Flanders Trust Fund

The Government of Flanders of the Kingdom of Belgium and UNESCO signed a partnership agreement in 1988, creating UNESCO/Flanders Trust Fund. The focus of the cooperation is capacity-building and the construction of a knowledge society.

In 2009, the Flemish Government began supporting the field of intangible cultural heritage by financing “a A series of pilot projects in community-based intangible heritage inventorying on a grassroots level in six selected countries in Sub-Saharan Africa” ($275,000 USD). In 2010 and beyond, the Flemish Government intends to strengthen its support for safeguarding intangible heritage by funding more capacity-building in Africa and the development of concepts and materials for a travelling exhibition on the theme of intangible heritage and sustainable development.

In April 2010, the Flemish Government contributed to the exhibition entitled ‘Recognizing Our Cultural Heritage: an American and Flemish Dialogue’

1 element(s)

Building capacities for community-based intangible cultural heritage inventorying in Southern Africa
15/20-02-2010Maseru (Lesotho)

Link for direct access 

The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage aims at safeguarding living heritage. Unlike tangible heritage that is conventionally managed by heritage experts (e.g., architects, archaeologists, and conservators), intangible cultural heritage requires a participatory approach to safeguarding involving various stakeholders, most important of whom are the communities concerned. Among the obligations of States Parties to the Convention, the one that is expressed in the strongest language is the duty to elaborate one or more inventories of the intangible heritage present on their territories with the participation of the communities concerned. An effective strategy to ensure the active participation of communities in the implementation of the Convention is to have them inventory their own heritage.

The Lesotho workshop is one of the activities of the capacity-building project aiming at strengthening community-based inventorying capacity. This initial training workshop in Lesotho will be followed by similar ones in Botswana, Malawi, Uganda, Swaziland, and Zambia. The workshop participants will then engage themselves in several months of fieldwork in each country separately. Follow-up sessions will be organized to evaluate the quality of exercises and improve methodologies.

The project is backed up by UNESCO Secretariat in Paris as well as the Culture programme staff in the cluster offices in Harare, Nairobi and Windhoek.

The workshop and the project are sponsored by the UNESCO/Flanders Trust Fund and organized in cooperation with the Lesotho UNESCO National Commission and the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture of Lesotho

Working Documents

  • Draft outline for inventorying elements in Lesotho: English|Sesotho
  • Participant List: English
  • Trainer’s manual: activity modules: English

Background Documents


  • Basic Challenges of Sustaining Intangible Cultural Heritage: English
  • Basic Challenges of Sustaining Intangible Cultural Heritage: Safeguarding ICH: English
  • Inventorying Intangible Cultural Heritage: Some Basic Considerations: English

Contact in the UNESCO Office in Windhoek: Mr Damir Dijakovic (d.dijakovic@unesco.org)