Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 16.COM 8.b.14

The Committee

  1. Takes note that United Arab Emirates, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czechia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Spain and Syrian Arab Republic have nominated Falconry, a living human heritage (no. 01708) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Falconry is the traditional art and practice of training and flying falcons (and sometimes eagles, hawks, buzzards and other birds of prey). It has been practised for over 4000 years. The practice of falconry in early and medieval periods of history is documented in many parts of the world. Originally a means of obtaining food, falconry has acquired other values over time and has been integrated into communities as a social and recreational practice and as a way of connecting with nature. Today, falconry is practised by people of all ages in many countries. As an important cultural symbol in many of those countries, it is transmitted from generation to generation through a variety of means, including through mentoring, within families or in training clubs. The modern practice of falconry focuses on safeguarding falcons, quarry and habitats, as well as the practice itself. And while falconers come from different backgrounds, they share universal values, traditions and practices, including the methods of breeding, training and caring for birds, the equipment used and the bonds between the falconer and the bird. The falconry community includes supporting entities such as falcon hospitals, breeding centres, conservation agencies and traditional equipment makers.

  1. Considers that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

R.1:  Falconers come from a wide variety of cultural and social backgrounds, but share common values, traditions and practices. Bearers are men and women of all ages. Knowledge and skills about the element are transmitted between generations by a variety of means, such as mentoring, learning within families, or formal training in clubs and schools. Socially, falconry fosters stronger bonds between countries and communities. The element is in harmony with existing international human rights instruments and with the requirements of mutual respect among communities, groups and individuals.

R.2:  The inclusion of other States Parties in an already inscribed element is evidence of increased visibility and awareness of the element and of intangible cultural heritage in general. It also illustrates intercultural cooperation and dialogue, respect for cultural diversity and mutual understanding among States and the concerned practitioners and communities. The localized manifestations of the element within the various States Parties highlights the diversity of human creativity and the shared values among its practitioners.

R.3:  The file outlines various safeguarding measures that have been implemented among the different States Parties and related implementing entities, including the establishment of legal frameworks regarding the element and for environmental sustainability, apprenticeships, national tournaments, festivals, research and publications. Proposed measures include the expansion of environmental awareness programmes, targeting of youth, financial support to practitioners, standardization of training and examinations, and formal and informal education initiatives. Various associations and practitioners were involved in the development of the safeguarding measures and its proposed implementation.

R.4:  The nomination file shows that the communities of falconers from the various States Parties collaborated on the multinational submission through a series of meetings and internet forums. Free, prior and informed consent was granted by the communities, groups and individuals concerned in their respective countries. The nomination also indicated that there are no issues related with the element that would conflict with customary practices governing access.

R.5:  The element was included in each of the submitting State’s national inventories and registers between 2008 and 2019. The file demonstrates various strategies for identification, definition and data collection of the element, including local initiatives from communities, clubs and associations, as well as national initiatives for inventorying and documentation. Inventories are updated over periods ranging from every three months to five years, and the process involves government ministries and communities, groups and individuals concerned.

  1. Decides to inscribe Falconry, a living human heritage on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Further takes note that the present nomination is the inscription on an extended basis for the third time to include six new States, in conformity with Chapter I.6 of the Operational Directives; this was a multinational nomination with eleven submitting States originally inscribed under the same name in 2010; that nomination was extended for the first time in 2012 to include two additional States Parties and again for the second time in 2016 to include five more States Parties;
  3. Reminds the States Parties that updating is an important part of the inventorying process and invites them to include detailed information in their next periodic report on the implementation of the Convention at the national level concerning the periodicity of updating in accordance with Article 12.1 of the Convention;
  4. Commends the State Parties on the preparation of a file which is a good example of international cooperation.