Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 9.COM 9.B.3

The Committee,

  1. Recalling Chapter I of the Operational Directives,
  2. Having examined Document ITH/14/9.COM 9.b as well as proposal 00621 for possible selection for the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices,
  3. Takes note that Indonesia has proposed ‘Creation of a cultural space for safeguarding, development and education in intangible cultural heritage at Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park’ for selection and promotion by the Committee as a programme, project or activity best reflecting the principles and objectives of the Convention:

In Indonesia, the government and institutions collaborated to create a cultural space to address the threat to intangible cultural heritage posed by widespread migration to urban areas. The Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park reflects the multicultural character of the Indonesian archipelago. It comprises a lake with miniature islands surrounded by provincial pavilions, museums and recreational units. The pavilions function as representative spaces for cultural and educational activities for the various provinces. They house ethnographic objects, stage performances and training in performing arts, and hold regular public performances of dance, puppetry, drama and music. Moreover, they operate training workshops for children in performing arts and handicrafts. The Park also integrates local flora and fauna from throughout the archipelago, in the hope that younger generations understand better the links between heritage and the natural environment.

4. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the programme responds as follows to the criteria for selection as a best safeguarding practice in paragraph 7 of the Operational Directives:
  1. The proposal does not provide convincing evidence that the Park’s activities involve safeguarding as defined in the Convention (criterion P.1). The programme is oriented mainly to tourists and visitors, both Indonesian and foreign, rather than towards strengthening transmission within communities. Intangible cultural heritage is used as recreation and entertainment, out of its community context; the communities moreover do not seem to control the definition and performance of their heritage in the Park. With regard to the Convention’s principles and objectives (criterion P.3), the Park has succeeded in the important goal of promoting mutual respect and understanding among various communities in Indonesia. However, overall, the project does not fully reflect the Convention’s principles, instead decontextualizing heritage by removing living practices from their social functions and cultural meanings and failing to give the primary role and authority to practitioners and communities.
  2. The proposal describes the participation of a large number of stakeholders ranging from the managing bodies, governments and municipalities to visitors to the Park; however, it does not sufficiently demonstrate how practitioners and bearers of heritage have been involved in all stages of planning and implementation. The consents collected on two occasions are uniform and do not adequately demonstrate the involvement of such communities of bearers (criterion P.5). It is noted, however, that should the programme be selected as a Best Safeguarding Practice, the State Party has demonstrated its willingness to cooperate in its dissemination (criterion P.7).
  3. Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park has raised awareness of cultural diversity by attracting visitors and issuing publications. Nevertheless, the proposal does not convincingly demonstrate effectiveness in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage or contributing to the viability of that heritage within the communities concerned (criterion P.4). External and internal assessments, both quantitative and qualitative, are reported, but they appear to concentrate on visitor satisfaction and highlight the programme’s tourism dimension, without clearly demonstrating the impacts of its transmission and educational activities on the communities of practitioners or on the viability of elements (criterion P.8).
  4. The Park’s activities are primarily at the national level; although some demonstrate an openness to international cooperation, they are not characterized by the coordination of subregional, regional or international safeguarding efforts (criterion P.2). Considering that the Park’s programme removes intangible cultural heritage from its local context without the proposal offering countervailing evidence of how it might nevertheless strengthen that heritage within different localities, it is not well-suited to serve as a regional or international model (criterion P.6). The programme could be applied in developing countries (criterion P.9), although the creation of a similar park would necessitate significant financial investment.
5. Decides not to selectCreation of a cultural space for safeguarding, development and education in intangible cultural heritage at Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park’ as a programme, project or activity best reflecting the principles and objectives of the Convention;
6. Recommends that the State Party consider the ways the programme could better reflect the principles and objectives of the Convention by giving the primary role and place to practitioners and bearers in the safeguarding of their own heritage.