Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 9.COM 5.B.2

The Committee,

  1. Having examined Document ITH/14/9.COM/5.b,
  2. Recalling Chapter V of the Operational Directives and its Decision 4.COM 14.06,
  3. Expresses appreciation to Kenya for submitting its report on the status of the element ‘Traditions and practices associated to the Kayas in the sacred forests of the Mijikenda’, inscribed in 2009 on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding;
  4. Takes note with satisfaction of the efforts undertaken so far by the State Party to respond to the concerns raised by the Committee at the time of inscription while acknowledging the complex mix of internal and external factors that continue to threaten the viability of the element and the sustainability of the Mijikenda way of life;
  5. Further notes that the safeguarding activities were undertaken with the support of the International Assistance mechanism through the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund, the progress of which is reported in Document ITH/14/9.COM/5.c;
  6. Invites the State Party to continue its efforts in supporting the local communities to safeguard their traditions and practices and conserve the natural environment by promoting their social and economic development, strengthening their capacity to manage the element and engaging youth interest in order to secure the transmission of these traditions and practices;
  7. Encouragesthe State Party to further develop its safeguarding strategy for this element in particular by extending its safeguarding strategy to the three Kaya communities that have not yet benefitted from it, by considering specific actions to strengthen traditional modes of transmission and by considering legislative protection of the Mijikenda’s customary rules that govern access to the Kayas and their control over their ancestral lands;
  8. Requests the Secretariat to inform the State Party twelve months prior to the deadline of 15 December 2017 for the submission of its next report on the status of this element.