On 5 September, UNESCO Beijing Office and the International Training Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region under the auspices of UNESCO (CRIHAP) successfully concluded the second workshop on capacity-building for intangible cultural heritage (ICH) safeguarding for youths, as part of the joint three-year strategic plan that kickstarted in 2021. The workshop was participated by almost 150 young participants and observers aged between 18 and 28, coming from 32 universities in China, Japan, Mongolia and Republic of Korea.
Director of UNESCO Beijing and UNESCO Representative to China, DPRK, Mongolia, Japan and ROK, Professor Shahbaz Khan, and CRIHAP’s Director-General Liang Bin attended the opening session of the training workshop.
Prof. Shahbaz Khan emphasized the great importance that UNESCO has paid to youth in recent years, and recalled a number of youth-targeted programs that have been developed to encourage youth to play a role in fulfilling the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Mr. Liang Bin highlighted the rationale for the three-year training program to help youths explore ICH elements in their daily life and actively participate in ICH transmission and safeguarding.
Running between 1 August and 5 September, the workshop built upon the successful modality used last year. Following the online classes led by two UNESCO 2003 Convention accredited facilitators, Ms. Deirdre Prins-Solani (South Africa) and Ms. Linina Phuttitarn (Thailand), the participants conducted a two-week fieldwork to discover, select and record intangible cultural heritage elements, ICH-related events and personalities. The fieldwork component aimed to establish a connection between the youth and ICH, to deepen their understanding of ICH and to raise their awareness and enthusiasm to safeguard, promote and inherit intangible cultural heritages through various types of interaction. The participants benefited from technical guidance and expertise of international facilitators, as well as support from local coordinators. After the fieldwork, the participants submitted 50 videos, covering important themes under the 2003 Convention such as ICH and transmission, ICH and creative industries, ICH and education, and ICH and new media.
In addition to the provision of new knowledge and skills on the importance of living heritage, its contribution to sustainable development and safeguarding measures, the workshop has also created an exchange opportunity and established a communication platform among the youth for the future. As youth remains an important target group for the work of the United Nations in general and UNESCO in particular, future capacity building opportunities will be organized by CRIHAP and UNESCO Beijing during the last few months of 2022, including an ICH safeguarding workshop in Mongolia and an ICH and climate change workshop at the Asia-Pacific region.