UNESCO Hands Over Programme Equipment to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts Under the Creative Industries Support Programme
On 6th August 2012, a handover ceremony took place under the joint UN Creative Industries Support Programme at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MoCFA) where UNESCO donated programme equipment—including computers, laptops, and furniture—worth over USD $20,000 to the Ministry.
The Creative Industries Support Programme (CISP) was established in Cambodia to improve the capacity of national institutions to preserve and develop Cambodia's cultural heritage and living arts, and to improve employment opportunities and income generation in the creative industries, with a special focus on empowering women and indigenous peoples. The joint programme was a three-year project which started in 2009 with a budget of USD $3.3 million, supported by the UN Spain Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund.
The indigenous groups in Cambodia have a rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage, but their traditions are endangered due to widespread poverty and lack of resources. Given this context, the CISP programme successfully promoted indigenous culture and development in the remote provinces located North and Northeast of Cambodia. The scheme focused on increasing revenues and the employment of traditional producers in various fields such as in handicraft production, resin or other traditional disciplines. One of the most notable and outstanding achievements of the Creative Industries Support Programme is its contribution to the adoption of a Royal Decree establishing a Living Human Treasures System in Cambodia; the decree was signed by His Majesty the King in February 2011.
At the handover ceremony, H. E. Mr. Un Tim, Chief of Cabinet of the Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, expressed his gratitude for UNESCO’s close and effective collaboration during the three years, commenting especially on the successful implementation of technical trainings on traditional handicraft skills, the highly-publicized organization of the indigenous people’s handicraft exhibition at the National Museum and the establishment of Indigenous Cultural Centers in the provinces of Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri. He underscored his belief that the good results produced by the close cooperation of UNESCO and MoCFA will have positive and long-lasting ramifications in the field indigenous culture and livelihood in Cambodia.
Mr. Philippe Delanghe, UNESCO Culture Specialist, said, “It was a new challenge for UNESCO to cooperate with three other UN agencies (FAO, ILO, UNDP) and three ministries (Ministry of Agriculture; Ministry Commerce and Ministry of Industry). And the MoCFA played a key role in supporting and coming together to implement this huge task.” Mr. Delanghe emphasized that the programme not only forged a tightened link and cooperation between the two institutions but moreover, built a lasting foundation for continuation of future work in the field of culture. He expressed his wish that the equipment would stay within the MoCFA and be put to good use for other initiatives and projects of the Ministry.
Some of the key accomplishments of the Creative Industries Support Programme include the increase of supplementary income of more than 800 Indigenous and Khmer artisans and artists who benefitted from continuous trainings in entrepreneurship, financial literacy and rural marketing as well as successful network establishment. UNESCO was especially successful in promoting radio programmes on indigenous culture and livelihood, establishing Indigenous Cultural Centers in the provinces of Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri, and producing research publications—namely, Kuay in Cambodia, Aspects of the traditional culture of the Bunong people in Mondulkiri, and The Voice of Mondulkiri. Furthermore, a number of CDs were recorded and produced by indigenous musicians and artists. A new album with a collection of original and traditional Bunong indigenous songs, recorded by Mr. Nyel Che, is set to be released this fall. The Creative Industries Support Programme drew to a close in 2011, but UNESCO continues to be actively involved in identifying sustainable solutions to the problems faced by the indigenous communities of Cambodia in the areas of culture, education and communication and information.
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