Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 7.COM 10.4

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Madagascar has requested International Assistance in the amount of US$198,619 for Support for safeguarding and disseminating the skills of weaving wild silk in Madagascar:

The communities of the ‘Tapia Forest’ corridor, which runs through Madagascar, are known for their strong sericulture tradition. However, the corridor has been interrupted or has disappeared in many places due to bush fires or unsustainable practices, resulting in disruption to this tradition. To ensure the safeguarding and transmission of the traditional skills of weaving wild silk, this project aims to strengthen the management system for the Tapia Forest and enhance the wild silk industry. The main objectives are to establish a legal and regulatory framework for a quality approach to local traditional knowledge and the safeguarding of the forest resources. The project aims to strengthen the ability of local communities to design and market their products, and intends to set up a funding mechanism to enable groups of weavers to acquire greater ability in financial management. In addition, educational kits and an itinerant exhibition would provide students and the Malagasy people with a better knowledge of the tradition. Activities would include a national workshop, an inventory of sericulture species in the region, organization of cultural exchanges and provision of materials and equipment. The project would directly involve municipal actors and grassroots local communities who manage the Tapia Forest, and the weavers.

  1. Decides that, from the information provided in file 00663, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting International Assistance given in Paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:

A.1:   Although the participation of local communities, municipal actors and weavers is anticipated, their active involvement in preparing the request and the mechanisms for fully involving them in the implementation of the proposed activities have not been elaborated in sufficient detail;

A.2:   The level of generality of the budget does not enable an assessment of its correspondence with the proposed activities and it is therefore impossible to determine the appropriateness of the amount requested;

A.3:   In the absence of a clear definition of the project’s objectives or sufficient description and articulation of the proposed activities, the feasibility of the project cannot be assessed; the implementation strategy and responsibilities thereof are insufficiently described while the level of involvement of partners, including the State Party, seems deficient; no evidence has been provided to justify the claimed status as an emergency request;

A.4:   The sustainability of the project’s results has not been adequately addressed and appears weak in the absence of greater involvement of relevant public institutions such as those responsible for crafts, forestry, agriculture, heritage and culture;

A.5:   The request does not demonstrate that the State Party will share any substantial part of the costs of the activities for which international assistance is requested, nor does it identify any particular circumstances that might justify such a limited participation;

A.6:   Capacity building in the project is aimed essentially at intensifying the exploitation and marketing of wild silk, while the reinforcement of the weavers’ capacities to maintain and transmit their knowledge and skills to the younger generation in particular has hardly been addressed;

A.7:   The NGO entrusted by the State Party to implement this activity has previously received financial assistance in 2010 from the International Fund for Cultural Diversity for a project entitled ‘Consolidating the production and sale of a lambahoany’; the work stipulated by this contract was successfully carried out and, following UNESCO’s regulations, the contract was duly completed;

10(a):    The project is national in scope and would involve national implementing partners;

10(b):    Potential multiplier effects of the assistance have not been sufficiently demonstrated, in particular regarding the viability and transmission of the know-how of the weavers; the possibility of additional contributions from other sources is diminished by the weak institutional support for the activity;

  1. Decides not to approve the request, and invites the State Party to submit a revised request responding more fully to the criteria for selection and to the considerations noted in the present decision;
  2. Commends the State Party for recognizing the substantial contribution of the intangible cultural heritage of communities to meet environmental challenges and lay the groundwork for sustainable development;
  3. Recalls that the assistance that may be granted by the Committee from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund is primarily intended to support States Parties in their efforts to safeguard such heritage in line with the principles and the objectives of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage;
  4. Recommends that the State Party fully involve the communities and the relevant public institutions in the preparation of the request as well as in the planning and implementation of the activities and ensure that their perspectives and aspirations are fully reflected in the proposed project;
  5. Invites the State Party to take the necessary measures to ensure that the proposed activities do not threaten the viability of the wild silk weaving and that the communities concerned are the primary beneficiaries of any income-generating activities;
  6. Encourages the State Party to become more involved in the implementation of the project in order to guarantee long-term results for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage;
  7. Further invites the State Party to prepare a detailed and accurate budget reflecting all the activities and expenses for which international assistance is requested, including the State Party contribution in cash or in kind, in order to justify the estimated costs.