Islamabad, Pakistan: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) developed a “National Database for Pakistan’s Cultural Assets” to safe guard, conserve and preserve the cultural and natural heritage of NWFP.
According to APP report, this GIS-database could be possible with the cooperation of Ministry of Culture and its associate bodies: National Institute of Folk Heritage (Lok Virsa), Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) and the Department of Archaeology and Museums (DOAM). About the database, Dr. Fazaldad Kakar, Director General, Department of Archaeology and Museums, said, “Through this project, we hope to develop good models for community participation and dialogue. It will enhance cultural resource management, and strengthen its identities and public awareness. Through these efforts, cultural heritages in Pakistan will not only be protected, but also employed as an instrument for economy that is both cyclical and self-perpetuating.”
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 GIS-based database for Cultural Assets of NWFP has been handed over to Hazara University along with an additional subsystem to attach multiple videos, audios and photos. Under this project cultural mapping was carried out with local communities in Peshawar, Mardan, Mansehra, Chitral, Bannu, Charsadda and Swat.