Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 29, 2019 (SKNIS): Yuri Peshkov, Programme Specialist for Culture UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean, congratulated St. Kitts and Nevis on being the first in the English-speaking Caribbean to successfully apply and get support from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.
During the official launch of the St. Kitts-Nevis (SKN) intangible cultural heritage (ICH) UNESCO capacity building project on April 29, 2019, at NEMA Lime Kiln, Yuri Peshkov said that the fund will last two years and will enable St. Kitts and Nevis to advance and safeguard its precious living heritage.
Mr. Peshkov said that this mission of safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage is essential to the developmental process of a nation.
“UNESCO firmly believes that culture is essential to the development processes and is relevant to poverty reduction, education, gender, equality, empowerment of minority groups, sustainable economics, the environment and climate change” Yuri Peshkov said.
He went on to say that, “In the culturally rich and diverse Caribbean, placing culture at the heart of development, constitutes an essential investment in the future and precondition to successful development processes that take into account the principles of cultural diversity.”
He added that, “In this context, safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage … offers a unique opportunity to reconcile the economic and social aspects of development as cultural goods and services have identities, reference points, and values while enabling thousands of bearers, creators and professionals to make a living from their work.”
He claimed that by bolstering culture, this can help to strengthen local economies.
“Living heritage is also an important asset and driving force for economic development of communities, encompassing diverse range of activities of monetary and non-monetary value, which can help strengthen local economies in particular,” said Yuri Peshkov.
“The sustainable self-guarding of intangible cultural heritage in the Caribbean seats is very crucial particularly in identifying the traditional knowledge practices and strategies related to natural disasters and the effects of climate change as well as how these activities can be integrated into reducing disaster risks and adopting actions for climate change,” he said.
According to the Convention for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural, Paris 17 October 2003, the “intangible cultural heritage” means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills—as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated therewith—that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity. For the purposes of this Convention, consideration will be given solely to such intangible cultural heritage as is compatible with existing international human rights instruments, as well as with the requirements of mutual respect among communities, groups and individuals, and of sustainable development.”