On 06.04.2022, the international panel review meeting was arranged and successfully held online by the International Institute for Central Asian Studies (IICAS) to mark the completion of the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) of the proposed Uzgen Water Supply and Wastewater Rehabilitation Project in the city of Uzgen, Kyrgyz Republic. The assessment was carried out by the team of international and regional experts under the auspices of IICAS within the framework of the UNESCO/Republic of Korea Fund-in-Trust “Support for the Asian Silk Roads World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination(s) (Phase II)”. A number of international and local stakeholders who supported the expert team in the course of the assessment were invited to take part in the meeting.
The meeting was opened by Dr. Feng Jing, Chief of the Asia and the Pacific Unit, UNESCO World Heritage Center (WHC). Welcoming speeches and remarks were also delivered by Ms. Sabira Soltongeldieva, Secretary General, National Commission of the Kyrgyz Republic for UNESCO, Ms. Aigul Khalafova, National Professional Officer for Culture, UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office, Ms. Ayisin Duishanalieva, Director of the Republican Inspectorate for the Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments under the Ministry of Culture, Information, Sport and Youth Policy, and Dr. Dmitriy Voyakin, Director of IICAS.
The opening session was followed by a number of presentations dedicated to the Uzgen site, as a component of the Silk Roads: Ferghana-Syrdarya serial transnational World Heritage Nomination, as well as its history, values, and conservation challenges. A detailed report was made on the progress of the HIA, results and conclusions made as a result of desk and field studies, prior stakeholder meetings and consultations.
Subsequent intensive discussion initiated by Prof. Roland Lin, Project Officer of the Asia and the Pacific Unit, UNESCO WHC was focused on the recommendations prepared by the expert team to neutralize possible detrimental impact on the heritage values of the Uzgen site. The participants deliberated on further practical steps related to mitigation measures to be taken in the course of the proposed development works. The need for continuous collaboration between the stakeholders was specially highlighted.