On November 8, 2023, an official meeting was held in the headquarters of the International Institute of Central Asian Studies (IICAS), which was attended by members of the Academic Council of IICAS and a delegation from the Republic of Bashkortostan (RB). The delegation comprised Dr. Alexey Kylasov, Doctor of Cultural Studies, Professor of the Russian University of Economics named after Plekhanov, member of the Scientific Council for the Study and Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), President of the World Society of Ethnic Sports, UNESCO expert on intangible cultural heritage, Dr. Salavat Kulbakhtin, Head of the Department for State Protection of Cultural Heritage Sites of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Ms. Elina Gataullina, Executive Director of the Committee of the Republic of Bashkortostan for UNESCO, and Mr. Gennady Koshelev, the resident of the aspiring Geopark of Toratau.
The meeting was opened with a rich and extremely informative presentation made by Ms. Gataullina. Shikhans, intangible heritage, as well as the 2035 strategy for the preservation and development of the industrial heritage of the Republic of Bashkortostan, aroused particular interest among the participants of the meeting. At the end of the report, members of the Academic Council made their valuable comments and suggestions.
As a result of the meeting, an Agreement on cooperation in the field of cultural heritage preservation was signed between IICAS, the Department for State Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Bashkortostan, and the Committee of the Republic of Bashkortostan for UNESCO, which became the first step in exchanging experience, knowledge and resources, ensuring access to cultural assets and their long-term preservation for future generations. The parties agreed that research cooperation will contribute to strengthening the sense of community and identity, developing the local economy and attracting tourists.