History & organization

Organization at the international level

Once Angkor was inscribed on the World Heritage List, it was necessary to establish working mechanisms to promote national and international collaboration.

At the first Intergovernmental Conference on the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor, held in Tokyo in October 1993, an International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor (ICC) was created. This Committee is co-chaired by France and Japan with UNESCO as acting secretariat. Its inaugural meeting in December 1993, assembling representatives of more than twenty countries and organizations, marked the first high-level international discussions on Angkor ever to be held in Cambodia itself.

The subsequent creation of a sub-committee responsible for holding discussions and making decisions on technical issues regarding Angkor (the Technical Committee) reinforced structures for effective management of international efforts at the site. The Committee holds plenary sessions in Phnom Penh or Siemreap twice a year. All national and international projects concerning Angkor must be submitted to the ICC via its Technical Committee, for discussion. In 1997, the Committee decided to create the Ad Hoc group of experts, responsible for advising APSARA on technical solutions to precise problems (such as the collapse of Angkor Vat's western moat step) as well as broad questions related to the safeguarding of Angkor.

These mechanisms allow APSARA to collaborate directly with international governmental and non-governmental agencies, to coordinate actions undertaken in many domains, and to strengthen national technical capacities.

Organization at the national level

APSARA was created by Royal Decree in 1995. A second additional Royal Decree reinforced its authority in January 1999. Today, APSARA is placed under the double supervision of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (technical supervision) and the Ministry of Economy and Finance (financial supervision). APSARA's Director General is President of the Administrative Board, assisted by several Deputy Directors General. APSARA, in collaboration with other governmental agencies, is responsible for:

- Protecting, maintaining, conserving and improving the value of the archaeological park, the culture, the environment and the history of the Angkor region as defined on the World Heritage List.
- Refining and applying the master plan on tourist development according to the five zones, defined in 1994 in the Royal Decree on the protection and management of Siemreap-Angkor and taking action against deforestation, illegal territory occupation as well as anarchy activities in Siemreap-Angkor.
- Finding financial sources and investments.
- Participating in the policy of cutting down poverty of the Royal Government in Siemreap-Angkor.
- Cooperating with the Cambodian Development Council on the investments of all the projects that are involved with APSARA Authority’s mission.
- Cooperating with ministries, institutions, funds, national and international communities as well as international governmental institutions and non-governmental organization on all projects related to APSARA Authority.

The territorial authority of APSARA is clearly specified in Article 5 of the Law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage promulgated in 1996. The term "Siemreap-Angkor" is defined in the Royal Decree establishing Protected Cultural Zones, with five degrees of protection in the region. Backed by these legal tools, APSARA is mandated to represent the Royal Government before all international partners concerned with cultural, urban and tourist development of this region. The Authority thus presides the Cambodian delegation to the International Coordinating Committee (ICC), and its Technical Committee.

Internal Organization

The Director General presides over APSARA Authority. He is seconded by the directors of the departments as follows:

  1. Department of Conservation of the Monuments in the Angkor Park and Preventive Archaeology
  2. Department of Tourism Development of Angkor
  3. Department of Land Planning and Habitat Management in the Angkor Park
  4. Department of Agricultural and Community Development
  5. Department of Water Management
  6. Department of Management of Forestry, Cultural Landscapes and Environment
  7. Department of Public Order and Cooperation
  8. Department of Cultural Development, Museums and Heritage Norms
  9. Department of Development of Urban Heritage of Siem Reap
  10. Department of Conservation of the Monuments outside of the Angkor Park
  11. Department of Administration, Personnel and Materials
  12. Department of Finance and Accounting
  13. Department of Communication
  14. Department of Inter-sectorial Projects and Technical Support
  15. Angkor International Research and Documentation Center

Organization Chart (JPEG, 92KB)

APSARA Authority has two office locations:
- In Siemreap where it acts directly in the field, with its national and international partners, APSARA is located in Bangkoung Village, Ampil District, Siem Reap Town (Former Siem Reap Administrative Town, please see attached map)

- In Phnom Penh, where it is in constant rapport with its supervisory ministry, APSARA offices are located on the building #41, The Office of the Council of Ministers, Russian Federation, Mitpheap District, Khan 7 Makara (Administration Office: 2nd Floor, Room No.E2-3)

Angkor-Archaeology fund

The fund was created as a special account called "Angkor-Archaeology Fund" to collect and receive donations from national and international communities for improving Angkor. The Angkor-Archaeology Fund is under the direct control of APSARA Authority.

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