Decision of the Bureau: 17.COM 5.BUR 3.3

The Bureau,

  1. Recalling Article 23 of the Convention as well as Chapter I.4 of the Operational Directives relating to the eligibility and criteria of International Assistance requests,
  2. Having examined Document LHE/22/17.COM 5.BUR/3 as well as International Assistance request no. 02006 submitted by Thailand,
  3. Takes note that Thailand has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Field School for capacity-building in safeguarding living heritage of ethnic communities in Thailand:

This two-year project seeks to enhance the capacity of five ethnic groups and relevant stakeholders in Thailand to safeguard intangible cultural heritage (ICH). The ethnic groups (Pgakenyaw Karen, Pwo Karen, Moken, Moklen and Urak Lawoi) were chosen on the basis of their vulnerability and their willingness to engage in the safeguarding activities. The project entails establishing the Field School for Capacity-Building in Safeguarding Living Heritage of Ethnic Communities as a platform for: (a) organizing hands-on trainings for ethnic communities as well as government, academic and development workers in inventorying and safeguarding the ICH of ethnic communities; (b) implementing fieldwork activities to inventory ICH, transmit and develop safeguarding plans, and coordinate visits between the different ethnic groups to exchange knowledge and build networks; (c) undertaking public communication and advocacy activities; and (d) producing technical and policy guidance. These activities respond to the risks posed to the ICH of ethnic groups in Thailand, which could lead to loss of identity and self-sufficiency. The project is expected to mitigate these risks while driving policy and leading to the establishment of long-term networks that will be mutually beneficial and supportive to current and future policies affecting ethnic groups in Thailand.

  1. Further takes note that:
    1. This assistance is to support a project implemented at the national level, in accordance with Article 20 (c) of the Convention;
    2. The State Party has requested International Assistance that will partly take the form of services from the Secretariat to the State; and
  • The assistance therefore takes the form of the provision of a grant and of services from UNESCO (the provision of experts), pursuant to Article 21 (b) and (g) of the Convention;
  1. Also takes note that Thailand has requested assistance in the amount of US$100,000 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project, which will be jointly implemented by the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre (under the Ministry of Culture) and the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Asia-Pacific region in Bangkok;
  2. Understands that the UNESCO Office in Bangkok will be responsible for: (a) the preparation of advocacy materials; (b) the provision of a facilitator and a coordinator for public fora to share fieldwork results; (c) the production of a technical toolkit on how to set up the field school in other communities; and (d) the provision of a publicity and online campaign to present a policy recommendation (23 per cent of the requested amount). The requesting State Party will be responsible for: (a) the project coordination and management; (b) training on inventorying and developing safeguarding activities; (c) fieldwork activities in inventorying, transmission and safeguarding; (d) the organization of public fora to share field school results; and (e) the production of a policy recommendation (77 per cent of the requested amount), as described in the request;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 02006, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting International Assistance given in paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:

Criterion A.1: The request demonstrates the active role of the communities in planning, implementing and evaluating the project. As the aim of this project is to empower marginalized ethnic groups through the identification of sustainable processes to safeguard their living heritage, activities have been focused on hands-on training methodologies. These emphasize creating a space for knowledge exchange through workshops and other hands-on activities.

Criterion A.2: The budget is clearly explained, reflecting the planned activities and related expenses. The total amount of assistance requested is therefore judged to be appropriate and in line with the scope of the project to achieve the desired results.

Criterion A.3: The activities proposed are presented in a logical sequence and include capacity building, fieldwork, awareness-raising and policy recommendations for safeguarding the living heritage of the communities involved in the project. They seem feasible within the proposed duration of the project.

Criterion A.4: This project is inserted in three main frameworks that ensure long-lasting results and sustainability. The project: (a) builds capacities and networks among bearers and raises awareness among a wide range of stakeholders; (b) is part of broader legal and regulatory reforms that are now underway, notably the enactment of the draft Act on the Protection and Promotion of the Way of Life of Ethnic Groups; and (c) is an extension of the existing work and mandate of the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre, which will be continued after the project ends.

Criterion A.5: The submitting State Party will contribute 62 per cent of the total amount of the project budget (US$265,800). Consequently, International Assistance is requested from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the remaining 28 per cent of the total amount of the project budget.

Criterion A.6: The project clearly aims at developing the capacities of communities and other stakeholders concerned, with a focus on bearers, stakeholders and other institutional partners. At the same time, it promotes participatory working mechanisms between ethnic communities and government agencies. The project will also be beneficial to building institutional capacity as part of mobilizing the draft Act on the Protection and Promotion of the Way of Life of Ethnic Groups. It is a mechanism to support the creation of the ‘Special Cultural Zones’ model, which will support the lifeways of ethnic communities.

Criterion A.7: The State Party has not previously received any financial assistance from UNESCO under the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund of the 2003 Convention to implement similar or related activities in the field of intangible cultural heritage.

Paragraph 10(a): The project is national in scope and its implementation involves national and local partners.

Paragraph 10(b): The project is expected to raise awareness at the national level about the importance of safeguarding the living heritage of all ethnic groups within the country.

  1. Approves the International Assistance request from Thailand for the project entitled Field School for capacity-building in safeguarding living heritage of ethnic communities in Thailand and grants the amount of US$100,000 to the State Party for this purpose;
  2. Requests that the Secretariat reach an agreement with the requesting State Party on the technical details of the assistance, paying particular attention to ensuring that the budget and work plan of the activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund are detailed and specific enough to provide sufficient justification of the expenditures;
  3. Invites the State Party to use Form ICH-04-Report to report on the use of the assistance granted.