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 South-East Asian Countries
Based on the ICHCAP Field Survey on Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding Efforts in some South-East Asian countries (2009-2012), this summary provides a brief overview on the ICH situation in Cambodia, Thailand, Viet Nam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Laos, and Myanmar .
The summary focuses mainly on ICH safeguarding systems, safeguarding policies, and ICH inventories as well as on pending issues and the urgent safeguarding needs of these countries. Moreover, information on the main entities in charge of ICH safeguarding and opinions of each country on the issue of community involvement are provided. To give a quick overview these countries’ participation in ICH safeguarding at the international level, some additional information related to UNESCO is specified as well. Apart from the main topic, information on the situation of intellectual property related to ICH safeguarding in each country is included.
This survey report offers a large sample of the diverse ICH situations in South-East Asian countries. Each country has a different background on the issue of intangible heritage. For instance, Indonesia is the only country participating in the field survey that has a programme in the Register of Best Practices. Viet Nam developed ICH-related definitions in its Law on Cultural Heritage; whereas the Philippines has a strong legislative background and solid network of public structures protecting cultural heritage. Cambodia recognises the link between cultural heritage and development of national economy and runs relevant activities on promoting traditional culture while maximizing its economic benefits to the country. For Laos, training local artists rather than researchers in ICH safeguarding, including IPR, is deemed to be essential, as the artists are the important resources that master their arts. Among the South-East Asian participants, Thailand and Myanmar are the newest to approach ICH safeguarding.
Although all countries are concerned about the threats ICH faces, most countries participating in the survey haven’t defined ICH and haven’t established national ICH lists. Meanwhile, drawing up an inventory of traditional cultural expressions in different forms—register, cultural map, or database—is a common activity in these countries. Moreover, each country expresses a high degree of motivation and encouragement for safeguarding ICH, sharing experiences, and promoting international cooperation.