23.03.2012 - UNESCO Office in Apia

Information Systems on Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding in the Pacific

ICHCAP Meeting in Rarotonga (c)UNESCO/A.Takahashi

ICHCAP Information and Networking Meeting for the ICH Safeguarding in the Pacific held in Rarotonga under a topic of ICH Information Systems.

The Third Information and Networking Meeting for the ICH Safeguarding in the Pacific was held in Rarotonga from 29 February to 1 March 2012.  The Meeting had a focus on ICH information systems in the Pacific.

The Meeting was opened by Hon. Teariki Heather, Minister of Cultural Development of the Cook Islands.  He informed of progress on the country's ratification process of the 2003 ICH Convention and reiterated the importance of ICH as a basis of the cultural identity of the country that will celebrate the 50th anniversary in 2015.  Dr S. Lee, recently appointed Director of ICHCAP, delivered a key note speech, providing information on ICHCAP activities in the area of information and networking.  The Meeting was attended by representatives of the Pacific state parties to the 2003 ICH Convention as well as Cook Islands experts including representative of the House of Ariki (traditional chiefs), officers at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of education, representative of the Cook Islands Voyaging Society and other civil society organisations.

At the Meeting, Mr S. Rakuno from Fiji made a report on challenge and opportunities of the ongoing project to develop a database of ICH in multi-cultural context of the country.  The presentation of the Cook Islands expert highlighted the interactive on-line databases of biological diversity and Maori languages which could also contribute to the ICH safeguarding and inventory-making efforts. ICHCAP made a presentation on the ongoing projects relating to ICH information systems in Asia supported by ICHCAP.  UNESCO presentations were also made on progress on implementation of the ICH Convention in the Pacific as well as good practices of ICH information systems.

The participants agreed to the need to develop more robust ICH information systems both for institutional knowledge management and also for the enhanced visibility of ICH for sustainable development in the region, and identified several constraints including technological infrastructure.   The participants agreed to an urgent need for restoration and digitalisation of data and information on Pacific ICH currently preserved at archives, libraries and museums both within and outside the region and in less organised manner and requested assistance in this area from ICHCAP, UNESCO and the international community as well.


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