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Reconstruction Update

Participatory approach key to resurrecting heritage sites, say experts

Published On: 2020-08-26

Kathmandu, August 26

Culture and heritage experts participating on the third day of the national symposium on Nepal’s reconstruction have stressed that participatory approach is key to successful resurrection of the heritage sites damaged in the April 2015 earthquake.

The local community’s participation in the heritage sites reconstruction in Bhaktapur showed that participatory approach has not only made works easy but has also helped reduce the overall cost of the reconstruction, according to experts Rajani Joshi Shrestha and Manoj Suji who presented working papers in the first session today, focusing on the socio-cultural aspect of heritage conservation and community participation in Bhaktapur and the case study of Bhaktapur Municipality respectively.

Another expert Rija Joshi highlighted the importance of community participation in reconstruction, presenting a case study of Kasthmandap reconstruction while Rupesh Shrestha shed light on the community-led heritage reconstruction in Patan. Dr. Sabin Ninglekhu said there are challenges in balancing heritage preservation with the local communities’ empowerment, especially considering the poetics and practices of Newar urbanism in the Kathmandu Valley.

NRA Executive Member Dr. Chandra Bahadur Shrestha moderated the session with Professor Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, Dr. Rohit Gigyasu and Dr. Jagat Shrestha as panelists.

In the day’s second session, Rija Joshi presented a paper on the restoration of earthen palaces in Upper Mustang, Surya Bhakta Sanghachhe on the historic settlement of Sankhu and urban regeneration of Dwalkha while Dr. Poonam RL Rana shed light on the livelihoods and economic recovery in the historic area of Dolagiri (Changu Narayan) in Bhaktapur. Similarly, Manohar Rajbhandari presented a study of seismic design of the under-construction Dharahara while Rabina Shilpakar shed light on the construction technology of multi-tiered temples and their rehabilitation in Bhaktapur.

NRA Executive Member Dhruba Prasad Sharma moderated this session with Dr. Rohit Gigyasu, Professor Jib Raj Pokharel, Bishnu Karki and Dr. Rekha Shrestha as panelists.

The third and final session today focused on the skill and knowledge development in relation to the livelihood and economic development in the post-earthquake reconstruction.

Dr. Suroj Pokhrel presented a paper on the post-disaster availability, consumption and balance of food and agriculture strategy for livelihood recovery in Gorkha while Dr. Nirmal Kumar Raut shed light on the lessons learnt after the earthquake on the effectiveness of coping strategies for livelihood support. Similarly, Meen Bahadur Poudyal Chhetri delved on the socio-economic consequences of the April 2015 earthquake and its impact on the overall economy.

NRA Executive Member Dr. Bishnu Bhandari moderated this session with Dr. Shankar Sharma and Dr. Nigel Fisher as panelists.    

The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) organized this virtual symposium to share its experiences, good practices and lessons learnt in the last five years of post-earthquake reconstruction.

Various stakeholders, including development partners, I/NGOs, experts and individuals involved in the reconstruction are taking part in the symposium to develop a common view on the successes, achievements and the lessons learnt during the five years of reconstruction.

The national symposium has been organized as part of the preparation to hold an international conference on the reconstruction and rehabilitation which is scheduled to be held later this year.

The symposium is holding deliberations on six thematic areas – private housing reconstruction; public and social infrastructure reconstruction; cultural heritage reconstruction; livelihood; rescue and relief; and good governance. Sixty different research papers will be presented during the symposium.

The symposium will end on August 27.

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