Special Online Seminar ‘TWENTY YEARS OF THE 2003 CONVENTION: RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT’ to be held on 25 October & 1 November 2023

To mark the 20th Anniversary of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (the 2003 Convention), IRCI’s Asia-Pacific Research Forum for ICH Safeguarding is hosting the special online seminar entitled ‘TWENTY YEARS OF THE 2003 CONVENTION: RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT’ on 25 October and 1 November 2023. Inviting bearers and experts of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) as well as various stakeholders, the seminar will review the progress and challenges of ICH safeguarding in the Asia-Pacific region from diverse perspectives and standpoints, while looking into the future of ICH.

The Seminar will consist of two sessions as below.

This seminar is open to the public. Anyone interested in the topics is welcome to join upon registration. We look forward to your participation.


I. Advancement of the Safeguarding of ICH: the 2003 Convention and Beyond
Date & Time: Wednesday, 25 October 2023, 14:00-17:00 JST (UTC+9)

Reflecting on panelists’ various commitments and viewpoints to ICH safeguarding in the past 20 years, the session explores the future of ICH and its safeguarding. Speakers include ICH professionals and researchers from inside and outside the Convention, and researchers from the countries that are underrepresented in the Convention or that have not ratified the Convention.

Registration link:
(Registration deadline: 24 October 2023)

Presentation titles (*A new panelist may be added):
‘Safeguarding of ICH: 20 years after the adoption of the “Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage”’
By Noriko Aikawa, Former Director, Intangible Cultural Heritage Section, UNESCO

‘Two Conventions, One Paradigm (Intangibles)’
By Gamini Wijesuriya, Special Advisor to the Director-General of ICCROM & Special Advisor to the Director of WHITRAP

‘Safeguarding ICH in Papua New Guinea: A Reflection on 20 Years of Work at the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies’
By Naomi-Faik Simet, Assistant Director-Dance, Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies

‘Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Maldives: Progress and Challenges’
By Zaha Ahmed, Assistant Architect (Acting Head of Heritage Section), National Centre for Cultural Heritage, Maldives

‘Intangible Cultural Heritage in Australia: Federalism and the Lure of Indigeneity’
By Lucas Lixinski, Professor, School of Global & Public Law, UNSW, Australia

Chris Ballard, Associate Professor, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University, Australia

Tomo Ishimura, Director, Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties


II. Dialogue with the Bearers of ICH Elements on the Lists of the Convention
Date & Time: Wednesday, 1 November 2023, 14:00-17:00 JST (UTC+9)

The session features the communities of ICH elements that are on the Lists of the Convention – Baul songs in Bangladesh and Vanuatu sand drawings inscribed on the Representative List, Biyelgee folk dance and technique of Limbe in Mongolia that are on the Urgent Safeguarding List, and so on. Having a conversation with practitioners and experts of these ICH elements, the session will look into their on-the-ground experiences on the nomination process and safeguarding efforts after the inscription. 

Registration link:
(Registration deadline: 31 October 2023)

Group presentations (*A new group may be added):
Baul songs in Bangladesh on the Representative List
Facilitated by Nurunnabi Shanto, Researcher in ICH, Translator and Short Fiction writer
Joined by Shah Alom Dewan, Practitioner of Baul-Sufi songs, Sadhika Srijoni Tania, A follower of Baul Doctrine and a practitioner of Charyapada, and Saymon Zakaria, an Expert of Baul Doctrine and Baul Songs

Sand drawings in Vanuatu on the Representative List
Facilitated by Iarawai Philip, Vanuatu Cultural Centre

Mongol Biyelgee, Mongolian Traditional Folk Dance on the List in Need of Urgent Safeguarding
Facilitated by Tsolmon Tserendorj, Specialist of ICH in the Ministry of Culture, Mongolia
Joined by Shinen ERDENETSETSEG, Scholar, Genden BAYARTAI, Practitioner and Dolgor, Ikhel player

Folk Long Performance Technique of Limbe Performances – Circular Breathing
Facilitated by Tsolmon Tserendorj, Specialist of ICH in the Ministry of Culture, Mongolia
Joined by Tsevegsuren Tserenbaljir, Scholar on Traditional Musical Instrument, President of Mongolian Association for the Limbe performers and Limbe performer, and Nyamjantsan Galsanjamts, Limbe performer

Ritu Sethi, Chairperson, Craft Revival Trust, India

*For the presentation abstracts, please visit the special website:


Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

IRCI Secretariat