Sunday, May 19, 2024


About APSARA National Authority

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 pro- tection 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).

From APSARA National authority First steps...

     The Authority for the protection of the site and the Management of the Region of Angkor (APSARA National Authority or ANA) was created in 1995 to answer, in particular, one of the conditions of inscription of the Angkor Site on the World Heritage List, completed in December 1992 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

Thus, during the 19th Session of the World Heritage Committee in Berlin, in December 1995, the announcement by the Cambodian Authorities of the creation of the National Authority APSARA was welcomed with satisfaction by the international community.

To its implementation...

     Since 1999, APSARA National Authority became a public administrative institution endowed with legal entity and with administrative and financial autonomy.

The Royal Government of Cambodia has carefully monitored the work of the APSARA National Authority and the implementation of the guidelines on the protection of heritage. This work was crowned with success, in 2004 when the Angkor Site was taken off the World Heritage List in danger.

     But the valuation of the Angkor Site would not be complete if conservation actions were not accompanied by development projects that highlight intangible cultural heritage so bound to the identity of the region and an essential element to the self-fulfillment of the population. Primarily concerned about their material well-being, people living in the protected zone areas, despite the difficulties, continue to follow their traditions while arranging necessary resources for their livelihood, despite constraints imposed by heritage norms. At Angkor, the population is firmly bound to the land and it was always so – long before the inscription of the site on the World Heritage List.

     For this population, community development is a categorical imperative, besides compliance with the ethics of the 1972 convention.On the 40,000 hectares of the park, a population of approximately 125,000 souls, live and work, distributed through 112 villages. To allow families which increase in numbers to have additional dwellings without endangering the integrity of the World Heritage Site, ANA fitted out a 1,000-hectare site, and eco-village at Run Ta EK, to facilitate their re-settlement outside the Angkor Park. 


     During 25 years of activities, APSARA National Authority has changed the picture and permitted the gradual transfer of skills to Cambodian professionals, keeping active at the same time the field operations of the international cooperation. It is with its almost 4000 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.

APSARA National Authority Key Numbers

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Angkor Wat Icon

Temples in The Angkor Archeological Park

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Visitors in 2019

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of Protected Area

Main missions ensured by APSARA National Authority

     The establishment of the APSARA National Authority Cambodia’s future rests mostly with Angkor: a geographical area, an archaeological site and a cultural place. Some of the main components essential for the survival of the nation interact at these crossroads of ancient and modern civilisations. The Angkorian heritage is rich in first class economic and human potential, which may lay the foundations for and provide the necessary protection of Khmer heritage for future generations.

Thereby, it is only within the framework of sustainable development that cultural heritage can be efficiently protected and developed. The main challenge that the Royal Government is facing consists in turning diverging, when not clashing, interests into sustainable resources that will serve the needs of the Angkor region and in turn those of the nation. This is the reason the Government established the APSARA in 1995, which was put in charge of protecting the site and developing the Angkor region.

The establishment of the Authority was the first concrete step taken by the Government towards sustainable development, along with the protection and promotion of cultural heritage. Beyond Siem Reap and Angkor, the establishment of the Authority has served as an example of a fundamental reform. The APSARA National Authority is a body adapted to modern management and originates from Khmer cultural funds. It operates within a Government framework with an inter-ministerial structure based on the willingness to bring administrative practises towards a fruitful and efficient partnership with the international community.

This Authority has since then been in charge at Angkor of the drafting and implementation of conservation, rehabilitation and development planning and of the coordination of activities at the national and international levels. This legal and institutional framework has changed the picture. Cambodia now plays an active role in the management of Angkor, a national and global heritage for future generations. It has answered the call of the Cambodian people, voiced through its King and the international community.


     APSARA National Authority and its partners produce every year a wild ranch of official publications and reports. This section regroups all the official publications and documents such as master plans, research projects, guidelines, available to be read online or downloadable.