Sikh Heritage Preservation Workshop Commenced at IAC

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) National Capacity Building Workshop for the PTEGP-UNESCO-WB funded project, “Development of an Integrated Site Management Plan and Capacity Building for Sustainable Tourism Management of Selected Sikh Sites in Punjab” have commenced at the institute for Art and Culture (IAC) at its main campus at Raiwind Road Lahore today. Prof. Sajida Haider Vandal (Project Heritage Site Planning Expert and Vice Chancellor, IAC) welcomed the participants of workshop in his inaugural speech and Prof. Pervaiz Vandal (National Project Team Coordinator and Pro-Vice Chancellor IAC) briefed them about the schedule of weeklong capacity building workshop which is an initiative under the Integrated System Management Plan (ISMP) that proposes to provide foundations in cultural heritage protection and management through local development and the community exercise of bringing together expertise to identify gaps in protection and preservation of Sikh heritage Sites.

The workshop is part of the collaboration between IAC and UNESCO which focuses on creating an Integrated Site Management Plan for Sustainable Tourism Management of Gurdwara Rohri Sahib, Eminabad, District Gujranwala, and Gurdwara Sacha Sauda Sahib, Farooqabad, District Shiekhupura. The project was jointly awarded to IAC, Lahore, Pakistan and Fondazione Satagta for the Economics of Culture, Turin, Italy.

The participants of the workshop consist of field experts, representatives from Govt. departments, Host Community Representatives and Custodians and Host City delegates and Sikh Community Representatives. They include, Saba Samee (Project Architectural Conservation Expert), Prof. Alessio (International Project Team Leader), Prof. Kalyan (Project Historian), Prof. Najm-us- saqib Sheikh (Invited Speaker: Director Conservation and Planning, WCLA), Erica Meneghin (Project Site Management Planning Expert), Paola Borrione (Project Sustainability and Community Expert), Giulia Avanza (Project Sustainability and Community Expert), together with National and International Team Facilitators.

The workshops focuses on discussing the existing practice of heritage site managements in Punjab, and its problems; community exercise of bringing together expertise to identify gaps in this field, Gurdwara Policy Frameworks, National Laws and their implications on heritage tourism; Cultural tourism and its impact on economy; International Best practices for Cultural Tourism, engaging communities, techniques and tools to improve tourism in order to understand a better Integrated system management plan (ISMP) and introducing various sectors plans for the ISMP.

By the end of this workshop, it is hoped that there will be an increase the understanding of Cultural heritage and equip the attendants with necessary tools to conserve their Cultural and National Identity through Heritage Tourism and management.