits to adjoining communities and be linked to a clear strategy related to pilgrim and tourist activities. Regular monitoring and evaluation of protection and maintenance processes and the economic and social benefits that local residents receive from on-site activities should be undertaken. B12. There is an urgent need to raise awareness through grass-roots initiatives with lay and Sangha participation through information-sharing mechanisms, from web-based portals to social networks, to create cultural awareness for the preservation, promotion and protection of Buddhist values and cultural heritage (IBC2014). This will involve the development of courses on monuments and sites for students and heritage management courses/programs for the Sangha and designation of teaching sites/field laboratories (IBC2014). B13. There is a need for additional targeted exchanges and training, with the adoption of training materials, to strengthen the capacity of national agencies and NGOs tasked with the protection of sites and monuments in the face of accelerated development. The deployment of physical security by a regular force will further ensure the physical security of sites and monuments. We recognise the urgent need to integrate these activities within a trans-border context and co-operate with key responders in neighbouring countries. B14. There is an urgent need for UNESCO's International Scientific Committee for Lumbini to continue to act, along with the Project Steering Committee, as the key mechanism for the sharing, coordination and archiving of methodologies and outcomes from multilateral and bilateral programmes of protection and rehabilitation within an overall regional planning framework. B15. There is an urgent need for the development of a network of South Asian experts to formulate, share and implement responses to protect sites and monuments in the face of accelerated development and climate change. ] These findings have been submitted to UNESCO's International Scientific Committee for Lumbini and the Committee endorsed the recommendation that a Heritage Impact Assessment be conducted prior to any developmental activity close to one of the key sites managed by the Lumbini Development Rust and protected by the Department of Archaeology, Government of Nepal.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Policy & public services

 
Description Adoption of recommendation that Heritage Impact Assessments should be conducted prior to infrastructure development at key heritage sites in Nepal's Terai
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Increasing numbers of international Buddhist pilgrims are travelling to visit the natal landscape of the Buddha in Nepal, an increase matched by infrastructure investment by ADB and the Government of Nepal. However, the development of this infrastructure is frequently damaging and destroying key aspects of the heritage sites the pilgrims come to visit. As the key manager of these sites, the Lumbini Development Trust, now acknowledges that Heritage Impact Assessments should be undertaken before development, this will lead to the sustainable development of heritage sites.
 
Description Heritage Presentation and Community Engagement Training (2016 - Still Active) 
Organisation Government of Sri Lanka
Country Sri Lanka 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We invited members of the Central Cultural Fund of Sri Lanka to join our annual community engagement and heritage presentation training workshops.
Collaborator Contribution The Partner sent at their cost five heritage officers in 2016 and another five in 2017.
Impact This partnership directed led to an additional exchange of heritage officers from the Lumbini Development Trust and the Department of Archaeology, Government of Nepal, to Sri Lankan heritage sites.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Heritage at Risk 2017: Pathways to the Protection and Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage in South Asia: Lumbini and the Terai 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop discussed the outcomes of two recent collaborative AHRC-GCRF funded projects on 'Post-Disaster Archaeological Investigations in the Kathmandu Valley UNESCO World Heritage Property' and 'Promoting the Protection of Heritage Sites in Nepal's Western Terai in the Face of Accelerated Development'. It Mobilised experts and professionals from a wide range of disciplines, including archaeology, conservation, architecture, heritage management, planning, and economics from across South Asia and the United Kingdom along with local stakeholders, including community members, site managers, army and administrative officers to discuss contemporary issues of the protection of heritage during natural disaster, conflicts but also accelerated development.

This event was sponsored by AHRC's Global Challenges Research Fund, with support from UNESCO Kathmandu, ICOMOS (Nepal) and the Department of Archaeology (Government of Nepal). It took place between the 4 and 7 September 2017 in Kathmandu, Nepal, with a key note on the evening of 3 September, by Prof R.A.E. Coningham and Mr K.P. Acharya, on the AHRC-funded project "Can We Rebuild Kasthmandap?". Through interaction with, and feedback from, local stakeholders, community leaders, administrators and key disaster responders and first responders, the participants co-produced resolutions for the enhanced protection and rehabilitation of heritage following natural disasters, conflict and in the face of accelerated development in Kathmandu and the Greater Lumbini Area.

