Kathmandu is no stranger to UNESCO’s list of endangered heritage sites. It was added to the list in 2003 after private houses were constructed around the Bouddhanath Monument Zone. The homes were later rebuilt to comply with historical design, and thereby ratified by the government. Now, UNESCO is again considering whether Kathmandu should be added to the list.
The Kathmandu World Cultural Heritage Site boasts seven monument zones. If any one of the seven zones becomes altered, UNESCO will list the entire valley as endangered. It is currently unclear whether Kathmandu will receive this status. According to UNESCO Representative to Nepal Axel Plathe, “Just because Kathmandu has certain risks and challenges, it does not mean that the city will be listed as endangered world heritage site.”
Kathmandu has been a UNESCO cultural world heritage site since 1979, and is one of only four such sites in Nepal. Other cultural word heritage sites in Nepal include a Lumbini, Chitwan National Park, and Sagarmatha National Park.