Objectives of the UNESCO Chair in Intangible Heritage

Development objectives (long term)

  • To establish a network of institutions in the two regions (the Mediterranean and Africa) for the sharing of solutions to problems connected to intangible heritage, particularly in the domain “traditional craftsmanship“ and its application to tangible heritage;
  • To facilitate the collaboration between internationally recognized researchers and the research team of the University of Évora, University of Cape Verde and Universidade Federal de Viçosa, as well as other institutions in the Mediterranean, Africa and Brazil;
  • To build up an attractive information and best practices exchange model for academic groups and researchers coming from Southern countries, under the motto ‘Researchers become learners’;
  • To promote and integrate systems of research, mobility, training, information and documentation activities in the fields of heritage, know-how, diversity, dialogue, development, memory, land management, cultural resources, taking into account all previous activities already developed on these topics in the Mediterranean, Africa and Brazil;
  • To encourage researchers to work together and think in a multidisciplinary manner;
  • To safeguard memories and identities of communities and groups by enhancing young researchers’ knowledge of the principles guiding the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage and the 1972 World Heritage Convention;
  • To support land management policies and heritage conservation, with a special focus on World Heritage sites;
  • To improve and disseminate good practices related to heritage conservation and sustainable development and help people to build up alternatives concerning cultural and social economic development;
  • To enhance the importance of some principles, such as social solidarity, and therefore helping to consolidate the social cohesion of communities by focusing simultaneously on tradition and innovation;
  • To help people to understand others perspectives and respect them.

Specific objectives (short term)

  • To increase mobility and the number of African and Mediterranean Masters, Ph.D. programs and dissertations regarding the way on “how to deal with traditional know-how and heritage issues” and “how to recover cultural identity – especially traditional know-how – of people living in the Mediterranean and African Countries”. This objective seeks to develop a framework for research and cooperation for researchers, where students can understand the advantages of being members of joint research teams and the use of new information and communication technologies;
  • To create and support a database of best practices regarding the application of intangible cultural heritage/traditional know-how to heritage conservation. This may also be used as a clearinghouse regarding the above-mentioned issues, where practitioners and researchers can share ideas and experiences.