Decision of the Bureau: 11.COM 3.BUR 5.1

The Bureau,

  1. Recalling Chapter V of the Convention and Chapter I of the Operational Directives,
  2. Having examined Document ITH/16/11.COM 3.BUR/5, as well as the international assistance request no. 01153,
  3. Takes note that Botswana has requested International Assistance for a project entitled the Promotion of earthen ware pottery-making skills in Kgatleng district:

Earthenware pottery-making skills were inscribed in 2012 on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. Practised among the Bakgatla ba Kgafela community in south-eastern Botswana and transmitted to daughters and granddaughters through observation and practice, earthenware pottery-making is at risk of extinction. The main factors for its decline are the decreasing number of master potters, lack of interest in learning the skills and knowledge among youth, low prices for finished goods and increasing use of mass-produced containers. Furthermore, two key ingredients used for pottery-making, the clay soil and weathered sand stone, are found at the foot of Phuthadikobo and Tsope hills in Mochudi, the capital of the Kgatleng district, where residential plots have encroached on the cultural spaces associated with this practice. Implemented by the Phuthadikobo Museum in Mochudi, the project foresees the implementation of a number of components of the safeguarding plan included in the nomination file. Strengthening the transmission of the earthenware pottery-making skills will be sought through training young potters while providing them with a temporary selling exhibition as well as through field work that should result both in the development of educational materials and the fencing of spaces associated with the practice in order to protect access to raw materials.

  1. Further takes note that this assistance concerns the safeguarding of the heritage inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in accordance with Article 20 (a) of the Convention, and that it takes the form of the granting of a donation in line with Article 21 (g) of the Convention;
  2. Also takes note that Botswana requested an allocation of US$68,261.10 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for implementation of the project;
  3. Decides that from the information provided in file no. 01153, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting International Assistance given in paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:
Criterion A.1: The request comes directly from two master potters as a result of their active involvement in the implementation of a pilot project on community-based intangible cultural heritage inventorying in 2010; their participation in the preparation of the request is adequately demonstrated as well as their involvement in the implementation of proposed activities such as field work and training; community participation in the implementation of the project, its evaluation and follow-up will also be ensured through the Village Development Committees responsible for the management of the cultural spaces associated with earthenware pottery-making.

Criterion A.2: Although expenditures included in the budget provide adequate level of detail, correspondence with the proposed activities is not entirely clear; with a budget only partially presented by activities, expenses related to field work or to the development of educational content are not easily identifiable.
Criterion A.3: While the primary objective of the project is clearly stated, namely to ensure the viability of earthenware pottery-making skills, the articulation between the different project components is not self-explanatory; in particular, the request does not adequately explain how the outputs of field work will be turned into educational materials nor how the latter will be used as part of the transmission workshop.

Criterion A.4: The project is expected to develop human and institutional resources able to sustain safeguarding efforts beyond project completion: twenty trainees will be equipped with the necessary skills to continue the practice as a means of livelihood and to transmit it to future generations; in addition, the agency responsible for implementing the project, the Phuthadikobo Museum, not only took care to hire a coordinator for intangible cultural heritage who will build on project results as part of a District Strategy for the Implementation of the 2003 Convention in Kgatlend but foresees the integration into its organizational structure of the four field researchers involved in the project.

Criterion A.5: The requesting State will share 12 per cent of the total amount of the project for which International Assistance is requested.

Criterion A.6: The request adequately describes how the project will contribute to building the capacities of twenty young motivated potters to enable them mainly to master earthenware pottery-making skills but also to gain better understanding of the cultural significances associated with the practice; capacities of the staff from the Phuthadikobo Museum for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in general will be strengthened through each of the project activities, thereby impacting on the safeguarding capacities of the whole Bakgatla ba Kgafela community.

Criterion A.7: Botswana benefited from three multinational projects financed by the UNESCO/Flanders Funds-in-Trust from 2009 to 2015 and provided the work stipulated by the terms of reference of the contracts signed under these projects, in line with UNESCO’s regulations; however, Botswana has never implemented activities financed by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.

Paragraph 10(a): The project is local in scope and involves both local implementing partners such as the Kgatleng Main Land Board and national partners such as the Department of National Museums and Monuments of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.

Paragraph 10(b): The project fits into a series of regulations and initiatives at national level such us the 2001 National Policy on Culture, the purchasing standards ‘Arts and Craft’ or the annual Women’s Expo organized by the Women’s Affairs Department of the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, which gives hope that the assistance from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund may stimulate other financial and technical contributions at the national level.

  1. Approves the international assistance request from Botswana for The promotion of earthen ware pottery making skills in Kgatleng district (No. 01153) and to grant an amount of US$68,261.10 to the State Party to this end;
  2. Requests the State Party to work with the Secretariat at the earliest opportunity in order to revise, within the amount granted, the budget breakdown and make sure it corresponds exactly to the planned activities;
  3. Invites the State Party to reconsider the sequence of planned activities in light of the expected results as stated in the request and revise the work plan as appropriate;
  4. Recalls the State Party that a report on the status of ‘Earthenware pottery-making skills in Botswana’s Kgatleng District’, inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, is expected at the latest by 15 December 2016 and encourages it to take into account the findings of the report in the revision requested for the present project;
  5. Further invites the State Party to use the ICH-04-Report Form when reporting on the use of assistance provided.