Call for Case Studies on Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage and Climate Actions from Asia-Pacific Region

UNESCO is inviting interested teams and individuals to submit case studies from Asia and the Pacific that illustrate the roles and risks of intangible cultural heritage in the context of climate change. This call is launched in the framework of UNESCO’s efforts to contribute to a holistic approach to heritage safeguarding and sustainable development under the 2003
Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, including in the context of climate change. This initiative is furthermore in line with the Final Declaration of the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development (MONDIACULT 2022), which commended the new impetus given to the role of culture for sustainable development, as a force for resilience, social inclusion and cohesion, environmental protection and sustainable and inclusive growth.

This call is co-launched by the Integrated Research on Disaster Risks (IRDR) and 3 centers under the auspices of UNESCO – International Training Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region (CRIHAP), International Information and Networking Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region (ICHCAP) and International Research Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region (IRCI).

Focus of the case studies
In this context, UNESCO in collaboration with IRDR, CRIHAP, ICHCAP and IRCI will collect case studies from the Asia-Pacific region that can illustrate the dual nature of this intimate and complex relationship between ICH and climate change, looking in particular at three key dimensions: i) roles for ICH; ii) risks for ICH; and iii) strategies for safeguarding ICH in the context of climate change.

Specifically, evidence is sought from a number of case studies that might elaborate responses to one or more of the following questions:

   • What roles does ICH play in identifying, assessing and monitoring climate change?
   • What roles does ICH play in promoting communities’ adaptation and resilience to
     climate change?
   • What roles does ICH play in mitigating carbon emissions and disaster risk?
   • What are the direct and indirect impacts (including cultural, social and economic) and
     risks to ICH practice, transmission, safeguarding and viability from climate change
     over the long term?
   • What changes to ICH are required for adaptation to climate change?
   • What are local and regional strategies for safeguarding ICH in the context of climate

The case studies should be grounded in evidence-based research and conducted with the widest possible participation of the community, groups or, if applicable, individuals concerned and with their free, prior and informed consent in line with the Ethical Principles for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage.1. The knowledge systems, practices, expressions and skills identified and recognized by communities as part of their ICH will illustrate the links between cultural diversity and environmental sustainability, and provide
a foundation for locally-appropriate solutions to sustainable development.

Selected case studies will be co-published by UNESCO and IRDR and feed into UNESCO’s initiative to develop guidance on safeguarding living heritage in the context of climate change. If funding can be mobilized, a conference will be organized to showcase the results and the authors will be invited to deliver presentations on the case studies.

Case studies template

Language: English
Length: 3,000 to 5,000 words
   1. Title of case study
   2. Relevant details including author(s) and affiliation, contact details, geographical
       location, etc.
   3. 1 page summary of the case study
   4. Background to the case study
   5. Statement of the problem
   6. Objectives of the case study
   7. Research design and methodology
   8. Ethics considerations and human rights issues
   9. Strengths and limitations of the case study
   10. Findings
   11. Discussion / Conclusions
   12. Recommendations
   13. References / Bibliography
   14. Photos/ Videos (including copies of consent forms)

Submission details

All submitted case studies are to be sent to before 30 January 2024.

Potential for participating in publication and/or international conferences will be discussed with authors of selected case studies.

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