© Julienne Barra
21 August 2017

The Seychelles recently began implementing its first International Assistance project, granted within the framework of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Fund. By its Decision 11.COM 3.BUR 5.3, the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage approved the allocation of a total sum of US$90,000 from the ICH Fund to the Seychelles for a project entitled ‘Strengthening capacity in Seychelles for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage’.

The first activity of this project was a three-day workshop on the implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The aim of the workshop was to raise awareness among decision makers, non-governmental organizations and community representatives about the purpose of the 2003 Convention, with a view to ensuring its implementation in the Seychelles. Two experts, who are members of the ICH Global Network of Facilitators – Mrs Deirdre Prins-Solani and Mr Lovemore Mazibuko – facilitated the workshop. The participants, who are all potential stakeholders in the implementation of the 2003 Convention in the Seychelles, were selected from different sectors and parastatals.

The key issues that emerged from the workshop were the need to engage the community in the safeguarding of ICH, develop strategies to implement the 2003 Convention and methods to ensure its effective implementation nationwide. Participants engaged in intensive discussions about the implications of safeguarding ICH nationally for the wellbeing of communities, respect and understanding between communities, cultural diversity and sustainable development.

Seychelles signed and ratified the 2003 Convention on 15 February 2005.