Austria and Hungary join UNESCO's UAE-piloted international file on falconry
- United Arab Emirates: Saturday, December 08 - 2012 at 13:41
- PRESS RELEASE
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, has announced that Austria and Hungary have joined the international file on falconry, which the UAE initially presented to UNESCO.
The announcement was made during the last round of Paris meetings of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, held at UNESCO's headquarters; between 3-7 December 2012.
Delegations from 146 nations, all signatories to the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, were taking part in the meetings.
The UAE is piloting the international file on falconry and collaborates with a number of Arab and foreign nations, including Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Mongolia, Morocco, Qatar, the Republic of South Korea, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Spain and Syria.
HE Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), underlined the importance of inscribing elements of cultural heritage at UNESCO, particularly heritage elements that are shared by many nations.
"This bolsters the spirit of dialogue and co-operation in the cultural sector," Sheikh Sultan said.
"Falconry is a cornerstone of heritage in the UAE and the wider region, and safeguarding it is tantamount to preserving both national identity and human cultural heritage," he added.
TCA Abu Dhabi recently organised a workshop to discuss the inclusion of Austria and Hungary in the international file on falconry and to finalise necessary information and details regarding the tradition of falconry in the two countries. Various themes were reviewed and supporting documents were examined.
H.E. Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi, said the authority will its efforts to safeguard intangible cultural heritage and will continue to secure more members nations for the international file on falconry.
UNESCO has praised the file on falconry for its meticulousness and comprehensiveness, Mr Al Muhairi noted.
"In fact, the International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey has described it as the largest action to inscribe an element of intangible heritage in the history of UNESCO," he added.
UNESCO's committee of experts had also hailed the UAE's file on falconry as one of the best international files it has ever received, noting that an unprecedented amount of field work, scientific research and meticulous documentation went into its compilation.
The international media has widely covered the application process for the inscription of falconry in UNESCO's list of living human heritage. Press coverage focussed on falconry as living folklore shared by many nations, highlighting the role the UAE has played in bringing together countries that are interested in falconry. The media has also cited UNESCO as saying that the file should be a reference for further applications seeking inscription of intangible heritage elements.
Frank Bond, President of the International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey, has affirmed that the current success would not have been possible without the UAE's efforts.
"We must bow our heads in respect for the value given to heritage in the UAE, from the top leadership down to the local communities," Mr Bond said. "The falcon is not just a bird used for hunting here, it is an emblem that the state uses in its essential symbols, including its national currency and post stamps ... and as a logo for many heritage events and activities."
Patrick Morel, an official at the International Association for Falconry, said that "the late Sheikh Zayed was greatly admired around the world as one of the leading falconers who had a great influence on the world of falconry, at a time when we in the West were still at the beginning of the road".
Dieter Schramm, President in Honour of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation, commended the UAE's "decisive role" in achieving this remarkable success and providing a model for the preservation of human heritage shared among nations.
"Thanks to the UAE's world-renowned care for Arab heritage, values and identity, falconry has received the highest and best international recognition as a human cultural heritage," he noted.
Earlier, UNESCO announced that Al Sadu, a UAE traditional weaving handicraft, was inscribed in its list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity that requires urgent safeguarding.
The announcement was made in November 2011 during the 6th meeting of States Parties of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which was held in Bali, Indonesia.
Practiced by women in the rural regions of the UAE, Al Sadu is a weaving tradition that produces soft furniture accessories and textile decorations for camels and horses.
The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage convenes annually to evaluate entrant elements and decide whether UNESCO should accept the inscription of the cultural practices and expressions of intangible heritage - as proposed by the States Parties of the 2003 Convention - in one of its lists.
The list of intangible world heritage requiring urgent safeguarding is one of the most critical among those lists, as it includes elements of intangible heritage that are considered by the concerned communities and states as needing emergency safeguarding measures to ensure their transmission to future generations.
Inscription in this list galvanises a rally of international support and resources, which helps concerned countries roll out necessary safeguarding measures.
The emergency safeguarding committee has so far inscribed 27 elements from 15 nations in this list, whereas the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity includes 232 elements and expressions from 86 nations, which shows the great diversity of intangible heritage.
According to the UNESCO definition, intangible heritage is the living heritage of humanity. It includes all the expressions, customs and traditions inherited from forebears and handed down to descendents.
Intangible heritage is found in oral traditions, like storytelling, in performing arts, like traditional dance and music, in folklore and traditional crafts and trades, and in social customs and expressions and other living traditions.
The UAE delegation comprised H.E. Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi; Dr Nasser Ali Al Humairi, Director of TCA Abu Dhabi's Intangible Heritage Department; Mr Ahmed Al Dhanhani, Deputy Manager of Heritage and Art in the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development; Dr Ismail Al Fuheil, TCA Abu Dhabi's Intangible Heritage Advisor; and Dr Awad Ali Saleh, the authority's International Cultural Co-operation Adviser.
Articles in this section are primarily provided directly by the companies appearing or PR agencies which are solely responsible for the content. The companies concerned may use the above content on their respective web sites provided they link back to http://www.ameinfo.com
Any opinions, advice, statements, offers or other information expressed in this section of the AMEinfo.com Web site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of AME Info FZ LLC / 4C. AME Info FZ LLC / 4C is not responsible or liable for the content, accuracy or reliability of any material, advice, opinion or statement in this section of the AMEinfo.com Web site.