Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 8.COM 7.C.1

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Pakistan has requested International Assistance in the amount of US$90,590 for Safeguarding of the ibex dance and song of Pakistan (No. 00554) :

The ibex dance and song enacts a hunting scene, when young men dressed as snow leopards try to hunt others dressed as ibex while villagers arrive playing drums and waving big sticks to save their livestock. These festivities provide opportunities for inhabitants of the Hushey valley in the mountainous Ghanche district of Baltistan to recall the importance of the integrity of the ecosystem on which their communities depend. Undertaken by the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa), the project aims at revitalizing the practice and its transmission to younger generations, mainly by creating an institutional and economic environment that regulates and perpetuates them while generating income for the practitioners. Key activities planned include training of young artists and unemployed youth and professional training for more established artists. Once professionally trained, young artists would gradually perform on regional and national stages. A resource centre would also be established to store audio-visual recordings of ibex dance and song performances and display a collection of associated objects such as clothing and musical instruments. Studies would also be developed on the socio-cultural roots of this performing art and on its commercial potential.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting International Assistance given in paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives

A.1:   In the absence of an adequate identification of the community concerned or an explanation of the representativeness of the local organizations responsible for implementing the proposed project, the widest possible involvement of the community in the preparation of the request and in the design of the proposed activities is not demonstrated; the relation of practitioners to their own intangible cultural heritage and attention to their own modes of transmission are neglected in favour of formalized instruction by professionals from outside the community;

A.2:   In the absence of sufficiently detailed descriptions of planned activities and imprecision in units and unit costs, the amount requested cannot be considered appropriate; the budget is not consistently presented and does not reflect all of the proposed activities;

A.3:   The proposed activities are not sufficiently described and the information provided does not permit assessing how the intended institutionalization of the ibex dance and song would effectively contribute to safeguarding the practice and its traditional modes of transmission; the feasibility of the proposed activities is challenged by the lack of community involvement in their design and by the inconsistencies between the activities described and those budgeted;

A.4:   Relying essentially on converting the dance to a professional staged form, the request does not demonstrate that the proposed activities will safeguard it, in the sense of the Convention, and instead raises questions about the risks of commercialization, decontextualization and distortion of meaning that deserve consideration;

A.5:   The State Party and a number of non-governmental organizations, development agencies and local bodies share the costs of the proposed activities;

A.6:   Capacity-building effects can be inferred but are not clearly demonstrated; the request does not explain how the creation of artistic groups or the establishment of a resource centre whose construction and operating costs are not included in the budget will enhance the capacities of the practitioners to effectively safeguard their intangible cultural heritage; furthermore, the request does not demonstrate how proposed documentation through audio-visual recordings will contribute to strengthening transmission and to ensuring the viability of the dance and song;

A.7:   The State Party received financial assistance in 2011 from the UNESCO/Norway Funds-in-Trust in support of a project entitled ‘Mapping of Cultural Assets in North-West Frontier Province’; the work stipulated by the contracts was successfully carried out by the institution responsible for implementing the project for which assistance is sought – the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) – and, following UNESCO’s regulations, the project was duly completed;

10(a): Although the scope of the project is local, the request implies cooperation with international non-governmental organizations;

10(b): The request depends on the cooperation of a substantial number of financial and technical contributors, thereby increasing its feasibility and implying the possibility of future support;

  1. Decides not to approve the request and invites the State Party to submit a revised request responding more fully to the criteria for selection and to the considerations noted in the present decision;
  2. Acknowledges the commitment of the State Party to revitalize an element of intangible cultural heritage in a particularly remote and isolated area of its territory;
  3. Welcomes the willingness of the State Party to mobilize a large number of local, national and international partners in favour of a safeguarding programme aimed at continuing intangible cultural heritage practices and transmitting them to future generations;
  4. Invites the State Party to provide a more complete and detailed description of the element to be safeguarded, describing its social and cultural functions and significance and defining project objectives that are proportional to the scope of the project;
  5. Encourages the State Party to ensure the widest possible participation of concerned communities in the preparation of the request and in the design and implementation of each activity for which assistance is sought;
  6. Further encourages the State Party to ensure strict coherency and consistency between the activities proposed, their timetable and their estimated costs, in particular by providing clear and detailed information;
  7. Further invites the State Party to reflect, in the spirit of the Operational Directives for the Implementation of the Convention, on the possible impacts of institutionalization and professionalization of the