The first capacity building activity in Bhutan – a training workshop on the implementation of the 2003 Convention at the national level – was organized from 14-18 May 2012 in Paro, Bhutan, in partnership with the National Archive and Library of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, the government agency responsible for intangible cuiltural heritage. The 28 participants included culture officers from the 12 districts of Bhutan and representatives from the National Library and Archives, the Department of Culture, Folk Heritage Museum, the Institute of language and Cultural Studies and Helvetas, an NGO involved mapping ICH.
After Bhutan ratified the 2003 Convention in 2005, the Dramtse Ngacham (Dance of Drum of Dramtse) was proclaimed as one of UNESCO Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2005 and subsequently included in the Representative List of the 2003 Convention. It is currently preparing a preliminary survey and development of an inventory of ICH in partnership with the Intangible Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and Pacific (ICHCAP), the Category II Centre in Korea.
The implementation workshop, facilitated by UNESCO certified trainers, Ms. Shubha Chaudhuri and Ms. Paritta Chalermpow Koanantakool, will be be followed by a training workshop on the ICH inventoring in 2013.
As one of the eight beneficiary countries under the regional capacity building programme funded under UNESCO-Japan Funds In Trust, UNESCO’s intervention in Bhutan aims to strengthen the capacities of Bhutan to meet its national obligation to safeguard its intangible cultural heritage particularly in inventory-making and to enable Bhutan to have a sustainable framework for safeguarding ICH and in implementing the 2003 Convention.