a) What is Intangible Cultural Heritage?

The term ‘cultural heritage’ has changed content considerably in recent decades, partially owing to the instruments developed by UNESCO. Cultural heritage does not end at monuments and collections of objects. It also includes traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing acts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produve traditinal crafts.

While fragile, intangible cultural heritage is an important factor in maintaining cultural diversity in the face of growing globalization. An understanding of the intangible cultural heritage of different communities helps with intercultural dialogue, and encourages mutual respect for other ways of life.

The importance of intangible cultural heritage is not the cultural manifestation itself but rather the wealth of knowledge and skills that is transmitted through it from one generation to the next. The social and economic value of this transmission of knowledge is relevant for minority groups and for mainstream social groups within a State, and is as important for developing States as for developed ones.

Read more on: http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/

In this spirit of the UNESCO Convention on the safeguarding  of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the world, IOV develops activities such as festivals, congresses, conferences, workshops, covering the different elements of ICH such as traditional dance, music, handicrafts, traditional cuisine, traditional medicine and others.


b) Why safeguard intangible cultural heritage?

In 2003

A long process of negotiation led to the ratification of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage on 17 October 2003. Here you can read the text:  http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/convention


What has changed at the national level since the ratification? How safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage can contribute to sustainable development? What is the meaning and impact for the communities of the inscription of intangible cultural heritage on the lists of the Convention? Taken during statutory meetings in 2011 and 2012, these interviews express the opinion of delegates on these questions.