ICH’s contributions to SDGs: Conference in the Kyrgyz Republic (26 November 2021)

On 26 November 2021, IRCI held an international conference “Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage through Education” online, in cooperation with Taalim-Forum Public Foundation (TFPF) and the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) in Bishkek. The conference was part of IRCI’s project “ICH’s contributions to SDGs – Education and Community Development”*1, which investigates the relationship among ICH, SDG 4 (Quality education), and SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities) and the roles of ICH in education and community development.

The participants, including ICH researchers and experts from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, AUCA faculties and students, representatives of local and community museums, UNESCO National Commission in Kyrgyz Republic as well as practitioners of traditional culture in Kyrgyzstan, exchanged opinions and thoughts on the safeguarding of ICH in Kyrgyzstan including the yurt (traditional house) and related knowledge and skills through education. About 50 individuals took part in the conference, and half of them joined the conference remotely from Japan, Kazakhstan and distant regions of Kyrgyzstan.

Presenters noted the negative impact on ICH safeguarding of the intersected social, political, and environmental issues that were aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. They emphasized the importance of collaboration between the traditional knowledge holders and the academics/researchers to strengthen the research on ICH, and the ability of people and the community to actualize, safeguard and transfer the traditional knowledge and culture. Case studies on community museums demonstrated that local museums such as the yurt village could contribute to ICH safeguarding, while being the drivers for the community development.

The results of the conference will be shared and reflected in the International Symposium that will be held on 22 December in 2021.

*1: 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.