An Indigenous woman weaves a traditional pattern (c) MDG-F Creative Industries Support Programme
Under the MDG-F Culture and Development Window, FAO, ILO, UNDP and UNESCO joined the Royal Government of Cambodia (Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts; Ministry of Commerce; Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) to design and implement the “Creative Industries Support Programme”. Designed to support the people of Cambodia to preserve and develop tangible and intangible cultural assets that are fair, diverse and dynamic while improving the position of women, this Joint UN-Government Programme was implemented from 2008 to 2011 in the north-eastern Cambodian provinces of Kompong Thom, Preah Vihear, Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri.
The $3.3 million, three-year programme funded by the Spanish Government, fostered cultural entrepreneurship at the grassroots level through close collaboration with local NGOs and business development service providers, forming and training more than 60 producer groups in handicrafts, jars and pottery, resin and performing arts. At the same time, national and provincial civil servants were trained in the field of UNESCO conventions, cultural centers were established and anthropological and linguistic research studies were undertaken to further promote Indigenous culture. At the root of the programme lays a strong belief that development can only be sustainable if it is participative and culturally sensitive.
Throughout its three years of implementation, the Creative Industries Support Programme was able to build the capacity of more than 800 craft-makers and artists (including 87% Indigenous people and 67% women) regarding traditional handicraft skills, financial literacy, business skills, natural resources management and market networks. More than 100 civil servants were provided training, two Indigenous cultural centers were established and scientific and technical assistance was provided with the aim of assisting to establish a future government-sponsored eco-global museum. The Joint Programme also assisted to secure the adoption of a Royal Decree on Living Human Treasures (which promotes official government recognition of a Masters programme in endangered cultural disciplines) and the release of four research publications and two CDs of traditional Indigenous music.
A handicraft producer group supported by the programme (c) MDG-F Creative Industries Support Programme