Intangible cultural heritage (ICH) may not be palpable, yet it is broad reaching while spanning cultures and has been handed down throughout the history of humankind. It is also the living heritage that represents diverse cultural expressions and has been the mainspring of community identity and community spirit throughout humanity.
Despite this significant value, ICH has encountered transformation and disappearance due to rapid urbanisation, industrialisation as well as globalisation. Recognising these circumstances, various efforts are being made to safeguard intangible cultural heritage based on the mandate of UNESCO. Within this context, the approval of the International Information and Networking Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region under the auspices of UNESCO to be established in the Republic of Korea holds great significance in its timeliness.
This publication consists of the presentations and discussions from the International Conference on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage: How to Apply Information and Networking organised by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific in November 2009. It is my hope that this will serve as a foundation for the activities of the new category 2 centre and provide a valuable resource related to the international issues within the field of ICH.