SYDNEY 02 9555 4000 | MELBOURNE 03 9388 0622 | BRISBANE 07 3667 8881 | PERTH 08 9381 5206
Nov 23, 2017 international
Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage

Project overview

  • Qualitative research across 5 countries
  • 2015 – 2016
  • Survey and interviews; Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam


  • IRCI, Sakai City Japan

In 2015-2016 working with the International Research Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific region (IRCI) we conducted interviews with government officials and NGOs across 5 countries regarding current and planned, legal and non-legal mechanisms for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (ICH).


This project informed prioritisation of research into methods of safeguarding ICH in the south-east Asian region. It allowed information sharing between those countries about effectiveness of mechanism and issues faced in implementing them. This information was not previously available in the public domain.

The Project

The project involved research in Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. The IRCI had previously developed an extensive questionnaire but the response to this had been variable. Field visits and interviews were conducted to gather the information needed. Importantly commonalities were identified and it became increasingly clear issues other than legislation, such as resourcing, were important factors in the success or failure of State parties in safeguarding ICH. Where legislation was implemented it was only successful when the resourcing needed to carry out commitments of the convention. A myriad of pre-existing non-legislative mechanisms were also revealed that worked towards the safeguarding of ICH.

Download the Project Sheet here