Decision of the Bureau: 13.COM 2.BUR 5

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. Further recalling decisions COM 15 and 12.COM 15,
  3. Having examined Document ITH/18/13.COM2.BUR/5 as well as International Assistance request no. 01522 submitted by Colombia,
  4. Takes note that Colombia has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Intangible Cultural Heritage as a basis for resilience, reconciliation and the construction of peace environments in Colombia’s post-agreements:

Implemented by the Fundación Universidad del Norte, this fourteen-month project aims to utilize intangible cultural heritage as a basis for resilience, reconciliation and reintegration in Colombia’s Guajira Department, Conejo village, home to the Pondores ETCR – a temporary shelter for ex-combatants and their families during their transition to civilian life. The project responds to the third point of the Peace Agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People's Army) in 2016, which aims to generate the conditions to help former combatants build life projects in civilian life following a sixty-year armed conflict. In this context, ex-combatants in the village of Conejo requested measures to reinvigorate their local culture as a reparation measure. To this end, a participatory methodology was designed linking intangible cultural heritage capacity-building strategies and inventorying with the ‘Memory and Heritage’ approach of the Ministry of Culture, directed at safeguarding living heritage and collective memory to reconstruct the social fabric, diagnose cultural damage and foster symbolic reparation and cultural healing among communities affected by armed conflict. The proposed project – presented as an emergency request – sets out to promote new forms of coexistence, reconciliation and integration around the community’s local intangible cultural heritage.

  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 Colombia has requested assistance in the amount of US$99,400 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01522, 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 project was prepared as a direct request by ex-combatants to revitalize their local culture, and to do so in cooperation with their host village community. The beneficiaries (ex-combatants and the local community of the village) are jointly involved in all stages of the project. For instance, they will carry out the inventorying and participate in the production of the audiovisual materials; a handful of members will also become ‘heritage lookouts’ to help promote and safeguard their culture. Furthermore, the core group of forty beneficiaries, which includes various age groups and respects a gender balance, will be selected to represent a variety of roles and functions in the community and to ensure the intergenerational transmission of knowledge;

Criterion A.2: The total amount of assistance requested and the budget per activity seem appropriate and in line with the scope of the project to achieve the desired results;

Criterion A.3: The activities are structured around a logical sequence that includes the organization of six capacity-building workshops to address the social aspects of safeguarding living heritage and participatory inventorying of intangible cultural heritage focusing on the effects of the conflict on intangible cultural heritage; a set of other activities – for example the production of awareness-raising materials and the organization of discussion fora involving the private, public and social sectors – are foreseen to address the needs of ex-combatants to raise their capacities for self-representation and socio-economic integration into the host community;

Criterion A.4: The project hopes to establish positive and lasting dynamics to foster reconciliation at various levels amongst ex-combatants as well as between ex-combatants and the host community. Moreover, the cooperation that the project will seek with other entrepreneurships and social initiatives in the region will allow the ex-combatants to re-integrate into the economic and social life of the community; such efforts will also help connect the target village with support from other institutions in and outside the field of culture. The project’s particular focus on the participation of students and teachers is further expected to ensure the transmission of the knowledge and skills acquired within the framework of educational institutions such as schools;

Criterion A.5: The requesting State will share 29%, the implementing agency 11% and the other sources 2% of the overall budget of the project for which International Assistance is requested;

Criterion A.6: The capacities of the forty beneficiaries will be strengthened through twelve training workshops on the management of social aspects of intangible cultural heritage, community-based inventorying, the consideration of collective memories, the organization and promotion of cultural events, as well as audiovisual production techniques. The project will benefit from the capacity-building strategy for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage of the Ministry of Culture, which has trained more than 170 cultural managers over the past five years. Moreover, the management skills of the beneficiaries will be fostered as they will be in charge of supporting the management of the project with other institutions and entities;

Criterion A.7: Colombia has benefitted from International Assistance from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the project entitled ‘Safeguarding of the traditional knowledge for the protection of sacred natural sites in the territory of the Jaguars of Yuruparí, Vaupés Province, Colombia’ (file no 01224, 2017-2018, US$25,000). The work stipulated by the contract related to this project was carried out in compliance with UNESCO’s regulations;

Paragraph 10(a): The project is local in scope and involves very well-structured cooperation between the associations representing local communities and the Ministry of Culture and local authorities. It also involves a variety of partners from the private and social sectors;

Paragraph 10(b): The project may have a multiplier effect as the conflict resolution methodology and tools based on community integration through the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage will be adaptable and replicable in other processes of reintegration in the country. In addition, it is expected that the group of ‘heritage lookouts’ will develop safeguarding projects that will possibly be funded by the Ministry of Culture. Moreover, the involvement of different governmental and non-governmental partners outside the culture sector in the project may stimulate financial and technical contributions from national authorities as well as organizations working in the field of peacebuilding and reintegration, for instance the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia;

  1. Approves the International Assistance request from Colombia for the project entitled Intangible Cultural Heritage as a basis for resilience, reconciliation and the construction of peace environments in Colombia’s post-agreements and grants the amount of US$99,400 to the State Party to this end;
  2. Commends the State Party for its initiative in submitting an emergency request and notes with appreciation its commitment to fostering the reintegration of ex-combatants through the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, thereby consolidating reconciliation, peace and social cohesion among the communities, in accordance with the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
  3. Encourages the State Party to implement the project in cooperation with UNESCO and relevant peacebuilding actors present on site;
  4. 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 detailed work plan of the activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund is specific enough to provide a sufficient justification of the expenditures;
  5. Invites the State Party to use Form ICH-04 Report when reporting on the use of the assistance provided.