Strengthening National Capacities for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Development in Bangladesh

  • Project budget:
    • US$ 200,000
  • Source:
    • Azerbaijan earmarked contribution to the Fund
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 01/07/2016 - 01/08/2019
  • Documents:

Benefitting country(ies): Bangladesh


Bangladesh has a rich tradition in cultural heritage, specifically intangible cultural heritage. However, the more recent history and developments have affected and increasingly threatened the viability of these practices and traditions. Aware of these threats Bangladesh is actively implementing the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which it ratified in 2009, demonstrating its commitment to establish mechanisms for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in the country. Bangladesh was able to build on the experience of its participation in the former UNESCO programme for the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. At the time, one element was proclaimed as Masterpiece in the process (Baul Songs). With regard to the participation of Bangladesh in the international mechanisms of the Convention, recent developments include the inscription of Traditional art of Jamdani weaving in 2013, Mongol Shobhajatra on Pahela Baishakh in 2016 and Traditional art of Shital Pati weaving of Sylhet in 2017 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The main objective of the project was to strengthen the capacities of Bangladesh to safeguard its intangible cultural heritage through the effective implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

These were the specific objectives of the project:

1. To enhance the understanding of the national authorities of the obligations entailed by the ratification of the UNESCO 2003 Convention and its implementation

2. To build up a critical mass of national capacity so that Bangladesh will have a sustainable framework for safeguarding intangible heritage and implementing the Convention

3. To develop an inventory methodology for ICH at the national level

4. To sensitize national authorities about the importance and significance of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, and in particular ICH elements in need of urgent safeguarding, by providing some consultative guidance and advisory on ICH Policy development; and by reinforcing their capacities to prepare nomination files for inscription on the Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

A key aspect of the project was the training of relevant Government institutions, NGOs and community representatives in the effective safeguarding measures as well as the development of resource materials for the safeguarding and promotion of ICH in Bangladesh. Activities under the framework of the project were implemented from April 2016 until August 2019 and included three capacity-building workshops, the development of a Compilation of all the training materials as well as of a Guidebook of Community-based Inventorying of ICH, and a policy advice component.

News and activities:

01/10/2017 - 01/09/2019 – Protecting Cultural Heritage and Diversity in Complex Emergencies for Stabilization and Peace03/07/2018 - 02/07/2019 – Strengthening the capacities of the DPR of Korea for community-based inventorying of ICH and for elaborating nomination files under the mechanisms of the 2003 Convention