Decisión de la Mesa: 11.COM 1.BUR 1.2

The Bureau,

  1. Recalling Chapter V of the Convention and Chapter I of the Operational Directives,
  2. Having examined Document ITH/16/11.COM 1.BUR/1, as well as the international assistance request No. 01121,
  3. Takes note that Fiji has requested international assistance for a project entitled ‘Safeguarding the knowledge systems associated with Traditional Fijian (iTaukei) house (Bure) construction methods in Navala village, Fiji’:

The art, oral traditions, cultural and historical proponents of constructing traditional houses by indigenous people of Fiji are gradually disappearing. The proposed project will be undertaken at Navala village in the upper Ba watershed, located in the Western Province of Fiji and will aim to sustain knowledge associated with traditional bures (houses) through the reconstruction and rehabilitation of bures in Navala village. Similarly, it is envisaged that the current traditional housing landscape of the village of Navala will be safeguarded through a cultural mapping process, revival of oral traditions and strengthening of related knowledge about the use of environmental resources. The sharing and revitalizing of architectural knowledge is expected to have a ripple effect in strengthening the iTaukei people’s worldview, including indigenous ecological and ancestral knowledge and epistemology of Vanua based on the holistic interconnectedness of human beings and their environment. The project intends to strengthen the capacities of iTaukei people in watershed management, improve their wellbeing, promote the continuation of traditional lifestyles by encouraging the planting of native tree species used for constructing the bures, as well as reviving food crops and vegetables using demo-plots. Coordinated by the Centre for Sustainable Technology and Development of the Fiji National University, project implementation on the ground will be ensured by the Navala Village Development Committee.

  1. Further takes note that this assistance concerns support for a project carried out at local level aimed at safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in accordance with Article 20 (c) of the Convention, and that it takes the form of the granting of a donation in line with Article 21 (g) of the Convention;
  2. Also takes note that Fiji requested an allocation of US$25,000 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for implementation of the project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01121, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting international assistance given in paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:
Criterion A.1: Although the request does not specify whether the communities of Navala village and upper Ba province participated in its preparation, their involvement in implementation and evaluation of the proposed project is demonstrated throughout the request; community members are currently involved in similar ongoing projects carried out by the Fiji National University and the Department of National Heritage, Culture and Arts; the present project plans to actively involve, in all its activities, the different generations of Navala villagers with a key role reserved for the elders in bure construction, rehabilitation and transmission of skills and a local partner for the implementation of all activities on the ground, namely the Navala Village Development Committee.

Criterion A.2: Although the request includes a detailed budget covering all activities planned under the project demonstrating the appropriateness of the requested amount, the presentation of the budget does not allow easy visualization of costs by activity; it is also not easy to distinguish between activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund and those to be financed with resources from the requesting State or other sources.

Criterion A.3: The request is clearly structured and includes a series of activities that are well-conceived and presented in a logical sequence from preliminary consultations with the Navala community and neighbouring villages of the Ba district, fieldwork and data collection to the development of a series of project products; coherence between planned activities and proposed budget and timetable is a determining factor for the feasibility of the project.

Criterion A.4: The project’s long-term results such as restoring and reconstructing bures or safeguarding traditional beliefs, historical place-based knowledge, artistic and literary works, songs and oral narratives, will be self-replicating; falling within local management plans and incorporating the holistic concept of Vanua, the project activities are expected to create their own synergies, encourage participatory encouragement of both elders and youth of the Navala community and inspire other youth in upper Ba to safeguard knowledge systems for future generations.

Criterion A.5: Fifteen per cent of the total budget of the project for which international assistance is requested will be covered by the State Party and the project partners.

Criterion A.6: Community engagement and building capacity are key components of the project; involving members of the village, district and province in rehabilitation and reconstruction of bures in Navala village, as well as in cultural mapping, will ensure capacity building towards preserving landscapes and safeguarding oral histories and traditional ecological knowledge; capacity of children and youth will be also improved by working alongside elders, building bures and assimilating what they learn of the iTaukei way of life.

Criterion A.7: Fiji has never implemented activities financed by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.

Paragraph 10(a): The project is local in scope and will involve implementation by national and local implementing partners.

Paragraph 10(b): While the request specifies certain effects that may result from the project (income-generation for community members, integration of environmental programmes into school curricula, improved watershed management or expanding fields of research to other traditional science applications), it does not explain how these could be used to stimulate financial or technical contributions from other sources other than the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.

  1. Decides to approve the international assistance request from Fiji for a project entitled ‘Safeguarding the knowledge systems associated with Traditional Fijian (iTaukei) house (Bure) construction methods in Navala village, Fiji’ and to grant an amount of US$25,000 to the State Party to this end;
  2. Reminds the State Party that the Operational Directives for the Implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage do not provide support for the preparation of a nomination file to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity or of the related documentation, and that such an activity, or any cost associated with it, cannot be included in the contract to be established between UNESCO and the implementing agency designated by the State;
  3. Requests the Secretariat to reach an agreement with the requesting State Party on technical details of the assistance, paying particular attention to the detailed budget and timetable of activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund;
  4. Invites the State Party to use the ICH-04-Report Form when reporting on the use of assistance provided.