ICH’s contribution to SDGs project: an expert meeting and international symposium were held (December 2021)

International Research Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region (IRCI) held an expert meeting and a public symposium online on 21–22 December 2021 to summarize the two-year project “ICH’s contribution to SDGs – Education and Community Development”*. The expert meeting on the first day summarized this two-year project among the project counterparts and related researchers, and the public symposium on the second day shared the results of the project with the wider public.

The expert meeting was attended by 15 researchers, including the experts from the NGOs who undertook case studies, namely, Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) in Bangladesh, Dewi Fortuna Community Learning Center (DFCLC) in Indonesia, and Taalim-Forum Public Foundation (TFPF) in Kyrgyz, experts in the Philippines and Viet Nam who were the counterparts of the previous project related to SDGs, an expert from the UNESCO Bangkok office, and Japanese experts in education and cultural heritage as resource persons.
DAM in Bangladesh compared the practices of Dhamail, a traditional folk dance-cum song, in urban and rural settings; DFCLC in Indonesia studied Kethoprak, a traditional theatrical performance in non-formal education and its contribution to the community development; and TFPF in Kyrgyz explored the roles of local museums in safeguarding and transferring the Kyrgyz yurt, a traditional housing of nomadic people, and related knowledge and skills. Participants also discussed the linkage of ICH with education and community development, as well as future perspectives and challenges for mobilising ICH for SDGs, while ensuring the safeguarding of ICH. Experts from the Philippines and Viet Nam also updated the latest development after the completion of their project in 2019.

The public symposium titled “ICH contributing to better education and sustainable communities” was composed of presentations by the above-mentioned 3 NGOs in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Kyrgyz on their case studies, and Japan’s case studies related to ICH, education and communities presented by Osaka Prefectural University, Shotoku Gakuen Junior & Senior High School, Hokkaido University, Yamagata City Chitose Primary school, and Junior Chamber International Japan (JCI). In addition to the presenters and project-related experts, 44 individuals joined the meeting as an audience, mostly from the Asia-Pacific region. Participants discussed challenges and issues in incorporating ICH into education and community development. The symposium also became an opportunity for Japanese youth to learn ICH safeguarding and SDGs and interact with international experts and researchers.

The results of these events will be compiled in a project report together with the case study reports by the NGOs, and released on the IRCI Web site.

*This project was implemented in the framework of the “Platform for Future Co-Creation of UNESCO activities” commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT), Japan.