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Intangible Cultural Heritage within the Laws and Policies of South Pacific Small Island States in the Climate Crisis

Kristin Hausler, Alina Holzhausen and Berenika Drazewska have completed a major research project, jointly with Professor Petra Butler, Victoria University of Wellington and Director of the Institute of Small and Micro States (ISMS) and BIICL Honorary fellow, and Eva U Wagner, Senior Programme Coordinator Rule of Law and Development Policy, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS). The project focused on strengthening climate resilience through the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) within the laws and policies of Pacific small island States.

Intangible cultural heritage is recognised as a tool to support climate change mitigation and adaptation. It can also strengthen the resilience of communities, thereby promoting stability and the rule of law. Therefore, the project undertook a multi-level analysis of the frameworks relevant to its protection in selected Pacific Island States. Applying a human rights lens, it analysed the laws and policies pertaining to cultural heritage, climate change and the environment, as well as disasters, in order to examine the adequacy of the existing applicable frameworks and provide recommendations. The research also included stakeholders' interviews from the region. As the Pacific is at the forefront of the fight against climate change, it is hoped that lessons can be learned from the ways their laws and policies have integrated heritage thus far.

The final report is available for download here.

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