The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will meet from 4 to 9 December on Jeju Island (Republic of Korea) and will be chaired by H.E. Mr Byong-hyun Lee, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Korea to UNESCO.
The Committee, made up of the representatives of 24 States Parties to the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003), meets once a year. It ensures the implementation of this legal instrument, which has been ratified by 175 States who have integrated the safeguarding of intangible heritage into their national legislation. In its 14 years of existence, the Convention has led 140 safeguarding living heritage projects in 107 countries.
During this session, the Committee will discuss topics including intangible cultural heritage situations of emergency, the impact of the Convention and the use of resources from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund. Three requests for International Assistance, filed by Colombia, Uganda and Zambia, will be examined to finance projects for the safeguarding of intangible heritage.
The Committee will also decide upon six requests for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, as well as 34 requests for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
In addition, three projects have been proposed for the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices, which seeks to highlight the projects, programmes and activities which best reflect the objectives of the 2003 Convention.
For the first time, an element – Xoan singing of the Phú Thọ province (Viet Nam) – which has been inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2011, could be withdrawn and inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding features elements of living heritage whose viability is considered under threat. There are currently 47 elements inscribed on this List, which allows State Parties to the Convention to mobilize the necessary international cooperation and assistance to strengthen the transmission of these cultural practices, in agreement with the concerned communities.
The following elements have been proposed this year:
Botswana: Dikopelo folk music of Bakgatla ba Kgafela in Kgatleng District Colombia; Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of): Colombian-Venezuelan llano work songs Mongolia: Mongolian traditional practices of worshipping the sacred sites Morocco: Taskiwin, martial dance of the western High Atlas Turkey: Whistled language United Arab Emirates: Al Azi, art of performing praise, pride and fortitude poetry
There are currently 365 elements inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It seeks to enhance visibility for the traditions and know-how of communities without recognizing standards of excellence or exclusivity.
The nominations for 2017 for the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity are:
Armenia - Kochari, traditional group dance Azerbaijan - Dolma making and sharing tradition, a marker of cultural identity Bangladesh - Traditional art of Shital Pati weaving of Sylhet Bolivia (Plurinational State of) - Ritual journeys in La Paz during Alasita Bosnia and Herzegovina - Konjic woodcarving Bulgaria; The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Republic of Moldova; Romania - Cultural practices associated to the 1st of March Côte d’Ivoire - Zaouli, popular music and dance of the Guro communities in Côte d’Ivoire Cuba - Punto Germany - Organ craftsmanship and music Greece - Rebetiko India - Kumbh Mela Indonesia - Pinisi, art of boatbuilding in South Sulawesi Iran (Islamic Republic of) - Chogān, a horse-riding game accompanied by music and storytelling Iran (Islamic Republic of); Azerbaijan - Art of crafting and playing with Kamantcheh/Kamancha, a bowed string musical instrument Ireland - Uilleann piping Italy - Art of Neapolitan ‘Pizzaiuolo’ Kazakhstan - Kazakh traditional Assyk games Kyrgyzstan - Kok boru, traditional horse game Lao People’s Democratic Republic - Khaen music of the Lao people Malawi - Nsima, culinary tradition of Malawi Mauritius - Sega tambour of Rodrigues Island Netherlands - Craft of the miller operating windmills and watermills Panama - Artisanal processes and plant fibers techniques for talcos, crinejas and pintas weaving of the pinta’o hat Peru - Traditional system of Corongo’s water judges Portugal - Craftmanship of Estremoz clay figures Saudi Arabia - Al-Qatt Al-Asiri, female traditional interior wall decoration in Asir, Saudi Arabia Serbia - Kolo, traditional folk dance Slovakia - Multipart singing of Horehronie Slovenia - Door-to-door rounds of Kurenti Switzerland - Basel Carnival Tajikistan - Falak The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Turkey - Spring celebration, Hıdrellez Turkmenistan - Kushtdepdi rite of singing and dancing Viet Nam - The art of Bài Chòi in Central Viet Nam
The Register of Good Safeguarding Practices currently includes 17 projects. The proposals to be examined this year are:
Belgium: Remembrance education and safeguarding the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, City of Peace Bulgaria: Bulgarian Chitalishte (Community Cultural Centre): practical experience in safeguarding the vitality of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Uzbekistan: Margilan Crafts Development Centre, safeguarding of the atlas and adras making traditional technologies