Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Mali’s endangered heritage gets $307,307 UNESCO support

Yesterday, a United Nations committee approved an emergency fund of $307,307, covering a two-year project to assist Mali in evaluaing the state of the country’s  intangible heritage.

According to a report posted on UN News Centre, the evaluation will take off  “with the northern regions that suffered the most from recent armed conflict and occupation”.

Sankore Mosque, Timbuktu, Mali. Photo: UNESCO/F. Bandarin

The report says the assistance was a decision reached by UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO)  Bureau of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage.

“The project will evaluate the state of intangible heritage – knowledge and practices related to nature, oral traditions, songs, rituals, festivals and traditional crafts – throughout the West African nation.
“During the first year, the project will cover the three northern regions of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu, along with Mopti in the east-central region. Northern Mali was occupied by radical Islamists after fighting broke out in January 2012 between Government forces and Tuareg rebels. 

“The conflict uprooted hundreds of thousands of people and prompted the Malian Government to request assistance from France to stop the military advance of extremist groups. Evaluations will be carried out in the rest of the country during the second year. 

“The project also includes workshops to strengthen capacities in inventory techniques and intangible heritage management methods that will benefit 190 people. In addition, two plays will be produced, along with a documentary film and a radio programme, to raise public awareness about intangible cultural heritage.

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