The first phase of the MedLiHer project is dedicated to assessing national capacities for implementing the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in the four Mediterranean Partner States: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic*. Each country will assess its current situation with regard to existing safeguarding measures for intangible cultural heritage, as well as activities, programmes, and governmental and non governmental entities specialized in this field. The assessments are therefore based on Articles 11 to 15 of the Convention, which enumerate the measures that each State Party shall endeavour to take to safeguard its intangible cultural heritage and meet its obligations under the Convention.

Manufacturing carpets in El-Fekha, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
© Ministère du Tourisme, Liban

These assessments of the needs and priorities in each Partner State are essential for establishing safeguarding measures as recommended in the Convention and the Operational Directives. Specific activities (such as national and/or international projects) tailored to each situation and context can then be elaborated, as foreseen in the later phases of the MedLiHer project. Assessments will also allow identification and involvement of main institutions/organizations active in the field of intangible cultural heritage, and provision of detailed information for the database developed within the project web interface.

The UNESCO Intangible Heritage Section has prepared for the use of all participating States a background document to guide the assessments in their territory. This document is not only intended to support the research work, but also to contribute to the consistent exchange of information among the partners. It has also elaborated two data sheets aimed at facilitating systematized data-gathering on any institution/organization and on any programme, project and activity related to intangible cultural heritage. The collected information will be integrated into the database, with in particular a directory of experts, centres of expertise, research institutes and regional centres active in the areas covered by the Convention.

The national assessments are now being carried out in Mediterranean State Parties. The reports on the assessments were scheduled for March 2010.

Documents :

  • Background document to guide national assessments (English|French|Arabic)
  • Data sheet 1 - Governmental and non-governmental bodies specialized in the field of intangible cultural heritage (English|French|Arabic)
  • Data sheet 2 – Programmes, projects and activities in the field of intangible cultural heritage (English|French|Arabic)

*Given the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, the activities led in Syria in the project MedLiHer have been suspended since October 2011.