Countless NGOs are currently active in the ICH field, but there is no objective data on their exact scale or the scope of their activities. And yet NGOs play a crucial role in all areas of ICH because, in comparison to government organizations, NGOs work in the closer proximity to principal agents of ICH transmission—communities. In recognition of this, UNESCO encourages NGOs to expand their roles and participation in ICH safeguarding.
For the past several years, ICHCAP has been working to facilitate discussions on the roles of NGOs. This past April, ICHCAP held the Network Building Information Meeting for UNESCO-Accredited NGOs, and this year ICHCAP is also pushing ahead with a new project, Promoting ICH Safeguarding Activities of NGOs in the Asia-Pacific Region (Project PINA), to foster the propagation and exchange of data from NGOs active in the ICH field. The main objective of this project is to collect data on NGOs that maintain an active presence in local communities and share the information both online and offline.
To this end, since April, ICHCAP has been asking UNESCO National Commissions and culture agencies in the Asia-Pacific region to recommend NGOs to participate. Thus far, ICHCAP has received numerous submissions from many NGOs. A collection of case studies is scheduled to be published by the end of the year and will be made available to a wider audience. The collection will deal with Asia-Pacific NGOs’ ICH safeguarding activities, with a focus on sustainable development and communities. It is expected to further contribute to the revitalization of local NGO activities.