Impact of the Intangible Cultural Heritage on Creative Economy, 2021 South Asia Sub-regional Meeting was held

Poster of the 2021 Sub-regional Meeting for ICH Safeguarding in South Asia © Banglanatak dot com

The International Information and Networking Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region under the auspices of UNESCO (hereinafter ICHCAP) held the 2021 Sub-regional Meeting for Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Safeguarding in South Asia (hereinafter meeting) for three days from 14 to 16 September. The meeting was co-hosted by Banglanatak dot com, sponsored by the Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea and UNESCO New Delhi. More than 50 representatives from government agencies and ICH experts in South Asia (Nepal, Maldives, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan) have participated in the meeting. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the meeting was held online.

Participants on the first day of the 2021 Sub-regional Meeting for ICH Safeguarding in South Asia © ICHCAP

Declared at the 74th United Nations General Assembly, the year 2021 is the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. Accordingly, ICHCAP held this meeting to discuss the meaning of resilience and re-creativity of the intangible cultural heritage and to explore the economic promotion of ICH.

Starting with the Keynote Speech by Dr. Ahmed Eiweida, the World Bank Global Coordinator for Cultural Heritage & Sustainable Tourism, under the theme of the ‘Culture and Creativity as a Vehicle for Economic, Social and Spatial Transformation’, there were vigorous discussions proceeded between ICH, economic and craft fields from Session 1 – Establishing a Sustainable Relationship between ICH and Economic Utilization, Session 2 – Implementing Stable Virtuous Circle for ICH Marketing Route in line with Safeguarding ICH, Session 3 – Enlarging the Realm of the Crafts and ICH Education to the Final Session – Strengthening collaboration for Creative Economy in South Asia: Country Perspectives.

In particular, ideas and knowledge were shared on the economic utilization value of ICH to achieve Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No Poverty) and 11(Sustainable Cities and Communities), underlining that ICH contributes to achieving sustainable development goals. The meeting provided chances to all participants for discovering the possibility of economic recovery and resilience through creative activities of the ICH community at a challenging time when the economy collapses and ICH communities are discouraged affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last but not least, the possibilities of the ICH economic network in South Asia have also witnessed the potential of the foundation for sustainable transmission of the ICH community. ICHCAP looks forward the meeting to serve as an opportunity to expand the foundation safeguarding ICH in South Asia in the near future.

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