A National Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Community-Based Inventory Training Workshop is currently underway in Honiara following its official opening today at the National Archives.
The purpose of this training is to build capacity by training selected youths to create a pool of local national experts for Solomon Islands.
The development of this expertise will allow the rollout of an effective implementation program for the ICH Convention at the national level. This is aligned with the UNESCO global strategy for strengthening national capacities for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage at the national level.
The initiative is the first of three years of training for local people to be engaged in the national ICH program for the Solomon Islands supported by the Culture Division of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The training formatted to include lectures and hands-on practice facilitated by a local Facilitator from the Culture Division. The training will provide readings, assignments/tasks, mentoring and practical fieldwork pursued by participants to complete this training phase.
There will be 20 units emulating the global ICH Training curriculum structure. Lectures will include dwelling on case studies and exercises that are pertinent including question and answer sessions.
There are two type of cultural heritages worldwide, which include tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Tangible Heritage is items that can be touched such as artefacts, crafts and others while intangible heritage are items that cannot be touched that has cultural value such as dance, songs or traditional knowledge.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Director of the National Museum, Lawrence Kiko warned that Solomon Islands is at risk of losing much of its intangible heritage because of lack advocacy for cultural preservation in past years.
“These are important components that our society needs to preserve and we at time carelessly ignore the importance of preserving tangible and intangible heritages,” Kiko said.
He added that most young people that grow up in urban areas are at high risk of losing their cultural knowledge and are likely not to appreciate their ancestral knowledge on tangible and intangible heritages.
Kiko expressed appreciation to the UNESCO for taking serious steps to safeguard the cultural heritage of countries around the world including Solomon Islands.
Solomon Islands became a State Party to the ICH after rectifying the Convention in 2018 making it the 195 state to join the global convention. In the Pacific region, Solomon Islands is the 13th State to join.
Trainees in the workshop will be certified as qualified intangible cultural inventory or recorders for the country at the end of the programme on 28 October.