The Workshop was divided into eight sessions. Abstracts for each session can be found by clicking on the links below and a pdf of all abstracts is available. The resolutions can be found by following the links, or downloaded.

- Session 1: First Responses to South Asian Heritage Disasters

- Session 2: Post-Disaster Archaeology

- Session 3: Post-disaster Reconstruction

- Session 4: First Responders

- Session 5: Heritage in Danger: Case-Studies from across South Asia

- Session 6: Damage to South Asian Heritage Sites

- Session 7: Threats and challenges to the protection of heritage sites in Nepal's Western Terai

- Session 8: Community Engagement

- Kathmandu Valley Resolutions

- Greater Lumbini Area Resolutions
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.dur.ac.uk/cech/unescochair/workshops/heritageatrisk/
 
Description Participation in an activity, workshop or similar - Heritage at Risk 2017: Pathways to the Protection and Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage in South Asia: the Nepali Terai 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop discussed the outcomes of two recent collaborative AHRC-GCRF funded projects on 'Post-Disaster Archaeological Investigations in the Kathmandu Valley UNESCO World Heritage Property' and 'Promoting the Protection of Heritage Sites in Nepal's Western Terai in the Face of Accelerated Development'. It Mobilised experts and professionals from a wide range of disciplines, including archaeology, conservation, architecture, heritage management, planning, and economics from across South Asia and the United Kingdom along with local stakeholders, including community members, site managers, army and administrative officers to discuss contemporary issues of the protection of heritage during natural disaster, conflicts but also accelerated development.

This event was sponsored by AHRC's Global Challenges Research Fund, with support from UNESCO Kathmandu, ICOMOS (Nepal) and the Department of Archaeology (Government of Nepal). It took place between the 4 and 7 September 2017 in Kathmandu, Nepal". Through interaction with, and feedback from, local stakeholders, community leaders, administrators and key disaster responders and first responders, the participants co-produced resolutions for the enhanced protection and rehabilitation of heritage following natural disasters, conflict and in the face of accelerated development in Kathmandu and the Greater Lumbini Area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.dur.ac.uk/cech/unescochair/workshops/heritageatrisk/
 
Description Post-Conflict Archaeological Training in the Jaffna Peninsula 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Emerging from a 26 year conflict in 2009, the island of Sri Lanka is now addressing associated humanitarian and cultural impacts as well as establishing a roadmap to national reconciliation. Whilst post-conflict efforts have begun to address humanitarian challenges, damaged cultural heritage has only recently been appreciated for its potential contribution to post-conflict renewal, peace-building and economic development through national and international tourism (Pushparatnam 2014).

One monument badly damaged during the conflict was Jaffna Fort, which had sections of its ramparts damaged and most of the structures within its 22 hectare interior destroyed. Established by the Portuguese in 1618 CE as a quadrangular fort, it was later expanded and remodelled as a five-sided fort by the Dutch, who captured it in 1658. Prior to the conflict, Jaffna Fort was one of the largest and best preserved colonial forts in Asia (Nelson 1984). Despite detailed knowledge of its later history, little is known of its early sequences below the colonial period structures on the surface.

Despite the pioneering textual and field surveys of Indrapala (1965), Pathmanathan (1969) and Ragupathy (1987), the early archaeological sequence of Jaffna, and Northern Sri Lanka more generally, is less well understood than other parts of the island, partly due to access during the conflict but also due to a focus on the monumental heritage of the island's early capitals. Although there are exceptions, there is a general lacuna of published scientifically-dated stratigraphic sequences relating to pre-colonial heritage in Northern Sri Lanka, forcing a bias towards the use of textual sources for reconstructing the region's past.

Recent conservation-related work within Jaffna Fort included the excavation of a four metre deep exploratory engineering sondage, from which Early Historic Rouletted Ware was recovered as well as medieval Islamic and Chinese ceramics. With affinities elsewhere within the island (Carswell, Deraniyagala and Graham 2013), these artefacts hint at the antiquity and depth of cultural occupation within Jaffna Fort as well as its pre-colonial role within South Asia and Indian Ocean trade networks. Furthermore, the use of Ground Penetrating Radar will allow for potential identification of earlier structural layouts within the entirety of the interior of the fort, to link to the excavated sequences.

