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Mareshal Clecia Clair leading the chorus and hitting the bwat as the other veteran members enthusiastically respond. © 2015 by James Castel

Republic of Mauritius to host next meeting of the Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

The next annual meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will take place from 26 November to 1 December 2018 in Port-Louis, Republic of Mauritius. This decision was taken in Jeju at the close of the twelfth session of the committee, which brought together representatives of twenty-four States Party to UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Committee decides on measures to safeguard oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts, which constitute intangible heritage.

During its session, the Committee approved granting financial assistance to Uganda and Zambia to help them fund projects that are important to their country’s intangible cultural heritage. It also registered two projects, in Bulgaria and Uzbekistan , on the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices that allows communities to share inspiring safeguarding programs and activities with other communities.

The Committee inscribed six elements on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. It also added  thirty-three elements to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

For the first time, the Committee transferred an element—Xoan Singing of Phu Tho Province, Vietnam—from the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Now numbering fifty-two elements from twenty-eight countries, the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding helps States Party mobilize international cooperation and assistance to ensure the transmission of these cultural practices with the participation of the communities concerned.

The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity now has 399 elements from 112 countries, which shows the diversity of this heritage and raises awareness of its importance.

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