swyambunath – restoration & development

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NCDC and EWB are joining forces to assist in the renovation and community development of Swyambhunath temple in Kathmendu. These introductory paragraphs have been reproduced from the concept paper, which is available here as a PDF.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Swayambhu as a World Heritage Site in 1979. UNESCO’s mission (whc.unesco.org) for World Heritage Sites is “to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.” According to UNESCO’s mandate, the World Heritage Site of Swayambhu must have a plan for sustainable preservation of the actual monument, as well as a sustainable community development plan for the residents and businesses of the monument area and its surrounding buffer zone.

The Swyambhu Monument Zone is in a critical state with respect to conservation. There is inadequate management of water, sanitation, health, and the environment. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee is concerned by the uncontrolled development and has threatened to place Swayambhu on the World Heritage Committee’s endangered list. This threat has revitalized conservation efforts. As such, there are many organizations ready to be involved in solving the major challenges of this area, in a coordinated manner.

The Swayambhu World Heritage site is located in the western part of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. The site consists of two zones: the Monument Zone (188.95 hectares = 467 acres) and the surrounding Buffer Zone (239.34 hectares = 591 acres). The Buffer Zone surrounds the Monument Zone at an average radius of 100 meters. In addition to the residents, there are many daily visitors, from a minimum of 1,500 per day to a maximum – on high religious holidays – of 100,000 per day.

For more information please see the Concept paper describing this project..

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