THE ACHI ASSOCIATION
is a private, non-profit organisation based in Switzerland. It was founded in 1999 by people dedicated to the preservation of Buddhist heritage and scholars specialising in the early Art and Architecture of the Himalayas. Its purpose is to contribute to the safeguard of the outstanding but endangered cultural heritage in the Himalayas.
Currently the association concentrates its efforts on a number of early temples in the Tibetan Buddhist area of Ladakh, Northwest India, which are not protected otherwise. An interdisciplinary team of specialists from Europe and India, partly linked to academic programs at different universities, combines in-depth research with hands-on preservation. The typical earthen architecture with its flat roofs and the splendid interiors, in particular the wall paintings executed on clay plaster, pose particular conservation problems. They are the focus of Achi Association´s conservation efforts.
The involvement and participation of the local people is key for sustainable preservation. Therefore a training program has been launched thanks to the support of the Getty Foundation, Los Angeles (USA). It assists the local communities in capacity building for heritage maintenance and introduces methods for preventive conservation.
Since its foundation, the Achi Association and its works have continuously expanded. This growth has been enabled by the commitment of its members from different countries who support the organization through their financial contribution, their professional expertise and their practical work on site.