For two days, on 18 and 19 June, the sub-regional conference on the Initiative for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) was held in Bishkek in order to improve the quality of cultural education in Central Asia. The conference was organized by National Commission of the Kyrgyz Republic for UNESCO and the UNESCO Office in Almaty.
We attended this two-day conference which included presentations and discussions on existing case-studies and pilot project experiences in Central Asia, establishing priorities for the safeguarding of ICH, promotion and integration of ICH into SDGs, as well as integration of ICH into the formal and non-formal education system.
Many educational and cultural experts and representatives from various domains participated at this conference, such as school principals and professors in the field of ICH from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as representatives from the UNESCO Secretariat, the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty and in Tashkent, and National Commission of the Kyrgyz Republic for UNESCO. Many presented their studies and findings from their past and on-going projects, research and initiatives related to ICH, and the participants actively and passionately exchanged their visions, opinions and ideas to fabricate further action plans to promote integration of the intangible cultural heritage lessons in the educational system in the region. At the end of the conference, they developed a list of recommendations for stakeholders and decision makers for future policy making.