Decision of the Bureau: 14.COM 4.BUR 4.1

The Bureau,

  1. Recalling Article 23 of the Convention as well as Chapter I.4 of the Operational Directives relating to the eligibility and criteria of International Assistance requests,
  2. Having examined Document LHE/19/14.COM 4.BUR/4 as well as International Assistance request no. 01619 submitted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK),
  3. Takes note that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Capacity Building on Traditional Koryo Celadon Making practice:

The proposed six-month project is aimed at building capacities relating to the traditional Koryo celadon making practice. The project is to be implemented by a working group established by the DPRK Academy of Social Sciences, in cooperation with the National Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea for UNESCO. Recently, decreased interest in the tradition has resulted in dwindling ceramic production, and even in some long-standing celadon families losing pride in the practice. To overcome these obstacles, the proposed project aims to understand the viability of the practice in the country through on-site investigations and to raise awareness about the Koryo celadon making practice through the organization of a workshop and the publication of a book. Through its implementation, the project is expected to lead to the identification of more than seven major traditional Koryo celadon-making units. Furthermore, fifty local pottery makers are to be trained and a book on Koryo celadon making is to be published and distributed among the communities. The project would thus improve the skills of local makers concerned and increase public interest in the practice. If successfully implemented, it is expected to serve as a model for studying and safeguarding traditional handcraftsmanship and other elements of intangible cultural heritage in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

  1. Further takes note that this assistance is to support a project implemented at the national level, in accordance with Article 20 (c) of the Convention, and that it takes the form of the provision of a grant, pursuant to Article 21 (g) of the Convention;
  2. Also takes note that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has requested assistance in the amount of US$37,177 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01619, 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 indicates the involvement of several Koryo celadon makers as well as of representatives of different institutions, such as the National Folklore Institute and the Korea National Heritage Preservation Agency, and various enterprises. They have participated in the design of the project and their regular participation is foreseen throughout its implementation, as well as in the monitoring and final evaluation of the project. The request also indicates that the active participation of community members is envisaged through a consultation process and their consent to the content of the book to be published as part of the project.

Criterion A.2: In general, the budget is presented in a clear way, demonstrating a balanced allocation of resources for each of the planned activities. However, more detailed information could have been provided for certain items of expenditure, such as those related to personnel costs and the publication of the book ‘Time-honoured Koryo Celadon Tradition’.

Criterion A.3: The proposed activities are well-conceived in relation to the objectives and expected results of the project. They are formulated based on the initial measures undertaken by the government to safeguard the traditional Koryo celadon making practice and are structured around an on-site investigation, a three-day capacity building training workshop for celadon makers and the analysis of the data collected with relevant partner organizations to seek appropriate solutions for enhanced safeguarding. Awareness-raising and outreach for the practice are envisaged through the production and dissemination of a book entitled ‘Time-honoured Koryo Celadon Traditions’. Furthermore, the project seems sufficiently long for the proposed activities to be implemented effectively.

Criterion A.4: The activities to be undertaken within the framework of the project are expected to yield lasting results to allow for the continued practice of Koryo celadon making. Thanks to the increased knowledge and improved skill-sets of the fifty participants in the three-day workshop, it will also be possible to raise awareness among community members about the importance of safeguarding traditions of living heritage in general and Koryo celadon making in particular. Furthermore, the results of the on-site investigation will allow the implementing agency and its partner organization to devise effective measures for the safeguarding of living heritage.

Criterion A.5: The requesting State will share 18 per cent of the overall budget of the project for which International Assistance is requested from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.

Criterion A.6: Through a three-day capacity building workshop targeted at specialists, researchers and community members, the project aims to reinforce capacities in the field of intangible cultural heritage at two different levels. At the community level, practitioners will become sensitized to the Koryo celadon making practice as well as to its social and cultural importance. At the institutional level, the project beneficiaries, including the staff of the Academy of Social Sciences, are expected to enhance their research and analytical skills in relation not only to the Koryo celadon practice but also to the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in general.

Criterion A.7: The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has benefitted from International Assistance from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund once, for the project entitled ‘Strengthening the capacities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for community-based inventorying of intangible cultural heritage and for elaborating nomination files under the mechanisms of the 2003 Convention’ (file no. 01444, 2018–2019, US$98,000). The project was carried out in compliance with UNESCO’s regulations and completed within the proposed timeframe.

Paragraph 10(a): The project is national in scope and its implementation involves a wide range of national and local partners, including the Academy of Social Sciences, the National Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea for UNESCO, the Sci-tech Complex, Pyongyang University of Fine Arts, the Social Science Publishing House and the communities of Koryo celadon makers.

Paragraph 10(b): The project is expected to stimulate the research, safeguarding and dissemination of information on intangible cultural heritage. This is expected to trigger additional contributions from various organizations working in the field of the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. Furthermore, if successful, the project could be used as a model that could be replicated for safeguarding other expressions of living heritage present in the State.

  1. Approves the International Assistance request from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for the project entitled Capacity Building on Traditional Koryo Celadon Making practice and grants the amount of US$37,177 to the State Party to this end;
  2. Requests that the Secretariat reach an agreement with the requesting State Party on the technical details of the assistance, paying particular attention to ensuring that the budget of all the activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund is sufficiently detailed;
  3. Invites the State Party to use Form ICH-04 Report when reporting on the use of the assistance provided.