ICH Safeguarding Efforts in the Asia-Pacific
Information on ICH safeguarding system, policy, organizations, and pending issues
ICHCAP Field Survey Report on ICH Safeguarding Efforts in the East Asian Countries
East Asian region is developed a rich of variety in the intangible heritage manifests, from oral traditions, performing arts, customs, and rituals to festivals, clothing, crafts, and food throughout the centuries. However, as with other counties in the Asia-Pacific region, which is a treasure house of ICH, traditional cultural heritage of East Asia was in a crisis of extinction due to shifts in industrial structures and the population outflow of younger generations to urban areas. In response, the Republic of Korea and Japan introduced the concept of intangible cultural heritage in policies related to safeguarding cultural heritage more than fifty years ago. Mongolia, with the support of its respective government, followed suit by establishing an institutional foundation for national ICH inventory making and ICH safeguarding after ratifying the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003).
Moreover, in relation to ICH safeguarding activities, UNESCO Category 2 Centres, which support ICH safeguarding activities, have been simulataneously going through the establishment process in the Republic of Korea, China, and Japan. As a well-intentioned objective for the future activities, the three centres are making efforts to build a cooperative mechanism among themselves. Another effort made in the region is the establishment of the ICH safeguarding system in Mongolia. The government of Mongolia has drawn up a national ICH inventory and identified bearers as well.
The countries in East Asia have been very active in safeguarding, and their participation at regional and international levels. Therefore, countries in the region need to build trust and collaborative relationships while safeguarding ICH at national, regional, and international levels.