- First national Art Forum organized to support the creative industries
- Task force created to organize Art Forum regularly and implement cultural policy strategy in Cambodia
- 18 national team members trained in data collection, indicator-building and periodic reporting
- Second Quadrennial Periodic Report submitted to UNESCO in December 2016
Historically, within the cultural domain, Cambodia has often given priority to the protection of cultural heritage and traditional forms of expressions. Cambodia’s efforts have successfully resulted in inscribing Angkor and the Tempre of Preah Vihear as the World Heritage Sites. In recent years, however, the recognition of contemporary cultural and creative industries’ role in development has increasingly taken center stage in the country. Drawing upon EU-funded UNESCO’s technical assistance missions (2012-2014), Cambodia adopted its first national cultural policy in December 2014, binding together culture and national economic development, notably through the objective “to create new cultural products, especially in the creative industry sector”. Indeed, culture is already a non-negligible contributor to the national formal economy representing 1.53% of total GDP in 2011. The UNESCO project on culture for development indicators (CDIS) has also heighted the awareness about the importance of cultural and creative industries in the country.
Some important challenges remain, however, with limited opportunities in public funding of art production, arts education and formal cultural employment. Another obstacle is the lack of opportunities for cultural professionals to take part in the formulation and implementation of cultural policies, measures and programmes that concern them.
In this context, this capacity building action provides much needed dialogue between civil society and the government, laying the groundwork for more participatory policy processes and stronger social cohesion in post-Khmer rouge Cambodia. At the same time, it offers the possibility for better visibility of Cambodian culture and creative industries through participatory data collection and information sharing nationally and internationally.