Call for Papers ǁ 2021 Expert Meeting for Building Network on Maritime Heritage

2021 Expert Meeting for Buildong Networks on Maritime ICH Web Banner Image © ICHCAP

Thematic Focus: Traditional Food System in Coastal Communities

ICHCAP is calling for presentation submissions for the 2021 Expert Meeting for Building Network on Maritime ICH. To be held tentatively on 29 October 2021, the theme of the expert meeting is Coastal Communities in the Asia-Pacific Region and Their Traditional Food System.” It is co-organized by the International Information and Networking Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region under the auspices of UNESCO (ICHCAP) and the Pacific Community(SPC).

Conceptually, traditional food is associated with cultural traditions, heritage, and environmental sustainability. It is an important part of a knowledge system that determines how individuals within a community or society maintain cultural ways of life for survival and social cohesion. Especially regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the vulnerability of people in preparing traditional foods and in transmitting knowledge around traditional foods to the younger generation, it is necessary to pay attention to local, indigenous, or traditional systems of food preparation, consumption, and trade to better understand the extent of which existing cultural infrastructures need further work or support for improvement. The detailed topics for each session are as follows:

  • [Session 1] Coastal Communities and Their Traditional Food System: Eco-cultural Approach.
  • [Session 2] Coastal Communities and Their Traditional Food system: Socio-cultural Approach.

The first session of the meeting is premised on the fact that coastal communities form a unique traditional food system based on a specific ecological environment. It will address the effects of climate change on food supply and demand, and the coping mechanisms employed by the communities to ensure food security. In view of the changing environment of coastal communities in terms of the use of technology, this session will also investigate how coastal communities respond to modernity, especially in cases where the preparation of traditional food requires traditional modalities. This session will also specifically explore the roles of traditional food in environmental healing and in fortifying sustainable ecosystems.

The second session is attuned to how traditional food reflects histories of cultural identity, practices of social bonding, and cooperation at the community or local level. It will address how customs, social practices, rituals, and other performative activities are formed or conditioned by traditional food. As eating is largely a social practice in many cultures, this session will also explore how communities communicate their belief systems and knowledge regarding food preparation and consumption. Lastly, the session will examine the socio-cultural influence of traditional on the resilience of the community, with greater attention on how traditional food affects value formation and sense of inclusion in a community. (See Concept note)

Papers are not limited to academic papers. Various stakeholders (NGOs, tradition bearers, community members, etc.) with expertise in maritime heritage, particularly traditional foods in coastal communities can participate in the meeting. Those who wish to participate should submit their paper abstract and completed application form by email ( on or before 13 September 2021. Selected presenters will be notified individually before 17 September. The final presentation manuscript should be submitted by 3 October. Edited contents from the meeting will be made available online for wider public access to efforts for maritime ICH safeguarding.

For further information, please contact ICHCAP (