Organized by The Curacao National Commission for UNESCO in collaboration with the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean, a national consultation meeting was held on 24 and 25 June 2014 at the Jeugd Centrale Curacao (JCC), Curacao. The meeting brought together some 15 participants representing the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, National Archaeological-Anthropological Museum (NAAM), Museum Tula, The Curacao Museum, culture experts, crafts persons and practitioners from Curacao. The objective of the national consultation was to sensitize stakeholders on the upcoming project ‘Strengthening the capacities of Suriname and Dutch Caribbean islands for implementing the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage,’ funded by an earmarked contribution from the Government of the Netherlands to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.
The meeting will be an excellent opportunity for the participants to take stock of the recent developments in the life of the Convention and the larger trends underway at UNESCO concerning category 2 centres. It will also facilitate joint efforts for the integration of the Organization’s medium-term strategy (37 C/4) and programme and budget for the coming quadrennium (37 C/5) into the medium-term and short-term planning of the respective centres, enabling them to continue to contribute effectively to UNESCO’s work.
Ethiopia is an ancient country with a remarkable rich linguistic and cultural diversity. This diversity includes tangible and intangible heritage with both traditional and modern cultural expressions, language, and centuries old know how in handicraft production. In fact, Ethiopia’s cultural industry is perhaps one of the oldest in the world and is exceptionally diverse. The other intangible heritage of Ethiopia is equally rich with an exceptional variety including ceremonies, festivals, celebrations, rituals, and other living expressions. Moreover, eight of the Ethiopia’s cultural and natural heritage sites are listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Lists attesting to the outstanding universal value of Ethiopia’s heritage. The rich cultural landscape is further enhanced by the representation of numerous religions including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and other traditional religions. The peaceful coexistence of these religious communities for centuries is a testament to Ethiopia’s social cohesion. Moreover, Ethiopia is a land endowed with immense biodiversity. Safeguarding and harnessing these assets would enable Ethiopia to capitalize on its rich heritage for socio-economic wellbeing of the people of Ethiopia and for sustainable development.
Ethiopia ratified the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2006.Ratification of the Convention was therefore, a landmark achievement for the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. This bold move gave the country an opportunity to conserve, promote, safeguard and develop it’s cultural diversity for sustainable development. Coupled with it’s existing legal and policy frameworks such as the 1995 constitution, the 1997 cultural policy and the 209/2000 proclamation which established the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH), the country had therefore positioned itself to harness it’s potential in the development of the culture sector and particularly pay special attention to it’s rich intan
The workshop on the implementation of the 2003 Convention provided an overview of the objectives and key safeguarding concepts of the 2003 Convention as well as the national obligations of States Parties and the mechanisms for international cooperation. Thirty-five participants benefitted from the workshop. Most of them took part during the consultation meetings in November 2013. Cultural Officers of seven out of eight States were present. Most of the Ministry officials who participated in the workshop came from the Department of Archaeology and National Museum which has conducted significant researches and documentation of ICH through the network of State Museums and Cultural Officers. The increased number of participants from the Department of Archaeology and National Museum resulted in a more productive discussion and allowed for more state (provincial) level inputs.
This workshop was initially planned to cover both the ratification and implementation of the 2003 Convention. However, Myanmar ratified the 2003 Convention two weeks before the start of the workshop, thus the two expert facilitators, Paritta Koanantakool and Noriko Aikawa-Faure, adjusted their training programme to focus only on the effective implementation of the Convention at the national level. The facilitators included in the workshop agenda a day-long field study visit in locations where the crafts and rituals mentioned below were practiced. The field trip provided the participants to understand the essential role of communities in safeguarding ICH.
In 2014, the training of trainers on the implementation of the Convention was the first step to build a core group of facilitators from Nordic countries (Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden) who can deliver capacity-building courses for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage and for other aspects of the implementation of the ICH Convention.
The Yaoundé Office brought its expertise and collaboration to the training of trainers on inventories of the tangible and intangible heritage that took place in Yaoundé from 5 to 10 May 2014 by addressing the participants on the 2003 Convention, the importance of community-based inventories and the challenges of elaborating nomination files for the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The workshop brought together 55 participants, including representatives from the 10 regions of Cameroon.