On December 14th 1992, in Santa Fe (USA), the World Heritage Committee requested from the Cambodian national authorities to fulfill 5 conditions, among which the establishment of an adequate staffed national protection and caretaker agency. Thus, the Royal Decree of February 19th 1995, created the Authority for the Protection and Safeguarding of Angkor and the Region of Angkor (its acronym in French, APSARA, is a reference to the celestial dancers).
This national Authority is charged with:
– Monuments, preservation, maintenance, restoration;
– Management of the historic water system (barays, ponds, canals, rivers);
– Tourism management and dialogue with the communities living among traditional villages in the site;
– Research to enhance the cultural values of the site and its region, especially the cultural heritage of Siem Reap town;
– Protection and conservation of forests within and around the site;
– Training and capacity building.
During 20 years of activities, Apsara National Authority has changed the picture and permitted the gradual transfer of skills to Cambodians professionals, keeping active at the same time the field operations of the international cooperation. It is with its almost 3000 employees, the first employer of the region. It plays a crucial role in the management of Angkor, World Heritage Site, under the guidance of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts.
It has answered the call of the Cambodian people voiced through His Majesty the King and the international community.