- Recalling Article 23 of the Convention as well as Chapter I.4 of the Operational Directives relating to the eligibility and criteria of International Assistance requests,
- Having examined document LHE/21/16.COM/8.d as well as International Assistance request no. 01500 submitted by Mongolia,
- Takes note that Mongolia has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Sustaining and transmitting Mongol biyelgee:
The purpose of this three-year project is to assess and enhance the viability of Mongol biyelgee and to transfer the element from the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. To be implemented by the Institute of Culture and Arts Study of the Mongolian State University of Arts and Culture, the project involves conducting field research in several provinces to assess and inventory the knowledge, practices and bearers associated with this traditional Mongolian folk dance. Other activities include developing a handout with the results of the field research, providing apprenticeship training in seven regions, conducting an awareness-raising seminar for cultural staff in the country, and creating a documentary film. The project also entails developing additional digital and print content and coordinating a research conference and a Biyelgee folk dance festival. The safeguarding measures were elaborated with the participation of biyelgee practitioners, local communities, including youth, women and cultural workers, and other related stakeholders. In addition to improving the viability of the element and increasing the number of bearers and trainers, the project is expected to increase the capacities of local actors to safeguard intangible cultural heritage in general.
- Further takes note that this assistance is to support a project implemented at the national level, in accordance with Article 20 (c) of the Convention, and that it takes the form of the provision of a grant, pursuant to Article 21 (g) of the Convention;
- Also takes note that Mongolia has requested assistance in the amount of US$172,095 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
- Considers that, on the basis of the information included in the file and the information provided by the submitting State through the dialogue process, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting International Assistance given in paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:
A.1: There was wide involvement of the communities, groups and individuals concerned during the preparation of the nomination during field studies as well as by providing insights and recommendations. Their views were documented using audio-visual recordings. These communities, groups and individuals will also be involved in the implementation of the project, including in the apprenticeship, the research conference and data collection.
A.2: Given the scale of the work to be undertaken, the proposed budget is appropriate. Costs associated with field work, the apprenticeship program and publication appear to be proportionately aligned. The State Party may consider the allocation of an honorarium for the practitioners and apprentices during the research conference.
A.3: The plan includes a range of objectives and corresponding activities which are relevant and well-conceived. The main objectives of this project are to conduct an assessment on the viability of the element, to transfer it from the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and to sustain its viability through apprenticeship training, regional seminars, a national research conference, a folk dance festival, publications and audio-visual materials. The programme is altogether feasible, although it is difficult to determine whether the first objective can be achieved.
A.4: The file demonstrates that the effect of the project will extend beyond the project duration, such as by stabilizing the practice of biyelgee and its transmission to the younger generations. The establishment of a national system for safeguarding and promoting the element will also ensure that the programme has long-lasting effects. The archiving of the data in public databases is an important result of this project, as future practitioners will be able to access information about the element. The dissemination activities planned will also have long-lasting impacts.
A.5: The file demonstrates that the State will be sharing the costs of the project activities. The State Party plans to contribute US$46,710 in addition to the US$172,095 requested through the fund. This planned contribution exceeds one quarter of the total budget. This shows the State’s commitment to implement the safeguarding activities.
A.6: The request states that the capacity of cultural officers will be increased and improved by onsite and real-time experience on identifying and registering the element, documenting the repertoire with photo and audio-visual recordings, and improving the national database with variations of the element and information about its practitioners. The file also explains that this project will increase the capacities of implementing organizations (such as of the National Council for the Protection of Cultural Expressions, the Institute of Culture and Arts Study of the Mongolian State University of Arts and Culture and the National Centre for Cultural Heritage) to safeguard this element in particular and intangible cultural heritage in general.
A.7: The State Party benefited from International Assistance from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the projects ‘Transmitting and stabilizing the folk long song performance technique of Limbe performers - circular breathing - through the old repertoire to the new generations’ (2018; US$99,946) and ‘Supporting natural and cultural sustainability through the revitalization and transmission of the traditional practices of worshipping the sacred sites in Mongolia’ (2018; US$98,500). Both projects were carried out in compliance with UNESCO regulations and were successfully completed.
Paragraph 10(a): The file makes the case that the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO will coordinate with the UNESCO office in Beijing through professional and methodological consulting on the project implementation as well as through participation of an international intangible cultural heritage expert during the research conference.
Paragraph 10(b): The project implementation will involve the active participation of national and local authorities and stakeholders. The participation of academic institutions and of governmental and non-governmental organizations will reinforce the ownership of the project and the sustainability of its results. As a result of the project, the government organizations and media will pay greater attention to the activities of the element as well as to intangible cultural heritage in general. This will lead to increased awareness among the general public and improved capacity of related non-governmental organizations.
- Decides to approve the International Assistance request from Mongolia for the project entitled Sustaining and transmitting Mongol biyelgee and grants the amount of US$172,095 to the State Party to this end;
- Invites the State Party to use Form ICH-04-Report to report on the use of the assistance granted.