“Through this project we hope to develop good models for community participation; dialogue; improved capacity and management of cultural resources; strengthened identities; and local awareness on the importance of culture. It is hoped that through these concerted efforts, the cultural heritage of Pakistan will not only be protected, but also employed as an instrument for economy that is both cyclical and self-perpetuating”, said Dr. Fazaldad Kakar, Director General, Department of Archaeology and Museums, on the occasion of launching of the Mapping project in Mardan.
Following a consensus, the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) was selected to store, maintain and update information on the country’s cultural assets, both tangible and intangible, on an ongoing basis.
This national Database was developed as one of the key objectives of UNESCO Islamabad’s project named “Mapping of Cultural Assets in NWFP” (Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa), initiated back in 2007 with the Norwegian government funding.
Through this project, UNESCO Islamabad introduced the concept of cultural mapping as a tool for assessing cultural and heritage assets, to be safeguarded.
The mapping is aimed at a step further towards UNESCO’s global commitment of developing sensitive and appropriate methodologies for documenting and enhancing culture for community benefit. A GIS compatible Database for Cultural Assets of NWFP was handed over to Hazara University (the end-users) along with an additional subsystem to attach multiple videos, audios and photos.