Traditional Knowledge, Thoughts and Practices Concerning Nature and Humanity 2022 ICH World Forum: Intangible Cultural Heritage and Traditional Knowledge

Hosted by the National Intangible Heritage Center (Director Kyunghoon Yi) under the Cultural Heritage Administration and organized by UNESCO ICHCAP (Director-General Ji Sung Kim), the 2022 ICH World Forum will be gathering together global experts in one place online from September 21 to 23.

The ICH World Forum celebrates its sixth year in 2022 under the theme of “Traditional Knowledge, Thoughts and Practices Concerning Nature and Humanity” and promises to be a valuable opportunity for around 30 experts from 12 countries worldwide to collectively shed new light on the importance of traditional knowledge and re-examine the value of traditional knowledge as a form of intangible cultural heritage.

Hosting a total of three sessions across three days, the forum will open with keynote presentations by Professor Laurajane Smith of the Australian National University, who is a world-renowned scholar in the field of intangible cultural heritage, and Secretary-General Kyung-Koo Han of the Korean National Commission for UNESCO. Session 1 on the 21st will be titled “Safeguarding and Transmitting Traditional Knowledge as Intangible Cultural Heritage” and seek to discuss various perspectives on the preservation and transmission of ICH.

On the 22nd, Dr. Hahn-Sok Wang, a professor emeritus of the Seoul National University Department of Anthropology, will open Session 2 of the forum with a special lecture. The theme for Session 2 is “Traditional Knowledge and Sustainable Water Management,” with the aim to introduce traditional irrigation techniques such as Japan’s traditional irrigation methods and Indonesia’s Subak irrigation system, as well as the “water judge” system of Corongo Province, Peru and Sri Lanka’s traditional water management knowledge.

On the final day of the forum, September 23, Session 3 of the forum will unfold under the theme “Understanding and Developing Traditional Medicine as Traditional Knowledge,” which seeks to address traditional medicine from the perspective of intangible heritage to bring the three-day event to a close. Starting with a special lecture by Professor Emerita Judith B. Farquhar from the University of Chicago in the United States, Session 3 will examine traditional medicine of Guam, Thailand, Colombia, and Vietnam as well as related cases from the perspective of intangible heritage.

In pursuit of survival and prosperity amid relentless changes in the natural environment and progress in society, humanity has constantly accumulated, systematized and transmitted knowledge and wisdom regarding methods to deal with the environment, medical knowledge, customs, and lifestyles to successive generations. In the face of various crises, humanity has also used traditional knowledge to form effective responses and strengthen social solidarity within communities. Traditional knowledge is humanity’s intellectual creation, which was accumulated by utilizing limited resources to the maximum extent for the purpose of survival. However, amid modern progress in science and technology, as well as rapid waves of globalization and urbanization, the value of traditional knowledge has lost the attention it deserves. At the 2022 ICH World Forum, traditional knowledge will be re-examined from the perspective of intangible heritage in order to shed new light on its value and importance.

This forum will be held online and livestreamed on the YouTube channels of the Cultural Heritage Administration, UNESCO ICHCAP, and Jeonju MBC. It will also be livestreamed on the online metaverse ZEP (

The 2022 World Forum is open for participation by all those who are interested in the topics addressed by the forum. Participation requests can be registered online on the forum’s portal site ( For more details on the forum, please inquire with the ICH World Forum team by telephone (☎ 063-230-9745, 7).