Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 5.COM 6.45

The Committee,

  1. Takes note that the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the Syrian Arab Republic have nominated falconry, a living human heritage for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, described as follows:

Falconry is the traditional activity of keeping and training falcons and other raptors to take quarry in its natural state. Originally a way of obtaining food, falconry is today identified with camaraderie and sharing rather than subsistence. Falconry is mainly found along migration flyways and corridors, and is practised by people of all ages, men and women, amateurs and professionals. Falconers develop a strong relationship and spiritual bond with their birds, and commitment is required to breed, train, handle and fly the falcons. Falconry is transmitted from generation to generation as a cultural tradition by a variety of means, including mentoring, learning within families, or formalized training in clubs. In Mongolia, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, for example, falconers take their children to the desert and train them to handle the bird and build a relationship of trust with it. While falconers come from different backgrounds, they share common values, traditions and practices such as the methods of training and caring for birds, the equipment used and the bonding between falconer and the bird, which are similar throughout the world. Falconry forms the basis of a wider cultural heritage, including traditional dress, food, songs, music, poetry and dance, all of which are sustained by the communities and clubs that practise it.

  1. Decides that, from the information provided in nomination file No. 00442, falconry, a living human heritage satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List, as follows:

R.1:   Falconry, recognized by its community members as part of their cultural heritage, is a social tradition respecting nature and the environment, passed on from generation to generation, and providing them a sense of belonging, continuity and identity;

R.2:   Its inscription on the Representative List could contribute to fostering cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue worldwide, thus enhancing visibility and awareness of intangible cultural heritage and its importance;

R.3:   Efforts already underway in many countries to safeguard falconry and ensure its transmission, focusing especially on apprenticeship, handicrafts and conservation of falcon species, are supplemented by planned measures to strengthen its viability and raise awareness both at national and international levels;

R.4:   Communities, associations and individuals concerned have participated in the elaboration of this nomination at all stages and have provided plentiful evidence of their free, prior and informed consent;

R.5:   Falconry is included on inventories of intangible cultural heritage in each of the submitting States.

  1. Inscribes falconry, a living human heritage on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.