12 July 2019
The ancient city of Myanmar, Bagan becomes Myanmar’s second addition to the World Heritage List after many years of efforts. Bagan was finally inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List at the World Heritage Committee’s 43rd session held in Baku of Azerbaijan on 6th of July.
Bagan is a major tourist attraction in central Myanmar and also home for more than 3,000 pagodas and temples dating from the 9th to the 13th centuries. Bagan was first nominated as a World Heritage site in 1995 but its efforts have been plagued by challenges and controversies.
Deputy Director General, Department of Archaeology and National Museum, Dr. Thein Lwin said “We first submitted Bagan for the World Heritage List in 1996 but due to the high risk of commercial development in the protected area, the requirements for inscription were not fulfilled initially. After deciding to try again for the country’s ancient city, we have been striving Bagan’s inscription on the World Heritage list since 2014. So we implemented a disaster management plan and master plan for the Bagan Heritage Zone that covers local businesses, social issues, agriculture, transportation and tourism and other things. After ensuring that all the requirements were met, we applied again Myanmar’s Final nomination dossier in 2018. We are proud that Myanmar’s heritage turns into World Heritage Site because of our efforts so that we will able to preserve our heritage site for long-term strengthening.”
With the aim of safeguarding the cultural heritages and to make it more flexible and responsive to the needs of the present requirements, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture also enacted the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage Regions Law 2019 on 28th of February 2019.
Deputy Minister, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture, Kyi Min said “Since we implement final nomination dossier for Bagan on the World Heritage List, long-term conservation plan for Bagan was included that could be appropriate for all. Besides, our ministry also amended the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage Regions Law enacted in 1998. And then, a new law was enacted on 28th of February 2019. We also have long-term conservation project, comprehensive sustainability development project for the World Heritage Site, Bagan.”
Many concerned ministries, departments; local and international organizations have put efforts to become Bagan as a World Heritage Site. Many photo exhibitions were also held for hailing the efforts to put Bagan into the world heritage list of the UNESCO.
In-Charge, Bagan In Our Heart photo exhibition, Myo Swe Than said “We contributed our best for the efforts for Bagan to be inscribed on the World Heritage List. We also held many photo exhibitions titled “Bagan In Our Heart” so as to promote public awareness. We created the official short film about ancient Bagan for the World Heritage List. It’s glad that we could relay World Heritage Site, Bagan to our next generation.”
Since Bagan becomes a World Heritage Site in Myanmar, many opportunities are waiting ahead for the tourism industry, Vice President of Myanmar Tour Guide Association said.
Vice President -1, Myanmar Tour Guide Association, Soe Paing said “There are many opportunities waiting ahead for the tourism industry after Bagan becoming a World Heritage Site. It will also promote economic opportunities for Bagan’s communities including small businesses and creating more job opportunities. Bagan is a destination which is already popular among tourists and, with this World Heritage Site title; it will further attract visitors both from home and abroad.”
Currently, the government is putting efforts to submit the final nomination dossier for Mrauk-U of Rakhing State in September, ahead of a February 2020 deadline. UNESCO also added the Pyu Ancient Cities – Hanlin, Beikthano and Sri Ksetra – to the list in 2014.
-- End --