Decision of the Bureau: 11.COM 3.BUR 5.3

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. 01158,
  3. Takes note that Seychelles has requested International Assistance for a project entitled Strengthening capacity in Seychelles for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage:

The project aims to strengthen the institutional and human capacities in Seychelles to safeguard the intangible cultural heritage present in its territory. In parallel, the project also seeks to reinforce legal frameworks for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, in particular through its inclusion in the National Heritage Bill which is currently being developed under the leadership of the agency responsible for the implementation of the present project, namely the Department of Culture of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Through all planned activities, the project intends to raise awareness among policy-makers and communities from Seychelles’ three main islands, Mahe, Pralin and La Digue, on their respective roles in the safeguarding efforts at the national level and on the importance of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage for sustainable development, particularly for adapting to climate change. Planned activities include training on the implementation of the 2003 Convention at the national level, community-based inventorying through participatory video and preparation of nominations to the Convention’s list as well as policy advisory services. Over a period of 14 months, the Department of Culture will work closely with the administrations of the 25 districts of the country to implement activities, with the assistance of national and international experts in the field of cultural heritage.

  1. Further takes note that this assistance concerns support for a project carried out at national level aimed at safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in accordance with
    Article 20 (c) 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 Seychelles requested an allocation of US$94,718 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for implementation of the project;
  3. Decides that from the information provided in file no. 01158, 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 results from preparatory work conducted among the district cultural committees of the three main islands and assigns a central role to communities in all activities, including training and pilot inventories; communities will be involved in monitoring and following-up project activities through District Administrations which will be represented in the project implementation team by a representative of Ministry of Community Development, Social Affairs and Sports working directly with them.

Criterion A.2: The budget breakdown is well detailed and adequately covers each of the proposed activities; however, funds requested for the elaboration of a nomination file to the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding are not eligible under International Assistance.

Criterion A.3: The request is clearly structured and includes a series of four activities that are well-conceived and presented in a logical sequence from general training on the implementation of the Convention to more specialized training on the elaboration of nominations through pilot community-based inventories and work on heritage policies; expected results therefore seem to be achievable within the proposed project duration and timetable. 

Criterion A.4: The emphasis on strengthening institutional and community capacities should result in a critical mass able to continue the implementation of the Convention at the national level beyond the activities for which funding is requested; measures such as the designation of persons trained during the project as focal points for intangible cultural heritage in their respective districts aim to consolidate their relationship with the Department of Culture so that the cooperation dynamics created by the project continue to work after its completion.

Criterion A.5: The State will share 5 per cent of the overall budget of the project for which the international assistance is requested.

Criterion A.6: Capacity-building in the field of safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage both for communities and the staff of the Department of Culture and its partners emerges as a fundamental component of the project; the request adequately demonstrates that the project will both build up capacities of communities in inventorying their living heritage with a highly participatory approach and reinforce the existing institutional capacities by familiarizing staff already involved in safeguarding initiatives with the framework of the Convention.

Criterion A.7: From 2009 to 2011 Seychelles benefited from a financial assistance amounting to US$9,862.61 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for a project entitled ‘Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Seychelles’; Seychelles provided the work stipulated by the terms of reference of the corresponding contract signed under this project, in line with UNESCO’s regulations.

Paragraph 10(a): The project is national in scope; the institution responsible for implementing the project, the Department of Culture, and its main partner, the Ministry of Community Development, Social Affairs and Sports are competent at national level but will work closely with district administrations.

Paragraph 10(b): The training received and the equipment acquired for drawing up community-based inventories will enable communities to replicate the exercise at the local level on other intangible cultural heritage practices and the Department of Culture to do the same with other communities; in addition the interest that the project hopes to arouse around intangible cultural heritage as source of livelihood and an appeal for initiatives of sustainable cultural tourism may stimulate financial and technical support from other agencies such as the Small Enterprises Promotion Agency, the Ministry of Investment, Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation or the Seychelles Tourism Board.
  1. Approves the international assistance request from Seychelles for a project entitled Strengthening capacity in Seychelles for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and to grant an amount of US$90,000 to the State Party to this end;
  2. Takes note of the technical assistance provided to Seychelles in preparing this request and commends the effort made by the State Party to follow-up on that assistance by substantially revising its initial request;
  3. 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 and includes only eligible costs;
  4. Encourages the State Party to coordinate closely with the Secretariat for the implementation of the project in order to ensure that the stakeholders will benefit fully from the developments under the UNESCO’s global programme for strengthening national safeguarding capacities, with which the State Party wishes to align the project;
  5. Invites the State Party to use the ICH-04-Report Form when reporting on the use of assistance provided;
  6. Further invites the State Party, if it wishes to request preparatory assistance for the elaboration of a nomination to the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, to prepare a separate request using the ICH-05 Form in compliance with established procedures and deadlines.