Kaya eders with Heritage Minister at Kaya Giriama
© 2007 by National Museums of Kenya
2 March 2023

On the sidelines of the One Forest Summit, held in Libreville, Gabon, from 1 to 2 March 2023, the Secretary of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage is joining a panel on ‘Umbrella species of tropical forests and their link with the natural and cultural heritage of humanity’ alongside colleagues from the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme. The panel will highlight living heritage practices, beliefs and values that local communities have developed in relationship to umbrella species, referring to iconic endangered species whose conservation may also confer protection to a wide range of associated fauna and flora.

Many living heritage practices, knowledge systems and expressions are closely tied to the natural environment and demonstrate the close interrelationship between humans and nature. For instance, 56 elements inscribed on the Lists of the Convention are directly linked to forest ecosystems, showing how communities associate spiritual and cultural importance to nature, promoting values of custodianship, connectivity and respect towards the environment.

The event will bring together community representatives, scientists and policymakers to examine how the ecological, social and spiritual roles associated with these species may be safeguarded through the framework and mechanisms of the Convention.
For more information on UNESCO’s participation at the One Forest Summit in Gabon, see: https://www.unesco.org/fr/articles/pour-sauvegarder-les-especes-emblematiques-dafrique-tropicale-preservons-leur-rapport-etroit-avec.
Learn more about the links between living heritage and nature through the Dive into Intangible Cultural Heritage tool: https://ich.unesco.org/dive/biome/.