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Heritage cloud on land of the dawn-lit mountains

Having drafted a dossier on Apatani Cultural Landscape in Ziro valley of Arunachal Pradesh two months ago, key questions have come to the fore on how much of buffer and core zones would be marked as part of the site's inclusiveness for a possible Unesco World Heritage Site.

Gaurav Das   |   Guwahati   |   Published 21.07.18, 12:00 AM

Apatani Cultural Landscape. Picture courtesy: Tage Tada

Guwahati: Having drafted a dossier on Apatani Cultural Landscape in Ziro valley of Arunachal Pradesh two months ago, key questions have come to the fore on how much of buffer and core zones would be marked as part of the site's inclusiveness for a possible Unesco World Heritage Site.

Apatani Cultural Landscape was included in the tentative list of Unesco World Heritage Sites in 2014. The draft dossier was prepared by the directorate of research, Arunachal Pradesh.

But even with the dossier prepared, the state administration is yet to respond to key issues pertaining to mapping of the area, identification of the area to be included in the main town, the forest area, planning, possible dos and don'ts once the site gets a heritage tag, inclusiveness of buffer and core zones, and other aspects.

Tage Tada, former director of research and the main person behind Ziro's inclusion in Unesco's tentative list, said, "It has been three months since the dossier has been prepared. It is a 300-page dossier, which has been sent to each and every department. But the administration is yet to respond. We should ascertain how much buffer and core zones will be included. The extent of specific boundaries should also have been measured by now. This is the first cultural landscape site to be included in the tentative list."

The Apatani area has water and agricultural management system, which is considered unique in the world.

They have a tradition whereby young boys plant a sapling annually. They also adhere to bamboo and pine groves.

"If Ziro becomes a World Heritage Site, there would be dos and don'ts. For example, if the bamboo and pine groves come within the core zone, the Apatani people would have to take permission for their regular agricultural activity. These aspects need to be sorted out now. They have come in touch with modernity only 50 years ago. But they still maintain their indigenous lifestyle," added Tada.

Apatani Cultural Landscape is surrounded by blue hills. It is almost isolated from a thriving human population and beautifully embedded within the bosom of the Ziro valley.

The Apatani tribe for centuries has been dwelling in the region in total sustenance through sustainable existence, forming a unique bond between man and nature.



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