- Recalling Chapter V of the Convention and Chapter I of the Operational Directives,
- Having examined Document ITH/17/12.COM 2.BUR/4, as well as International Assistance request no. 01252,
- Takes note that the Federated States of Micronesia have requested International Assistance for a project entitled Creating an ICH inventory database of traditional celestial navigation skills in Yap, Micronesia:
Due to improved accessibility to Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and recent trends in youth migration, the number of traditional navigators in one of the island States in the Federated States of Micronesia, Yap, with the ability and knowledge to sail canoes across great distances using only their naturally surroundings to guide them is very small. The project therefore seeks to identify and localize master navigators, called ‘pwo’, in the main island and eight outer islands (‘atolls’) through fieldwork, interviews with tradition bearers and the subsequent creation of a database compiling information about their status and location, as well as about existing schools of traditional navigation. The creation of this database is expected to facilitate the mobilization of funding for capacity-building programmes and thus foster the revitalization of navigation knowledge and skills. The project intends to strengthen the capacities of individuals from the various communities concerned to identify and collect data about tradition bearers and their apprentices. In addition, it aims to contribute to the design and implementation of future training programmes and to highlight the need to revitalize these practices for the survival of local communities, without relying on the costly import of natural resources. The project will be implemented by the Yap Historic Preservation Office in consultation with two traditional island councils, which respectively represent communities from the main island and from outer islands.
- Further takes note that this assistance concerns support for a project carried out at the local 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;
- Also takes note that the Federated States of Micronesia requested an allocation of US$23,117 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of the project;
- Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01252, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting International Assistance set out in paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:
- Decides to refer the International Assistance request from the Federated States of Micronesia for the project entitled Creating an ICH inventory database of traditional celestial navigation skills in Yap, Micronesia to the requesting State and invites it to submit a revised request to the Bureau for examination at a forthcoming session;
- Recognizes the specific relationship of human settlements to the land and sea in Small Islands Developing States and the potential of their intangible cultural heritage to drive sustainable development and appreciates the initiative of the State Party to call on the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund to improve the social and economic conditions of communities, while respecting and promoting harmony with their natural environment, through the safeguarding of traditional celestial navigation skills;
- Encourages the State Party, should it wish to resubmit the request, to revise the content of the project taking into account the above-mentioned concerns as well as those raised in the Secretariat’s technical assessment, particularly in order to better align the project with the overall purpose of the International Assistance provided by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund to support States in their efforts to ensure the viability of intangible cultural heritage;
- Further encourages the State Party, should it wish to resubmit the request, to ensure its overall coherence by avoiding inconsistencies between the proposed activities, timetable and budget and to give full attention to the development of a rigorous and transparent budget providing a sufficient justification of the planned expenditures.