Many of the standing remains within Jaffna fort have suffered substantial damage during the recent conflict and, as conservation and reconstruction programmes are developed for the site, there is a clear need to co-produce methods for recording cultural debris as it is removed during the exposure of the walls and foundations below. Building on our earlier post-earthquake research in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley Nepal's Kathmandu Valley, we piloted a methodology for post-disaster excavations in the ruins of the Kruys Kerk in the north-east corner of the fort.

Built by the Dutch in 1706, the kirk was mined and destroyed during the conflict and its surviving walls lay hidden below large blocks of masonry and rubble spreads. Therefore, we started by gridding the north-east corner of the monument and removed the cultural rubble from each square and placed it within the corresponding square within a replicated grid outside the structure. This allowed as to rapidly removal the material while ensuring spatial control. Construction materials from each square were then counted, weighed and stacked for reuse. This was particularly pertinent for monuments within Jaffna Fort as many of the original materials are non-renewable as coral blocks are illegal to procure under national and international legislation and eighteenth century Dutch bricks are no longer available in bulk.

During the removal of rubble, we recovered and catalogued a number of fragments of sculpture and portable antiquities, which helped provide information about the history of the Kerk. This included fragments of memorial slabs from the church wall, which are now being reconstructed to provide information on individuals who were interred or commemorated within the Kerk.

Our removal of the debris allowed for the associated investigation and evaluation of the Kerk's foundations, which is of critical importance to understand the residual strength of load-bearing walls in advance of conservation or reconstruction. Our exposure of the full depth of the foundations revealed the presence of the cracks throughout the coral and limestone block foundations. As we exposed Dutch period bracing and buttressing of the Kerk's exterior wall, we may conclude that a number of the cracks were not conflict-related. This provisional finding will assist the development of plans for the future conservation and restoration of the monument as well as providing a methodology for the future clearing of the rest of the Kerk and other damaged monuments across the site. A survey of 22 of the practitioners who participated in the training revealed that 91% felt that the training had better equipped them to participate in protect heritage in the event of a disaster.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.dur.ac.uk/cech/unescochair/research/jaffna/
 
Description Post-Conflict Archaeology in the Jaffna Peninsula 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A post-conflict archaeology workshop was held at Jaffna Public Library on the 20th July 2017 to discuss and disseminate results from the project activities. Bringing together local stakeholders, experts and specialists in archaeology, history, architecture and conservation from across Sri Lanka, and team members from the project, including CCF Officers and students from the University of Jaffna, academics from the University of Jaffna and officers from the Department of Archaeology (Government of Sri Lanka), the Lumbini Development Trust and the Department of Archaeology (Government of Nepal), the workshop facilitated the contextualisation of the preliminary results of excavations with previous work undertaken within the Jaffna Peninsula and Sri Lanka.
The workshop was formally opened by Professor Prishanta Gunawardhana, Director-General of the Central Cultural Fund with Professor P. Balasundarampillai, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna, as the Guest of Honour. Speakers included Professor P. Balasundarampillai, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna; Professor P. Gunawardhana, Director-General, Central Cultural Fund; Professor P. Pushparatnam, University of Jaffna and Director, Central Cultural Fund Jaffna; Professor R. Coningham, UNESCO Chair, Durham University; Dr N. Cooray, Director of Conservation, Central Cultural Fund; Mrs S. Mathota, Director of International Relations, Central Cultural Fund; Mr L.C. Maithreepala, Project Manager, Central Cultural Fund Jaffna; Mr P Weerasinghe, Assistant Director, Northern Province, Department of Archaeology, Government of Sri Lanka; Professor S. Krishnarajah, University of Jaffna; Dr Christopher Davis and Ms Anouk LaFortune-Bernard of Durham University; and S. Thaceenthan and S. Ajiththa of Central Cultural Fund Jaffna.
During the workshop, a temporary exhibition providing preliminary results was displayed, including six tri-lingual (Tamil, Sinhala and English) information boards (Figure 30). These information boards were augmented by a display of artefacts uncovered during the project. Project participants from the CCF and students from the University of Jaffna provided information to workshop participants on the artefacts displayed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.dur.ac.uk/cech/unescochair/research/jaffna/
 
