Samoa fine mat ceremony(c)UNESCO

"We treasure the diversity and heritage of the Pacific and seek an inclusive future in which cultures, traditions and religious beliefs are valued, honoured and developed." (Framework for Pacific Regionalism 2016)







In accordance with UNESCO's global mandate and priorities of member states in the Pacific, UNESCO Culture Programme in the Pacific has been focused on the following areas of action:

The SAMOA Pathway Outcome Document of the 3rd UN International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) (Samoa, September 2014) includes a number of paragraphs that are related to culture;

80. We recognize that SIDS possess a wealth of culture, which is a driver and an enabler for sustainable development. In particular, indigenous and traditional knowledge and cultural expression, which underscores the deep connections among people, culture, knowledge and the natural environment, can meaningfully advance sustainable development and social cohesion.

81. In this regard, we strongly support the efforts of SIDS;

(a) To promote cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and international cooperation in the cultural field in line with applicable international conventions, in particular those of UNESCO;

(c) To develop and strengthen national and regional cultural activities and infrastructures, including through the network of World Heritage Sites, which reinforce local capacities, promote awareness in SIDS, enhance tangible and intangible cultural heritage, including local and indigenous knowledge, and involve local people for the benefit of present and future generations;

(d) To develop cultural and creative industries, including tourism, that capitalize on their rich heritage of and have a role to play in sustainable and inclusive growth;

(e) To develop domestic mechanisms to conserve, promote, protect and preserve their natural, tangible and intangible cultural heritage practices and traditional knowledge.


The culture sector has been identified as an important area of regional cooperation with specific reference in the 1st Quadrennial Sustainable Development Report by the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) (page 6) stating “Culture, in all its dimensions, is a fundamental component of sustainable development. Through tangible and intangible heritage, creative industries and various forms of artistic expression, culture is a powerful contributor to economic development, social stability and environmental protection. However, it is not generally acknowledged as a formal sector of the economy and as a consequence the economic and social benefits and contributions of culture are not fully recognized and receive less than 1 percent of national appropriations.”  

Considering the need to increase investments in the Culture Sector and taking note of the 2018 baseline 0.7 percent, the Culture Ministers met in Nadi in May 2018 agreed to advocate for increasing resource allocation to the Culture Sector including at least 2 percent of national budget by 2030.

Subsequently, indicator 11.4.1: Promotion of the National Budget allocated to culture, including for protection, preservation (heritage) and promotion was included among the 132 Pacific Sustainable Development indicators (PSDI).



National Sustainable Development Plan

Cook Islands: The National Sustainable Development Plan 2016-2020

Fiji: The Development Plan 2017-2036

Vanuatu: The National Sustainable Development Plan 2016-2030


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