Intangible Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
On the occasion of the 3rd SIDS Conference (Samoa, 1 – 4 September 2014), the Government of Samoa, through the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC), will organise a Parallel Event on the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) safeguarding for Sustainable Development of SIDS at the Development Bank of Samoa Conference Room in Apia on 2 September 2014.
The objective of this Parallel Event is to share information on progress in the ICH safeguarding in SIDS, and discuss a strategy and priority actions for the post-SIDS Conference period. The Event will bring together government officials, experts, ICH custodians and community representatives, as well as partners for the ICH safeguarding.
In many SIDS, ICH or “living heritage” has provided a foundation for their identity. However, there has been a shift away from a focus on subsistence, strong units and community, towards consumerism, individualism and a decline in the traditional social system. Some of their traditional expressions and knowledge will be lost in the near future, unless awareness of their contribution to sustainable development should be enhanced and appropriate cultural policy should be established.
The ICH Convention provides important principles and guidelines for ICH safeguarding measures, and establishes international cooperation mechanisms. The Convention assists states parties in safeguarding their ICH in need of urgent safeguarding and empowering communities who are the custodians, creators and transmitters of this living heritage.
SAMOA Pathway Draft Outcome Document includes the following;.
Culture and Sports
80. We recognize that SIDS possess a wealth of culture, which is a driver and an enabler for sustainable development. In particular, indigenous and traditional knowledge and cultural expression, which underscores the deep connections among people, culture, knowledge and the natural environment, can meaningfully advance sustainable development and social cohesion.
81. In this regard, we strongly support SIDS’ efforts to:
a) Promote cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and international cooperation in the cultural field in line with applicable international conventions, in particular UNESCO conventions.
b) Leverage and build on the joint work by WIPO and UNESCO.
c) Develop and strengthen, national and regional cultural activities and infrastructures, including through the network of World Heritage sites, which reinforce local capacities, promote awareness in SIDS, enhance tangible and intangible cultural heritage, including local and indigenous knowledge, and involve local people for the benefit of present and future generations.
d) Develop cultural and creative industries, including tourism, that capitalize on the rich heritage of SIDS and have a role to play in sustainable and inclusive growth.
e) Develop domestic mechanisms to conserve, promote, protect and preserve the natural, tangible and intangible cultural heritage practices and traditional knowledge of SIDS.