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Phase II: Regional expantion

Background

During Phase I of the project, local traditional masters and teachers from the Luang Prabang School of Fine Arts taught local monks the skills and techniques they needed to restore and maintain the Buddhist heritage in their temples. As a result, the pilot project has successfully begun to address the goals and objectives of the project in training the next generation of monk/artists who will be the caretakers of their Buddhist heritage and who will work together with communities to repair and restore the temples. 

In the national level, although Phase I has been too short to ensure that the project’s training initiatives are fully institutionalized and self-sustaining within the Luang Prabang Buddhist community, it has already become a model held up by the Laotian authorities which they would like to see replicated in other parts of Lao PDR. Regionally, the achievements in pilot project have been noted by governing Buddhist bodies in other countries, leading to the response by UNESCO to expand the project.  Stakeholder consultations among local communities with traditional Buddhist cultural heritage under threat have also revealed interest and willingness to support the project’s expansion. 

In response to this, Phase II of the project sees continuation of the project in Luang Prabang, expansion in Lao PDR, as well as replication of the project model, with appropriate site specific adaptation, throughout the Theravada and Vajrayana Buddhist regions of Asia.

This phase focuses on the heritage of Buddhist traditions in countries of Asia where the Theravada prevails in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka, and the Vajrayana, practiced in countries linked to Tibetan tradition. In both sub-regions, upgrading local capacity to strengthen the management of traditional Buddhist heritage is particularly pressing given the sites being the interest of cultural tourism emerging from  Buddhist historical and living sites. 

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Theravada Buddhist monks at study tour in Siem Reap, Cambodia