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How this complementary approaches has been prepared


To elaborate this complementary approaches we have worked to identify the common elements of heritage, which tell the same story, across the UNESCO programs in each country with the help of experts in Asian Cultural Heritage. 

We have carefully studied the features of the every entry looking for the links between the different programs. Frequently, knowledge or practices (ICH) can happen to be reported in documents (MOW); or practice of expressions (ICH) can be developed in a particular site (WCH) in a particular moment of history; or a monument (WCH) can be described in or can contain a document (MOW). There can be several different cases in which the programs are involved in the same issue. In those cases a common methodology could increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the further actions.  

In this example the Jongmyo Shrine dedicated to the Choson dynasty is the World Heritage building where the Royal Ancestral Ritual and its music takes place - the Intangible Cultural heritage, tradition. These ceremonies and other rites of the royal family are described in the "Uigwe", a collection of Royal Protocols registered as documentary heritage which is included in Memory of the World program.







Jongmyo Shrine
The royal ancestral shrine of the Joseon dynasty C

The Royal Ancestral Ritual in the Jongmyo Shrine and its Music
A unique example of a Confucian ritual dedicated to the ancestors of the Joseon dynasty R

Uigwe: The Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty
A collection of Royal Protocols of the over 500 year-long Joseon Dynasty


The heritages depict different aspects of the same story, ergo the Joseon dynasty. The MOW item contains the historical recordings of the rituals and ceremonies of the Joseon dynasty. The Palace is the place where the dynasty ruled the country and reflects the dynasty’s aesthetic tastes. Finally, the ICH is a ritual dedicated to the ancestors of this dynasty and it is currently organized by its descendants



Another example can be the Forbidden City in Beijing (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Confidential Records of the Qing’s Grand Secretariat (Memory of the World document). The MOW document tells many events in the Chinese history during the first five centuries of the Forbidden City’s existence. Also the Great Barrier Reef (World Heritage Site) and the Endeavour Journal of James Cook (Memory of the World document). The MOW document in fact is one of the first written records of the peoples and flora and fauna of the South Seas. It may be considered also the native Australian culture, if it was an Intangible heritage.

In these cases the Programs tell the same story. Therefore it is worth thinking about coordination in actions. Coordination would still mean autonomous preservation programs but also some initiatives, at the informational level as well as at the access one, in which the programs can strengthen each other. 

So it may be worth to select these cases of “common” heritage. We could think at this identification stage as the precondition to reach a further coordination at the implementation level.


SH - Shared Heritage by different countries


N - Natural properties
C - Cultural properties
NC - Mixed properties (Natural & Cultural)
D WH in Danger 


R - Representative list of ICH
U - ICH in need of urgent safeguarding
B – Programmes, projects and activities for the safeguarding of ICH considered to reflect the principles and objectives of the convention