Description Presentation to the Chartered Institute of Field Archaeologists at their Annual Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation on 'Post-Disaster Archaeological Responses to Nepal's Earthquakes' in the International Practice Special Interest Group session 'Global archaeology - threats and solutions' to a group of 52 within the Annual Conference of the Chartered Institute of Field Archaeologists. This activity was planned to stress the key role that archaeology can have within the initial post-disaster phase and it, along with the other papers, will no be independently published to stress the importance of such steps to preserve culture in post-disaster scenarios.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.archaeologists.net/sites/default/files/CIfA2017-Session-timetable-Mar2017.pdf
 
Description UNESCO's International Scientific Committee for Lumbini 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997, the property 'Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha' is located in western Nepal. Lumbini's spiritual significance and its rich archaeological remains demonstrate that it is not only the birthplace of the Buddha, but that it has also been a place of holy pilgrimage for thousands of years. Since 2010, the UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust (FiT) project 'Strengthening the Conservation and Management of Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha, World Heritage Property' has supported the conservation and management of the property, and the first phase was carried out between July 2010 and July 2013. The Lumbini Phase II project began in 2014, with the overall objective of enabling the national authorities to take a proactive and sustainable approach to protecting and managing the World Heritage property, while safeguarding the cultural assets of the greater Lumbini area, in particular of Ramagrama and Tilaurakot. It is foreseen that Phase III of the UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust project will be launched in Spring 2018.

In January 2015, the very first cross-cutting Lumbini International Steering Committee (ISC) Meeting was jointly organized in Lumbini by the Nepali authorities and UNESCO, bringing together many international, national and local stakeholders, including representatives of six Buddhist organizations. In April 2016, the Lumbini ISC meeting was opened by the UNESCO Director-General, Ms Irina Bokova, during her first official visit to Nepal. The ISC for the conservation and management of the property was established to advise the Government of Nepal and UNESCO on technical progress of the operations carried out as part of the Japan-funded Lumbini project. It also serves to review the preceding year's work, to set forth and agree upon technical aspects of the programme for the coming year, and to assist in any other points that call for technical assistance. This year's meeting is being organized with financial support from the Paris-based NGO Oriental Cultural Heritage Site Protection Alliance.

In addition to the UNESCO/Japan FiT project, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) continues with its infrastructure project for Lumbini (46 million US$), which includes upgrading tourism infrastructures and the existing airport nearby. The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) supported the preparation of a 'Master Plan for Lumbini World Peace City Preservation and Development' by Professor Kwaak Young Hoon from Korea. Besides these projects, there are ongoing discussions about major potential investments from international private donors, mainly from China and Thailand. These various projects and initiatives are being planned and implemented in Lumbini by various national and international organizations without coordination or even information sharing. Furthermore, the possible conflicts between the conservation of historical remains, the development of Lumbini and the needs of the Buddhist pilgrims became evident during the discussions in the ISC meetings. The International Buddhist Conference, held in November 2014 in Lumbini, requested that UNESCO take the role of coordinator to make sure that the Buddhist heritage is conserved, that development benefits local communities, that the spiritual role of the Greater Lumbini Area will be preserved, and that the needs of religious communities and pilgrims are taken into consideration. Therefore, it has been agreed that UNESCO will continue to play a coordination role in bringing various stakeholders together and fostering a common understanding between them, in order to ensure that major interests are not in conflict, but develop harmoniously.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://whc.unesco.org/en/events/1424
 
Description UNESCO's International Scientific Committee for Lumbini 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact In January 2017, the second cross-cutting Lumbini ISC Meeting was jointly organized in Lumbini by the Nepali authorities and UNESCO, bringing together high-level officials of the Nepali Government, representatives of the local authorities, international experts, representatives of UNESCO and the Donor country, various NGOs, and representatives of the Buddhist community from Lumbini and Kathmandu. Together, they worked on finding solutions for a holistic approach to property management, adequately linking preservation imperatives and development requirements, and started a regular consultation process. In addition to the present members of the ISC, this year, the organisers call upon the Ambassadors of Japan, Germany, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Additionally, the list of invitees includes representatives from KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency), the World Bank, ADB (Asian Development Bank), the Ministry of Urban Development and the Ministry of Local Development of Nepal, the Lumbini and Kapilvastu municipalities, the Buddhist bodies, and some of the monasteries in Nepal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://whc.unesco.org/en/events/1355/