Integration and Safeguarding of ICH & Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Educational Approaches in Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga

Dates of implementation
01/01/2023 - 01/01/2024
Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu


  • Develop contextualized training resources to support learning with intangible cultural heritage in schools.
  • Provide DRR training incorporating ICH safeguarding developed for schools contributing to increased awareness around the link of DRR and ICH.
  • Up-skill the teachers to introduce ICH in their educational curricula and enhance education quality.
  • Ensure that students are better connected to their living heritage and are part of communities’ actions to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies.

The impacts of natural disasters are posing a major threat to the transmission, viability, and safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Pacific. Some of the countries most affected according to the World Risk Index 2022 are Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu.

The connection between ICH and education is not yet fully enabled in the Pacific, thus an important way to ensure the safeguarding and transmission of ICH in the region still remains untapped.

This project initiated by UNESCO proposes to apply the existing training materials from recent projects in the Asia-Pacific region to be used by educators, teachers and schoolchildren:

  • “Teaching and Learning with Intangible Cultural Heritage in Asia and the Pacific” animated video series
  • Online course “Bringing Living Heritage to the Classroom in Asia-Pacific
  • Including an animated video series and an online course on the resource materials will be further adapted to the context of the Pacific, with translations into Fijian, Tongan and Bislama vernaculars.

New Modules on DDR and ICH

New modules would be added that will further support the resource kits with segments developed to emphasize the importance of ICH for disaster risk preparedness and response. They will draw from the capacity-building approach and materials on ‘Basics in Disaster Risk Reduction and Intangible Cultural Heritage’ and ‘Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction into ICH Inventorying’ that aim to assist countries in rolling out the Operational principals and modalities for safeguarding ICH during emergencies.

Furthermore, these new modules will be informed by the outcomes of the community consultations in the three countries that will be carried out in the frame of the “Capacity building for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in emergencies in Small Island Developing States in the Pacific and the Caribbean” project.

The proposed resource kits will be applied through Training of Trainers (ToT) workshops and made available to relevant teacher training institutions in the three countries

Pilot Projects in Selected Schools

A limited number of pilot activities will be implemented in selected schools (9 schools from urban and rural districts will be identified) to assess the methodology with teachers and students. The activities will include the participation of disaster officers, wardens, culture officers and educators, as well as students and other relevant stakeholders.

Following the completion of the pilots in the selected schools, a workshop to discuss the lessons learnt and propose adjustments to the resource materials will be held. The materials would be revised accordingly and made available online as part of the resources for teachers.

Expected Project Outputs

  • Adapt and translate training materials to Pacific context and the Fijian, Tongan and Bislama vernaculars.
  • Develop new modules to be added to the training resources on ICH and DRR Training of Trainers workshops (ToT) that will guide teachers in applying this knowledge in their teaching curricula to engage students in learning with ICH.
  • Pilot projects to test the methodology in 9 selected schools in Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu.
  • Share lessons learned from the pilots and propose adjustments through a joint workshop with relevant stakeholders.


Since Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu are some of the most affected countries for natural disasters in the Pacific, DRR trainings are crucial for these countries. Through this project, by incorporating ICH safeguarding in the trainings developed for schools, increased awareness around the link of DRR and ICH would be achieved. This would also equip students to be more connected to their living heritage while also being part of communities’ actions to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies of any nature.

This one-of-a-kind project aims at harnessing the link between DDR, ICH and education to make impactful and new additions to curricula. This not only allows the future generation to value and learn from their living heritage, but prepares them to respond to natural risks or disasters.

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