It has been announced that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will provide 1,2 million dollars of aid to the international project entitled The Securing of the Carved Rock Churches: The Protection of the Rock Structures and Wall Drawings in Cappadocia.
In the written announcement made by the UNESCO Turkish National Commission, it was announced that Gürcan Balık, the permanent representative of Turkey at UNESCO, and Krishore Rao, the Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Center, had signed the 1,2 million dollar activity plan for the protection of the Turkish World Heritage Area the Göreme National Park and the Cappadocia Rock Areas, on 17 July. Ambassador Isao Kiso, the permanent representative of Japan at UNESCO, was also present at the meeting.
The announcement stated as follows: “The international co-operation project entitled The Securing of the Carved Rock Churches: The Protection of the Rock Structures and Wall Drawings in Cappadocia, which will last for 3 years, will be financed by the Japanese Fund for the Protection of World Heritage, and that the project would be established in close co-operation with the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.”
Cappadocia activity plan expected to be ratified this year
The announcement also included information on the explorations carried out in the area by experts, and said as follows:
“Following lengthy meetings with local heritage managers and experts, experts have determined 22 carved rock church drawings, which had been defined in the World Heritage List in 1985, where the outstanding universal value they possessed were said to be under threat and needed to be taken under protection by taking the necessary measures as soon as possible. The activity plan, which is expected to be ratified by the Turkish authorities within this year, consists of a number of activities which aim to protect the said assets. These include: The full protection of the Üzümlü Cathedral which is situated in the Cappadocia Red Pit Valley (Kızıl Çukur Vadisi) which is being evaluated as a pilot project; the establishment of research and capacity; the management of information; international seminars and publications and consultancy for a workshop and preliminary study concerning the plan for the management of the assets.”
With the activity plan which is to be undertaken with the co-operation between UNESCO, Turkey and Japan, World Heritage assets which are in a sensitive situation will be protected and developed. The announcement goes on to state that the aim is sustainability in the area, and says, “The wide participation of national and international stakeholders gives the implementing of the World Heritage Agreement strength while at the same time presenting a unique opportunity directed at promoting the international co-operations aimed at protecting the Cultural and Natural Resources of the World, which is one of the fundamental building blocks of UNESCO.”