HeritageAlive Partners with ICHCAP in a Book Project and Symposium on Traditional Medicine

#HeritageAlive[1] has been publishing articles on a variety of themes concerning intangible cultural heritage (ICH) safeguarding since 2012. After remaining relatively steady in the past, public interest in the online journal has increased after a call for papers in relation to traditional medicine was issued. It all began when we sat down with ICHCAP delegation to discuss the possibility of publishing a book together in 2016 at the 11th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Addis Ababa. As a consistent producer and distributor of high-quality publications in the field of ICH, ICHCAP was undoubtedly the best partner for #HeritageAlive.

On 5 November 2017, a symposium on traditional medicine[2] will be held in the 12th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (12.COM) in the International Convention Center Jeju. In addition to discussion and exchange of diverse experiences in the field of traditional medicine, a new book entitled Traditional Medicine: sharing experiences from the field will be launched as the result of a fruitful cooperation between ICHCAP and #HeritageAlive.

A concern raised by the authors included in the book relates to the availability of many of the vulnerable medical plants and herbs, and the on-going concerns in respect of species loss. Dr. Saifur Rashid writes in his article: “Many of the kavirajes[3] now face difficulties in finding the plants what they and their forefathers used to collect from the forest for making some medicines. Raising awareness of ecological challenges and promoting a more sustainable approach to the management of common natural resources, the book voices out how changes in agricultural methods and loss of species crucial for traditional medicine present serious threats to traditions and practices.

In the spirit of the 2003 Convention, this publication is not making a comparison between traditional medicine and modern medicine; it rather aims to give readers a taste of the rich diversity that can be found in the practice of traditional medicine. All the authors acknowledge that for well-being and treatment of illness, traditional medicine has an important complementary role alongside modern medicine. ICHCAP has generously contributed to make this publication possible.  #HeritageAlive hopes that this successful publication project will be a model for future meaningful cooperation between the ICH NGO Forum and UNESCO Category 2 centers.

[1] #Heritage Alive: The by UNESCO accredited ICH NGOs Journal for exchange of experiences from the Field, established 2013

[2] While the 2003 Convention nomenclature includes healing practices and healing knowledge rather than traditional medicine, for the purposes of this publication, we have opted to use traditional medicine as an umbrella term to encompass not only healing practices and knowledge but also the associated rituals, products, and experiences of practitioners.

[3] practitioners of traditional medicine