21.10.2013 - UNESCO Office in Apia

Community-based Inventorying at Gataivai Village in Samoa

A Community-based Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Inventorying at Gataivai Village in the Savaii Island of Samoa kicked off on 21 October 2013.

“ICH, or Fasiomaga le Fatino in Samoan language, embodies values that are dear to the heart and soul of communities.”  Hon. Magele Mauliu Magele, Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, said at the opening of the Workshop.

The adoption of the UNESCO ICH Convention in 2003 was a response to the growing concern over the adverse impact of globalisation on communities’ cultures and traditions.  Since its adoption in 2003, over 150 countries are now parties to the ICH Convention, including seven Pacific islands countries.  The ICH Convention not only contributes to the ICH safeguarding, but also highlights the socio-economic contribution of cultures to the sustainable development and well-being of communities.

Since 2010, Samoan government have organised several workshops and public consultations in order to synthesize government and people of Samoa to the importance of ICH safeguarding.  And this week’s Workshop in Gataivai village has a specific focus on the community-based ICH inventorying.

 “ICH is essentially living heritage.  It is constantly evolving, adapting to the environment.  And only the community, groups and individuals that hold and practice ICH can tell which ICH needs to be kept alive, and which does not.” Dr Takahashi, Programme Specialist for Culture at UNESCO Office in Apia said. “Only you have a right to do so.  This is the reason why community members must fully participate in the entire process of ICH inventorying.”

Bringing together some forty participants, the Workshop lasts till  Saturday 26 October 2013.  It is being facilitated by Ms Noriko Aikawa and Mr Anthony Parak, UNESCO accredited trainers.



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