DEHRADUN: Preparations are afoot to propose the inclusion of the Kailash Mansarovar landscape in the UNESCO World Heritage site list.

At discussions held at the ongoing annual co-ordination meeting of UNESCO in the city on, the proposal steered by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, took shape, reports The Times of India.

mansarovarExperts say that if the proposal comes through, Uttarakhand which is a major transit point of the annual Kailash Mansarovar yatra, will also benefit as communities living along the yatra route can be incorporated in the plan to develop sustainable tourism for the site.

Mechtild Rossler, director UNESCO World Heritage Centre told TOI, “Kailash Mansarovar landscape has high potential to make it to the UNESCO World Heritage list simply because there are many sacred sites in this transnational boundary area, shared by three countries, India , China and Nepal. This site will be unique as here boundaries are not dividing people but bringing them together.”

However she said that it may take approximately five years for the landscape to make it to the list.

GS Rawat, dean of WII termed this decision long overdue. “The ancient route to Kailash passes through Uttarakhand yet the state has not been able to project it strongly for promotion of tourism and development. As a result, other states, Ladakh and Sikkim have been able to lure tourists to opt for routes in their states while our state lagged behind. Our state need to respect local culture and the most ancient heritage of this region. However the world reception will add value to it,” he said.

Dean WII added. “Nomination dossier in this regard would be prepared by WII and other experts. On parallel, program related to sensitizing and capacity building of the local communities would be held simultaneously, as the endorsement of local people would be necessary for the clearance of the project at UNESCO level.”


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