Silk Roads Living Heritage Network


Silk Roads Living Heritage Network

In keeping with the spirit of the 2003 UNESCO Convention, Silk Roads Living Heritage Network aims to strengthen international cooperation among local communities along the Silk Roads that have recognized safeguarding intangible cultural heritage (ICH) as a strategic factor for sustainable development and to promote a culture of peace. The network focuses on its mission, notably in the following areas of action:

  • professional and artistic coordination of interactions;
  • effective knowledge management and distribution of information;
  • realization of multilateral values of ICH to achieve sustainable development goals and to spread a culture of peace; and
  • strengthening credibility and relevance among all other ICH related stakeholders

Three broad objectives shall guide the network in developing its activities

  • Public-Private Partnership. Support initiatives led by ICH communities to make ICH safeguarding an essential component of local development, notably through partnerships involving the public and private sectors and civil society.
  • Information Sharing. Strengthen the creation, production, distribution, and dissemination of the information on ICH awareness-raising activities.
  • Services to Communities and Society. Develop a platform for professional networking among ICH communities and improve access to and participation in ICH festivals as well as the enjoyment of ICH safeguarding activities for youth.
The legitimacy of the network is based on the 2003 UNESCO Convention on Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the UNESCO Silk Road Programme.

The secretariat of the network is based in the International Information and Networking Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific region under the auspices of UNESCO (ICHCAP).

The governing board of the network is the Coordinating Bureau, consisting of representatives from ICHCAP, International Institute for Central Asian Studies (IICAS) and specialists from Silk Roads countries and international/regional ICH organizations. The term of reference and rules of procedure of the Coordination Bureau is subject for adoption in the annual meetings of the governing board.

The Coordinating Bureau member is to be nominated by the UNESCO National Commissions of nine founding member states of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Korea, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan in addition to UNESCO-ICHCAP and IICAS.

This networking program is based on experiences and achievements obtained from the collaborative work of UNESCO-ICHCAP in the living heritage field in Central Asia over the last decade.

For reference, the networking program comes on the heels of a three-party MoU signed by ICHCAP and organizations in Uzbekistan in 2019 and was followed by a Central Asia network meeting in Kazakhstan in 2019.

In 2020, ICHCAP in cooperation with International Institute for Central Asian Studies (IICAS), conducted a survey project about ICH festivals along the Silk Roads, particularly with countries along the steppe route. Regarding the survey result, ICHCAP, IICAS and Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum Secretariat of the Korea Foundation (KF) held an online webinar and a strategic meeting to consider the need for realizing the multilateral values of Silk Roads-related cooperation.