無形文化遺産の保護に関する第10回政府間委員会における議論の概要と課題無形文化遺産の保護に関する第10回政府間委員会における議論の概要と課題 Topics of the Tenth Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Issues Raised through Discussions
The tenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was held from 30 November to 4 December, 2015 in Windhoek, Namibia. During the session, 23 elements of intangible cultural heritage were inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (Representative List). This year, there was no element nominated from Japan for inscription. The number of elements for discussion each year is limited to 50, and over-represented countries such as Japan could not have their nomination files evaluated even though they were submitted. From this session, a single body named the Evaluation Body evaluated the nominations to the Urgent Safeguarding List and the Representative List, proposals to the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices, and requests for International Assistance greater than US$25,000 instead of the former Subsidiary Body and Consultative Body. Because the body is comprised of experts from the States Parties other than the Committee Members and accredited NGOs, credibility and transparency of the evaluation process of the files seemed to have improved from those of the former Subsidiary Body whose members were chosen from the Committee Members. The Evaluation Body reported that it could evaluate the files of all mechanisms with the same standard. The re-defined referral and not-to-inscribe options were also applied for the first time to the evaluation of nomination files to the Representative List. There was only one element recommended ‘not to be inscribed’ on the List; in contrast the number of the files recommended to be referred back to the States Parties was increased from 6 at the last session to 15. As for the quality of the nomination files, the Evaluation Body pointed out that sometimes information was missing, incorrect, or misplaced. The body also suggested that the Secretariat provide a guideline for establishing inventories of intangible cultural heritage. There were opinions at the Committee that it is difficult to compile a manual on how to develop inventories since the cultural contexts of the States Parties vary. However, the author considers that there are some attributes essential for an inventory, such as the name of the element, place or communities to practice the element. On the other hand, classification that is understandable internationally should be developed, considering the characteristics of the elements practiced in the different context of each State Party. The author thinks that this kind of classification should be made by experts who are highly knowledgeable about intangible cultural heritage and that such exercise could be a good item of international support by Japanese experts.