Decision of the Bureau: 8.COM 3.BUR 5

The Bureau,

  1. Recalling Chapter V of the Convention and Chapter I of the Operational Directives, concerning the approval of international assistance requests;
  2. Having examined Document ITH/13/8.COM 3.BUR/5 as well as the international assistance request No. 00598,
  3. Takes note that Viet Nam has requested International Assistance in the amount of US$24,631 for Safeguarding and promotion of indigenous knowledge associated with the ecological environment of the Black Ha Nhi in Lao Cai Province, Viet Nam’ (No. 00598):

The Black Ha Nhi people have developed and passed on place-based knowledge and a body of customary laws to cope with living conditions and survival experiences as well as to protect their natural environment. Ecological indigenous knowledge of the Black Ha Nhi includes behavioural practices in taking care of trees, preventing fire and soil erosion and protecting the topographical setting as well as practices of worshipping forest and water spirits associated with rituals and festivals, such as oath-taking ceremonies for protection of sacred forests, watersheds, and water sources. Undertaken by the Lao Cai Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the project aims at safeguarding and promoting this indigenous knowledge through its documentation during fieldwork, as well as the establishment of a good practice model for its safeguarding in which local knowledge and customary laws for protection of forest, watershed and water sources are applied within the Lao Chai village with an active involvement of its inhabitants. This model would also be applied to two other villages in Y Ty commune (Sin Chai and Ta Gi Thang) in so transmitting indigenous knowledge to young generations and fostering the essential contribution of traditional knowledge to environmental protection and social cohesion within the Black Ha Nhi community.

  1. Decides that, from the information provided in file 00598, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting International Assistance given in Paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:
The strengths of the request lie in the fact that there is strong evidence that local officers/experts specialized in different domains including agriculture and forest management together with a focus group of practitioners and community members were involved in the preparation of the request and will continue to participate actively in carrying out the proposed activities (criterion A.1).

The team for implementing the project is clearly identified, as is the division of tasks and implementing strategy. The amount of assistance appears to be appropriate and the budget is well conceived and clearly detailed (criterion A.2). There is coherence between the budget itself, the activities planned and the timetable proposed (criterion A.3) and the fact that this good safeguarding model will be initially applied to three villages, but might then be applied to others, demonstrates that this project will have lasting results as it is part of an integrated action carried out by local institutions involved in ICH safeguarding and other domains (criterion A.4 and A.6).

The State Party shares the cost of these activities (criterion A.5), and has already received preparatory assistance from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the elaboration of two nominations to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding for ‘Ca trù singing’ (inscribed in 2009) and ‘Xoan singing of Phú Thọ Province’ (inscribed in 2011), as well as an international assistance granted by the Bureau in 2012 to implement a project entitled ‘Capacity building in designing, implementing and evaluating intangible cultural heritage projects in Viet Nam’ that will be completed in November 2013. Viet Nam has always provided the work stipulated by the terms of reference of the respective contracts and, following UNESCO’s regulations, these contracts were duly completed (criterion A.7).

  1. Approves, as authorized body, the international assistance request from Viet Nam for Safeguarding and promotion of indigenous knowledge associated with the ecological environment of the Black Ha Nhi in Lao Cai Province, Viet Nam’ (No. 00598) for an amount of US$24,631;
  2. Requests the Secretariat to reach agreement with the requesting State Party on the technical details of the assistance.