Chapter 5 deals with the intangible aspects of cultural heritage and the notion of ‘intangible cultural heritage’ is introduced and defined and its significance for cultural communities and wider society considered, alongside the important related areas of traditional cultural expressions, traditional knowledge, and indigenous heritage. The history of UNESCO’s normative and operational activities in relation to intangible cultural heritage and the development of UNESCO’s 2003 Intangible Heritage Convention are presented, followed by an introduction to the treaty text and to the operation of the two international lists established by it. The potential for change and evolution in implementing approaches and measures that the flexible structure of this treaty, based on relatively broad provisions whose implementation is set out in detail by Operational Directives, is explored through two specific cases: the gender dynamics of safeguarding intangible heritage; and community participation in implementing the Convention.
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