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Phase II: Regional expansion

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Information and strategy workshop.

Needs and resource assessment during the workshop.

Information and Strategy Development Workshop

Location: Luang Prabang, Lao PDR
Dates: 10-14 May 2004

The first activity under the second phase of the project was an "Information and Strategy Development Workshop" held in Luang Prabang, 10-15 May 2004, with participants from all prospective project sites. During the week-long workshop the delegates developed strategies which were fine tuned later for implementation of the project in their sites.

The workshop was successful, with eager participation from site representatives as well as guidance from senior regional experts. It provided a forum for representatives from Buddhist sites throughout the Mekong sub-region and the South Asia region to identify their needs and resources in conserving their living Buddhist traditions.

The situational reports presented by the site teams indicated that the living traditions of Buddhism in the region are a vibrant, integral part of the local identity and cultural resources.  At the same time, they are under threat from development pressures, shifting socio-cultural tastes which privilege modern ways, and discontinuities in transmission of traditions and skills to the younger generation brought about by political changes or lack of qualified trainers and interested trainees.

In response to these issues, site representatives identified modalities of project implementation as follows: awareness-raising amongst Buddhist sangha, community members and key decision makers about the conservation of Buddhist heritage; documentation and practical training in reviving dying or lost crafts associated with Buddhist practices; development of curricula concerning heritage conservation and management targeting the secondary and tertiary educational institutions for monks; training of monks and decision makers in preventative conservation, especially of key Buddhist landmarks. The overall output as a result of these project streams is to revive the living Buddhist practices in these sites where the situation represents a larger socio-economic environment in need of financial, institutional support for long term community capacity-building on the way towards heritage conservation with integrated approach.