The project was established in 1996 with the objective of conserving cultural heritage of Upper Mustang. The project commenced in 1996 with a mission to undertake the emergency repair works of the Thubchen and Champa Gompa in Lomanthang. As a result of this intervention and the assessment of the structural state of the Gompas and their priceless wall paintings, a formal conservation programme was developed and initiated primarily for structural conservation of the roof and the development of training in wall painting conservation. In 1997, the conservation work started in both Lomanthang Gompas and later expanded to Ghar Gompa Logekar and Tsarang Gompa Tsarang.
The project has completed almost all of the major architectural restoration work of the Thubchen, Champa, Logekar, Tsarang Gompa and Sumdu Chhorten by the end of 2004. Similarly wall painting conservation of the Thubchen Gompa is complete and the conservation work in Champa Gompa is ongoing. It is aimed to complete wall paintings conservation works of these Gompas by the end of 2008. Both the national and international consultants including experienced Carpenters from Kirtipur, Kathmandu and Italian Wall painting conservators are involved in the conservation of the Gompas that date back to 14th century and later period.
The consultants, JSA, has trained a local workforce of 35 in Lomanthang, 20 in Tsarang, 15 in Logekar in Architectural conservation and maintenance work which includes carpenters, masons, plasterers and labours. Similarly a team of 40 has been trained in wall paintings conservation during the past seven years who are now a useful resource for work on the various conservation programmes in the country. In addition the project has successfully created a general awareness on heritage conservation among the local people. Apart from the programme to protect and conserve historic Gompas and other cultural elements, the community’s effort to present their heritage to visitors and future generation is another aspect that has already begun to take place in the area. The JSA team has been responsible for research on local materials and technology and improvements using appropriate technology