In an effort to promote, protect, preserve Lumbini, an International Buddhist Conference was held in Lumbini on November 15-18, 2014.
KOICA (Korean International Cooperation Agency) and their planner Mr. Kwaak have given a presentation on their Lumbini World Peace City Plan during the very first panel session. In later panel sessions the Lumbini World Peace City plan was strongly criticized as:
1- It departs from Lumbini’s identity as the ‘Birthplace of the Buddha’ and ‘Buddhist pilgrimage site’(1) ;
2- Lack of an archaeological survery (LiDAR, geophysics) prior to any planning(2) ;
3- Utter disrespect for the UN plan for Lumbini(3) ;
4- Lack of consideration for the already greatly damaged environment in Lumbini(4) ;
5- Conflict with World Heritage norms(5) .
6- The International Buddhist Conference has not endorsed the Lumbini World Peace City plan at all(6) .
All Links are here:
Link 1: The Sacred Garden of Lumbini, Perceptions of Buddha’s birthplace, UNESCO, 2013, p.43-59, http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002239/223986e.pdf
Link 3: Lumbini, The Birthplace of Lord Buddha in Nepal. Completing the Kenzo Tange Master Plan, prepared by UNESCO with support from UNDP, Kathmandu, May 2013, p. 15-17, http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002208/220846e.pdf
Link 4: http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/pune-scientists-find-air-quality-at-lumbini-world-heritage-site-alarmingly-poor/1190660/; Towards a Sustainable Lumbini, the Birthplace of Lord Buddha, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsDpDvuXGjo; http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002257/225760E.pdf, p. 20, 21, 33;
Link 5: http://whc.unesco.org/archive/2014/whc14-38com-16en.pdf p.73; http://www.unesco.org/new/en/kathmandu/about-this-office/single-view/news/unesco_world_heritage_committee_alerts_nepal_to_be_cautious_on_new_development_projects_to_safeguard_its_wh_properties/#.U8Y7ARYqPFL
Lumbini Declaration Final with signatures – All signatures are protected by Watermark –
From www.save-buddhist-heritage.org/ www.savebh.org:
Note 1: KOICA and their planner Mr. Kwaak have totally ignored the role of UNESCO – They ONLY represent their project to the local authority – They do that because their plan is nothing else than a “Theme Park” which has no value of cultural, historical, environmental and spiritual view. Unfortunately, the misleading claims of the project has drawn many greedy business men, companies to and even some buddhist organizations too.
Note 2: It has taken over thirty years to implement the UN approved Kenzo Tange master plan for Lumbini and there are still a number of unfinished project components. It seems more appropriate to first implement the entire Kenzo Tange Master Plan before embarking on some new project.
The Kenzo Tange master plan’s buffer zones deserve to be fully respected. Land-use guidelines and building guidelines need to be urgently formulated and implemented for the restricted area and agricultural area of the twenty two square miles of the Lumbini Development Area (KTMP) to ensure that the World Heritage property is not affected in any manner.
We hope you will continue to actively support the implementation of the Kenzo Tange Master Plan to ensure that Lumbini’s identity remains as the birthplace of the Buddha.