The new National Committee of Intangible Cultural Heritage was created through a decree by the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Professional Integration, Crafts, Arts and Culture following Comoros’ ratification of the 2003 UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013.
The creation of the National Committee is one of the activities of the project “Strengthening capacities for the safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage for sustainable development in Comoros,” which is financed by a generous contribution from the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (ADTCA) to UNESCO.
The UNESCO project is divided into 3 main activities aimed at:
• Strengthening the capacities, knowledge and implementation of the 2003 Convention;
• Strengthening the institutional and legal frameworks for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage (ICH);
• Drawing up inventories of ICH.
These activities, which are organized in cooperation with the national institutions responsible for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, involve civil society organizations and ensure a balanced participation of women, men and young people.
"The establishment of the National Committee of Intangible Cultural Heritage demonstrates the commitment of the State Party of Comoros towards the implementation of the UNESCO 2003 Convention and the national will to identify and safeguard Comoros’ Intangible Cultural Heritage," said Ms. Wahidat HASSANI, Director General of Arts and Culture on behalf of Mrs Ladaenti HOUMADI, Minister of Youth, Sports, Professional Integration, Crafts, Arts and Culture of the Comoros
Following the awareness-raising workshop on intangible cultural heritage led by Mr. Mohamed Lemine BEIDJEU, an expert from the UNESCO ICH Expert Facility, in June 2018 in Moroni, which brought together 30 participants from the national authorities working for culture (arts and culture directorates), University of Comoros, CNDRS (National Center for Documentation and Research), Comoros Heritage Collective, national experts, representatives of communities, civil society and other stakeholders, Recommendations were adopted, which included the creation of a "National Committee of Intangible Cultural Heritage" of the Union of the Comoros.
The Order 19/18 / MJEIPSC / CAB establishing the National Committee of Intangible Cultural Heritage assigns missions that consist mainly of ensuring:
· The establishment of a legal and institutional framework relating to Intangible Cultural Heritage that must provide for safeguard measures in accordance with the UNESCO 2003 Convention;
· Integration of ICH into national education programmes;
· Financial measures for awareness raising and inventories of ICH;
· Increasing budgets for research on culture and facilitating access to funds;
· Strengthening human and logistical capacities in the administrations in charge of culture;
· Strengthening the operational capacities of research institutions;
· Rehabilitation or construction of premises to house public services in charge of ICH;
· Capacity building through training of trainers;
· Strengthening bi-and multi-lateral cooperation in the field of ICH;
· Capacity-building in the implementation of safeguarding plans and the elaboration of the UNESCO nomination files.
Through this new Committee, the national authorities and their partners are ensuring the safeguarding, transmission and dissemination of Comoros ICH for future generations.