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 to inscription of the Angkor Site on the World Heritage List, completed in December 1992 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
The main missions delegated to the National Authority APSARA are as follows:
- Ensure in the region of Siem Reap/ Angkor, the protection, the preservation and the valuation of national cultural property,
- Conceive and lead the development of cultural tourism in the region of Siem Reap/ Angkor
- Carry out sustainable development to contribute to the implementation of the policy of the Royal Government of Cambodia for poverty reduction
- Establish partnerships with provincial and territorial authorities
- Cooperate with institutions and organizations, both Khmer and Foreign, which have objectives answering the vocation of ANA and are operating in the region.
The Royal Government of Cambodia has carefully monitored the work of the ANA and the implementation of the guidelines on the protection of heritage. This work was crowned with success and in 2004, the Angkor Site was taken off the World Heritage List in danger. The valuation of the Angkor Site would not be complete if conservation actions were not accompanied by development projects that highlighted the intangible cultural heritage bound to the identity of the region.
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. At Angkor, the population is firmly bound to the land and their traditions, even before the inscription of the site on the World Heritage List.