Intangible cultural heritage consists of living cultural traditions, including oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts. The ninth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will take place in Paris from 24 to 28 November and will be chaired by José Manuel Rodríguez Cuadros (Peru).
The 24-member Committee is in charge of implementing the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which to date numbers 161 States Parties.
The Committee is scheduled to examine 27 periodic reports on the implementation of the Convention and eight reports on the current status of elements inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.
“The vitality of this Convention and the interest it meets prove that many countries now recognize intangible heritage as a tool that can ensure sustainable development and that they integrate ever more fully its safeguarding in their development and planning programmes,” declared the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova.
The Committee will also examine requests for inscription on the two intangible heritage lists: the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding and the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The List in Need of Urgent Safeguarding is composed of intangible heritage elements whose viability is at risk and whose safeguarding is regarded as a matter of urgency. It numbers 35 elements to date and enables States Parties to the Convention to mobilize the international cooperation and assistance required to ensure the transmission of these cultural practices with the participation of the communities concerned.
This year’s eight nominations for inscription on the List in Need of Urgent Safeguarding are:
- Cambodia - Kun Lbokkator
- Croatia- Traditional handwheel pottery-making in Potravlje and Veli Iž
- Ethiopia - Wirshato festival
- Honduras - Oral traditions of Tolupanes from la Montaña de la Flor
- Kenya- Isukuti dance of Isukha and Idakho communities of Western Kenya
- Pakistan - Promotion and preservation of Patiala Gharana, one of the ten gharanas (schools of thought) of classical music in Pakistan
- Uganda - Male-child cleansing ceremony of the Lango of central northern Uganda
- Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) - Mapoyo oral tradition and its symbolic reference points within their ancestral territory
The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity has 281 elements to date. It aims to enhance the visibility of communities’ traditions and knowledge without recognizing standards of excellence or exclusivity.
This year’s 46 nominations to the Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity are:
The Committee meeting will take place at UNESCO’s Headquarters (Room I, 125, avenue de Suffren, Paris). Journalists wishing to cover the event are requested to contact UNESCO’s Press Service for accreditation.
Lucía Iglesias Kuntz – l.iglesias(at)unesco.org +33 (0)1 45 68 17 02
Isabelle Le Fournis – i.le-fournis(at)unesco.org +33 (0)1 45 68 17 48