You are here


Asia and the Pacific Chapter of the 2003 Convention’s Global Network of Facilitators strengthened with 18 new members recruited (12-17 October 2023)

6 November 2023


As the Global Network of Facilitators of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) expands to address emerging demands and priorities across the globe, 18 experts from 12 countries have been selected for the Asia and the Pacific Chapter. From 12-17 October 2023, the newly recruited members went through an ‘initiation’ by participating at the Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop, organized by UNESCO and CRIHAP. Hosted by Chengdu Municipality Government under the framework of the 8th Chengdu ICH Festival, the ToT was meant to serve as an occasion for new network members to deepen their knowledge and expertise concerning ICH safeguarding, to build rapport and explore collaboration opportunities. 


TOT participants at the closing ceremony © CRIHAP


At the opening ceremony, Mr. Zhang Jing, Deputy Director-General of CRIHAP, emphasized CRIHAP’s commitment to aligning with UNESCO’s global capacity-building strategy, enhancing the capabilities of trainers in living heritage and contributing to the advancement of ICH safeguarding in the Asia-Pacific region. Ms. Duong Bich Hanh, Programme Specialist for Culture of UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office for East Asia underscored that the successful implementation of UNESCO’s global capacity-building strategy heavily relies on the global network of facilitators and welcomed new facilitators to the family.


‘Where I come from and where you can find my ICH’ ice-breaking activity © CRIHAP


The five-day intensive program was led by Linina Phuttitarn, a global network’s member since 2018. In order to provide new facilitators with opportunities to strengthen their facilitation skills, most sessions were delivered as a co-creation between the lead trainer and one or more incoming facilitators. A series of presentations, panel discussions and group works took place to equip the new facilitators with 2003 Convention’s key concepts, principles and latest developments, debate on important thematic topics linking ICH safeguarding and education, economic development, rural-urban connection, etc. Fun activities and the use of digital tools helped participants to stay engaged and active throughout the workshop. 


Exploring one another’s ICH © CRIHAP


Workshop participants used very positive words to describe their impression about the workshop, such as ‘unforgettable’, ‘joyful’, ‘well-conceived and implemented’, ‘interactive’ and ‘inspirational’. A number of key takeaways was also shared during the workshop and through the post-workshop survey. 

First and foremost, the participants appreciated the opportunities to engage in thought-provoking discussions about the significance of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. The lead facilitator Ms. Linina Phuttitarn commented, ‘together, we delved into a wide range of concepts and principles, and we shared our diverse experiences related to the safeguarding of living heritage. Through this co-creation approach that encouraged an empathic peer support system, we have established a new ground to collaborate and share ideas for our future capacity training programs’. Ms. Anna Yau from Hong Kong SAR, China echoed, ‘the workshop does not only equip us with the knowledge of the convention, but also think deeply about some critical issues’.


Developing a workshop plan as a group assignment © CRIHAP


Participants also appreciated the opportunities to share their personal experiences and strategies on how to document, promote, and transmit various aspects of their cultural heritage. The exchange of ideas enriched the collective understanding of these practices. Ms. Ng Xin Yi from Malaysia appreciated the fact that ‘the participants are passionate and willing to share’, while Ms. Gunjan Joshi from India recapped that ‘the workshop was a beautiful experience of learning and sharing altogether!’.

Participants seized the opportunity to establish connections and partnerships that will stay for the years to come. Ms. Maria Gulraize Khan ‘felt like having a support group in place’ while Ms. Mina Mmidzadeh from Iran appreciated the good opportunity to ‘get to know each other for further networking and cooperation which is a very important factor to fulfill the aims of establishing the global network of facilitators’. Colleagues from the 2003 Convention Secretariat, 6 UNESCO Field Offices and 3 Category 2 Centers on ICH safeguarding in Asia and the Pacific – CRIHAP, ICHCAP and IRCI – also attended the workshop and engaged in discussions with facilitators on future activities.


Learning bamboo weaving from a master © CRIHAP


The workshop integrated an on-site investigation to Dao Ming Bamboo Village, Chongzhou City, where the participants observed and communicated with local communities on their bamboo weaving techniques, target customers, the business models and marketing. All participants also had an opportunity to witness a great diversity of our world’s living heritage presented at the opening ceremony of the 8th Chengdu International ICH Festival. They were also introduced to China’s legal framework and safeguarding practices through participating in the Forum ‘Retrospection and Prospection of the 20 years implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage’, organized by CRIHAP.


Fun time during the field trip © CRIHAP