Opening seminar ICH 9/07

The contribution of intangible cultural heritage to sustainable development


Unescocat and the Ministry of Culture of the Catalan Government organize a symposium to discuss the mutual benefits of the intangible expressions of culture and sustainable human development.

The Catalan Minister of Culture, Ferran Mascarell, the honorary president of the UNESCO Centre of Catalonia, Felix Martí, and the Director General of Popular and Traditional Culture, Lluís Puig, inaugurated on 9 July the symposium organized by the UNESCO Centre of Catalonia - Unescocat and the Ministry of Culture of the Generalitat of Catalonia, at the new premises of the Film Archive of Catalonia, to discuss on the contribution of living traditions and expressions (such as arts performances, social practices, rituals, the festivities, or the knowledge, techniques and practices concerning nature, the universe or crafts) to sustainable development, understood not only as an economic development that respects natural resources, but also the human development that improves living conditions of people and social and territorial cohesion.

The opening session was followed by the keynote address by head of the Intangible Heritage Section of UNESCO,
Cécile Duvelle, and the presentation of the National Plan for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.

The program will continue until July 10 with round tables and presentations of experiences along the three axes of sustainable development, namely social development, natural development and economic development. Three international experts will guide and enrich the discussions. The experiences presented are aimed to discover the added value of the Castells (human towers), of the Fallas festival in the Pyrenees, of traditional fishing in the Medes Islands, or the he palm craft, among many others. It will also be an opportunity to rediscover the Inventory of intangible cultural heritage of Montseny, a recent project of the UNESCO Centre of Catalonia.

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