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
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
- 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
- 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
The Director General presides over APSARA Authority. He
is seconded by the directors of the departments as follows:
1. Department of Personal Staff, Finance and Communications
2. Department of Monument and Archaeology 1
3. Department of Monument and Archaeology 2
4. Department of Angkor Tourism Development
5. Department of Urbanization and Development in Siemreap
6. Department of Demography and Development
7. Department of Water and Forest
8. Intervention unit for cracking down on deforestation,
illegal territory occupation and taking action against the
anarchy activities in Siemreap-Angkor.
Chart (PDF, 19KB)
APSARA Authority has two office locations:
- In Siemreap where it acts directly in the field, with
its national and international partners, APSARA is based
inside the Angkor Conservation Compound, in the northern
end of Siemreap town;
- In Phnom Penh, where it is in constant rapport with its
supervisory ministry, APSARA offices are located on the
building #187, Pasture Street, Sangkat Chaktomouk, Khan
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