21.05.2019 - UNESCO Office in New Delhi

Inventorying the endangered traditions in the Maldives

While Maldives has not yet ratified the UNESCO 2003 Convention on intangible cultural heritage (ICH), it has initiated work on the inventorying of ICH, particularly the endangered traditions. An ICH Committee has also been formed after an awareness-raising workshop by UNESCO on the 2003 Convention in November 2016.

To further support the ongoing work on ICH in the Maldives, UNESCO in collaboration with the Department of Heritage, Ministry of Arts, Culture, and Heritage, Maldives, organized a second workshop with a focus on community-based inventorying of ICH.

The workshop aimed to bring the stakeholders together to review the progress, discuss methodological challenges being faced during inventorying, and provide further training on community based inventorying.  It is hoped that these efforts will also support Maldives towards possible ratification of the 2003 Convention.

The sessions in the workshop included community-based inventorying, identification of ICH elements, inventorying and safeguarding, planning the inventory project, and access and dissemination of the inventory.

The workshop was held at the National Arts Gallery from 28 April to 1 May 2019 and was attended by representatives from organizations like the Ministry of Arts, Culture, and Heritage, Dhivehi Bahuge (Language) Academy, Maldives Authentic Crafts Corporate Society, as well as individual researchers working on tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

The closing ceremony of the workshop saw the presence of Ms Yumna Maumoon, Minister of Arts, Culture, and Heritage, Government of Maldives; Mr. Shamun Hameed, Permanent Secretary, Ms  Hawaa Nazla, Director General, Department of Heritage, Maldives, and Mr Eric Falt, Director and UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka.

“The formation of the new Ministry of Arts, Culture, and Heritage is a significant development for the efforts by Maldives in the area of arts, culture, and heritage, said Eric Falt in his closing address.  “I would strongly advocate to the Maldives Government, the ratification of the 2003 Convention on intangible cultural heritage which will be an important policy instrument to help in safeguarding of your intangible culture, present it to the international community, and also seek financial assistance for your efforts.” 

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