A group dedicated to discussion of this highly endangered site in Central Laos.
Latest Activity: Nov 14, 2012
Started by Randy Durband. Last reply by Dan Thompson Nov 14, 2012.
In addition to conservation discussions that will be further developed here on this GHN group, this discussion will provide updates on tourism issues. Please add your thoughts and statistics.First,…Continue
Dear Plain of Jars Site Group members,
I am pleased to let you know that I and site group member Randy Durband recently spent five days in the Plain of Jars to assess project potential, during which time we managed to visit sites 1, 2, 3, 16, 27 and 52 as well as the old town of Muong Khoun. We were extremely impressed with the sites, their settings and the great variety evident in the jars themselves, and we have a few ideas for small-scale, high impact projects that we will share with you for your thoughts in the coming days and weeks. We will also be adding additional photos of the sites, information on tourism in the area, and more. Stay tuned!
I just sent you a copy of Lia's report to the two email addresses I have for you. Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you.
I'd love to read Lia's report but can't get it to pop up. Any chance it can be emailed to me? Thanks,
It looks as though we might be able to do this. GHF can support a project involving planning, conservation and community development in various ways: we can provide fellowships to support young researchers with fieldwork travel and accommodation expenses, funding to a Site Monitor to prepare a comprehensive Site Conservation Assessment report (if not already completed), GHN Toolkits (GPS units and software including GIS, satellite imagery analysis Autodesk Design Suite) and a Planning Grant of approximately $30,000 to prepare and/or implement management and conservation planning.
We can also use GHN and this discussion group to chart progress and provide updates.
Randy, Richard, would you like to arrange a conference call to discuss this further and identify next steps?
Also, does anyone have a suggestion for someone to act as Site Coordinator for Plain of Jars on GHN to begin gathering all relevant documentation, mapping, etc.
Thanks Richard for the insights. I've had conversations with your (I assume) former colleagues at UNESCO in Bangkok, Tim Curtis and Montira Unakal, about involvement in visitor management planning at Plain of Jars. I hope this comes together, as we need to fight the potentiality for another tourism site in Laos to turn into drug and alcohol binge locations for Western youth, rather than keeping the emphasis on the cultural or natural heritage.
Thanks for the information, Richard. Let me talk to some people here at GHF to see what we might be able to do to help.
Since 1998, UNESCO has been active on-site at the Plain of Jars where, in cooperation, with the Department of Museums and Archaeology of the Laotian Ministry of Information and Culture, the National Tourism Authority of Lao PDR, and the Xiengkhouang Provincial Governor's Office, a community-based safeguarding, conservation, management and visitor strategy has been developed involving the hundred of jar sites (and thousands of jars) scattered throughout the province. The strategy has been piloted at the major sites most frequently visited by tourists. Pilot work has involved the de-mining of the sites of unexploded ordnance left over from the Indochina War of the 1970s, for which a new "archaeo-demining" technique as developed in coordination with the Mines Advisory Group of the UK. A nomination dossier for the inscription of the site, as a cultural landscape, on the World Heritage List has also been prepared and inscription is pending. What is now needed is sustained financial and on-ste technical assistance to the Provincial Governor's Office (Dept of Archaeology and Museums) -- which is responsible for the overall site management -- to implement fully the community-based management and visitor strategy at sites throughout the province. This will entail additional archeo-demining (the major expense); site stabilization (in some cases); establishment of visitor hiking trails; guide training; and assistance to the remoter villages to establish home stay facilities.
I just came across a link (below) that indicates UNESCO Bangkok has a project at Plain of Jars already. Randy, do you know what the status of this is or who could be contacted to learn more about it? GHF might be able to provide some help along with all of those in this thread who have expressed interest in a project there.
Hi guys...If you guys need anyone in country to assist...i have a few names. architects, conservators and willing community members. Because of involvement in an ongoing attempt to conserve and promote the Vieng Xai Caves i have a few contacts of specialists from outside the boarders of this lovely country that will eagerly get involved at any level.
My contacts at UNESCO Bangkok are keen to organize preservation work at Plain of Jars. If anyone knows of potential donors we might be able to facilitate linkage and get something going.
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