Cooperation between UNESCO World Heritage Center and Central Asia in the field of preservation of rock arts had started in 2005, sildenafil since launching of the work on preparation of a serial nomination for “Central Asian Petroglyph Sites”. A number of key activities have taken place over the last five years in support of this initiative. An assessment mission to Kyrgyzstan, approved Tajikistan and Uzbekistan was undertaken for UNESCO in June-July 2006 in order to identify possible petroglyph sites of sites of outstanding universal value in the Central Asian countries.
In 2007 ICOMOS launched a regional thematic study on rock art (“Rock Art: Central Asia- Kazakhstan, about it Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan. Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Southern Siberia and Western Mongolia”) to help improve frameworks for comparative analysis. The UNESCO – Norway Funds-in-Trusts Project: World Heritage Serial Nominations: “Central Asian Petroglyph Sites” and “Central Asian Silk Roads” (2007 – end 2010) was established. This Norway FIT project aims to assist Central Asian countries with a World Heritage serial nominations process, particularly for Silk Roads and Rock Art sites.
In 2008, the first UNESCO Sub-Regional Workshop on Serial Nomination for Central Asian Petroglyph Sites (financed under the World Heritage Fund and the UNESCO-Norway FIT) was held in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan, 26-30 May). The Workshop was organized in order to discuss the challenges and opportunities in mounting a possible World Heritage serial nomination for the Central Asian Petroglyph sites, as well as to develop a common nomination strategy including an Action Plan and Time Table.
In 2009, a “UNESCO-IICAS (International Institute for Central Asian Studies) scientific-methodological workshop on Central Asia Rock Art World Heritage Serial Nomination” was held in Samarkand (Uzbekistan, 2 – 6 March). This scientific-methodological workshop involved experts from the participating countries and the staff members from UNESCO Central Asian Field Offices and IICAS, to help develop a conceptual approach for the preparation of a Central Asia Rock Art World Heritage serial nomination. This meeting also resulted in identification of 18 key rock art sites from the States Parties of the region, meant to provide a basis for developing possible rock art World Heritage serial nominations.
Several experts working meeting and consultations to evaluate the draft of the Concept Paper prepared for the Central Asia Rock Art World Heritage Serial Nomination was held in Paris (UNESCO World Heritage Centre) in 2009-2010.
As follow up activity World Heritage Center organized the second UNESCO Sub-Regional Workshop on a Serial Nomination of Rock Art Sites in Central Asia in Samarkand (Uzbekistan, 6-10 September 2010) in close cooperation with IICAS, UNESCO Field Offices in Tashkent and Almaty. Following concluding document was adopted by the participants of the workshop.
Participants of the workshop, representing States Parties of the World Heritage Convention (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Mongolia) and international organizations studied the “Working Paper”, ICOMOS’ “Rock Art: Prenomination Guidelines”, the draft “Central Asian Rock Art Thematic Study” and a brief framework document “Central Asian Steppe Civilization”, as well as visited the Sarmishsay Rock Art site in the Navoi Region of Uzbekistan, and agree upon:
1. Priority for Nominations
1.1 The workshop participants will continue work on the preparation of a serial nomination and smaller serial nominations, not excluding the possibility of individual nominations. In the case of similarities of Outstanding Universal Value of proposed individual properties in the region, they will be considered within the framework of possible serial nominations.
1.2 While the geo-cultural context has been initially studied in order to formulate the Outstanding Universal Value of a serial nomination, it is recommended further research be undertaken to develop this context.
2. Platform for Cooperation
2.1 The International Institute for Central Asian Studies (IICAS, a UNESCO Category II institute) constitutes appropriate platform for regional cooperation. In this regard, it is suggested to IICAS it:
• continue to support development of regional research on possible serial nominations;
• continue to promote scientific cooperation on Central Asian rock art in the context of possible serial nominations; and
• lead the development of any comparative studies related to possible serial nominations.
2.2 When required by States Parties of the World Heritage Convention, UNESCO and the World Heritage Center are asked to support the updating and harmonizing of Tentative Lists of countries, and in the preparation of the possible serial nominations.
3. Thematic Frameworks for establishing Outstanding Universal Value and Expert Assessment of OUV
3.1 ICOMOS is asked to finalize the Central Asian rock art thematic study as soon as possible.
3.2 State Parties are encouraged to develop geo-cultural frameworks relevant to possible rock art nominations.
3.3 It is noted State Parties are required to develop comparative analyses relevant to possible nominations, in accordance with the Operational Guidelines. State Parties are asked to keep in mind the possibility of cooperation in the development of comparative analyses in the context of possible serial nominations.
4. Documentation Standards
4.1 It is recommended to continue activity initiated in the framework of the Central Asia Rock Art Database (CARAD), especially to recognize the different cultural and natural contexts for rock art.
4.2 It is recommended CARAD be expanded to include the assessment of heritage value.
4.3 It is recommended CARAD be made more accessible for relevant researchers, eventually through the platform of IICAS and including the Internet;
4.4 The workshop participants recognize that all World Heritage nominations need to meet the documentation requirements of the Operational Guidelines.
5. Conservation, Management and Presentation
5.1 The workshop participants acknowledge the necessity of further development of expertise, experience exchange and capacity-building of experts of the region in the field of conservation, management and presentation of sites, through field work, seminars, and other means.
5.2 It is recommended general approaches and overarching management principles for management of possible serial nominations is developed.
The participants of the Second Workshop express their gratitude to the:
– IICAS, UNESCO Office in Tashkent, World Heritage Center and National Commission of Uzbekistan for UNESCO for excellent organization and content of the meeting,
– Municipality of Samarkand and Samarkand State University for their support and creation of favorable conditions for the successful organization of the workshop,
– Government of the Navoi Region of Uzbekistan, authorities of the Navoi Metallurgy Mining Corporation and Navoi Regional Museum for their logistic support in the successful organization of the field trip to the Sarmishsay Rock Art site, and UNESCO/Norway Fund-in-Trust project for assisting Central Asia on research, documentation and nomination process of the rock art sites in the region.