Central Asian States and ICHCAP Discuss the Future of the ICH Safeguarding Cooperation Network

9th Central Asian Subregional ICH Safeguarding Cooperation Network Meeting (11.18.~20. Almaty, Kazakhstan) © UNESCO Office in Almaty

The International Information and Networking Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region (ICHCAP) and the UNESCO Almaty Office will jointly hold the 9th Central Asian Subregional ICH Safeguarding Cooperation Network Meeting from the 18th to the 20th of November in Almaty, Kazahstan.

The ninth subregional meeting for Central Asia will bring together staff from the government and education institutions of the 4 Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) and culture/education professionals from the UNESCO Office in Tashkent, UNESCO-UNEVOC and International Institute for Central Asian Studies (IICAS) to discuss vocational education policies and practices for ICH safeguarding in the respective states, as well as possible cooperation projects in the future.

The topic of this year’s meeting is Technical Vocational Education and Training for Intangible Cultural Heritage Promotion. The term “technical vocational education and training” used by UNESCO refers to education that is directly connected to work, conducted as part of the regular curriculum or extra-curricular activities at schools and other education institutions. Such education in the field of intangible cultural heritage not only impacts the livelihoods of practitioners, but also the viability and revitalization of intangible cultural heritage elements.

The meeting will begin with a keynote speech from the UNESCO Almaty Office, titled “New Priorities and Approaches in UNESCO’s ICH Safeguarding”. This will be followed by presentations on five areas, and working level meetings.

The 1st area will be ▲ ICH safeguarding within formal and informal education, in which ICHCAP, UNESCO-UNEVOC and the UNESCO Almaty Office will present their strategic approaches. The 2nd and 3rd areas are ▲ Integrating ICH into education and ▲ Information and knowledge sharing respectively. Case studies from Central Asia related to the integration of ICH into existing education systems will be discussed with perspectives from both education professionals and ICH experts.

The 4th area will be ▲ Cooperation in ICH vocational education information sharing, where participants will work to establish future tasks and their justifications, as well as action plans for each stage.

The 5th area will be the ▲ future of the Central Asian ICH Safeguarding Cooperation Network, which will review the cooperation projects between the ICHCAP and Central Asian states and discuss the direction for future cooperation such as information sharing on ICH festivals in the Silk Road regions.

The ICHCAP has been devising and implementing measures to safeguard intangible cultural heritage in Central Asia over the past decade with network meetings, workshops and joint projects (inventorying, video documentation, book publication etc.) Such efforts have led to achievements including the ▲ establishment of intangible cultural heritage committees and ▲joining the UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in the respective states. The ICHCAP will continue to identify common issues and promote heritage transmission activities in the region.