Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nalanda Master-Plan

Excavated remains at Nalanda is nominated for World heritage site under Cultural category criteria III & IV, a proposal for same is submitted by Archaeological Survey of India on 9th Jan 2009.


(iii) Bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which has disappeared

(IV) Be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas or beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal value.

The operational guidelines for the implementation of the world heritage convention require that the nominated properties should have management frameworks. The guidelines issued by UNESCO emphasize the importance of a management plan and the necessity for the proper conservation of the site and the provision of an adequate buffer zone between the heritage and urban development.

The long term success of conservation attempts of the heritage largely depends on its connection with the economic condition of the community. Involvement of the local community in the management of the world heritage site is a fundamental theme of this site management plan under the guidelines issued by UNESCO.

The presentation, interpretation and use of heritage in the local economy are limited by the legal framework within which archaeology and heritage protection functions. The long-term sustainability of any such effort depends on coexistence of the Heritage conservation and the communities. The two need to be intrinsically connected and a good strategy would be to have solutions for income generation, so that the community sees a direct benefit in protecting these assets and minimize exploitation by outside parties. One of the biggest failures of past revival schemes were that they did not include the long term interests of the local population and hence failed to generate any support for the placed system. The new strategy that involves the people from the very beginning reduces any such detriments in later decision making and would evolve with the growing and ever changing needs of the society.

Our approach for preparing the Master Plan for Nalanda is based on participatory approach, to develop a mutually beneficial relationship between heritage preservation (Law) and the community (sustainable livelihoods). The team had a series of meetings with the stakeholders, discussing the concerns and available options with preservation of the heritage at the centre of its core and making sure that the local interest is not sacrificed.

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