Engaging Youth in Cultural Rights and Conservation

The Engaging Youth in Cultural Rights and Conservation program addresses the specific theme of Social Inclusion through the framework of equity for rural and remote indigenous young people in terms of their cultural rights. This program is designed to support a range of activities that Further Arts works on in collaboration with Canal Studio. For example, the Traditional Entertainment and Kastom Support (TEKS) Unit in Santo, Vanuatu, aims to build a strong foundation to undertake its key activities in the field of traditional knowledge and wisdom transfer, and cultural development.  TEKS Unit is a grassroots indigenous-led movement of Further Arts working alongside the Lukaotem Gud Santo Festival (LGSF) in Luganville, Santo, the second largest music and cultural festival in Vanuatu, as a creative hub for cultural promotion and development.  TEKS was set up after the 2011 edition of LGSF due to the clear need to provide more support to kastom performance groups.  It has received seed funding and administrative support from Further Arts since early 2012.  TEKS Unit uses alternative locally-based approaches to cultural resource management through the promotion and preservation of important traditional wisdom practices including dances, music, songs, and stories, and connecting these with contemporary music and dance; and traditional artistic creations such as carving, weaving, painting, drawing and fabric art.

Check out the introductory video clip that explains a bit about the project here: Project Introduction Clip

Further Arts Team 061

We are pleased to announce that this program was selected by the UNESCO Youth Forum to be presented at the UNESCO General Conference held in Paris last November.

For the first time in its 12-year history, the outcomes of the 8th Youth Forum were presented to the 37th session of the General Conference (5-20 November 2013). They included, besides strategic recommendations, 15 youth-led action projects (3 projects per each of the 5 UNESCO regions). The Further Arts project was selected as one of only three projects from the entire Asia Pacific region. There were more than 1500 projects submitted for consideration. The first stage was pre-selection and shortlisting of 45 projects (9 projects per region) by an International independent jury composed of youth and experts in the relevant fields. Then there was a process of examination and debate on the 45 projects during the Forum to select 15 projects (3 per region) that received the “8th UNESCO Youth Forum Label”.


The 15 action projects have been selected by the young Forum delegates and have received the “8th UNESCO Youth Forum Label”. The label is a guarantee of quality and excellence of the projects, which will have to be in line with UNESCO’s priorities. It will provide their initiators with opportunities to mobilize funds, partnerships and international visibility, also recognizing grass-roots action and engagement by young women and men across the world. More concretely, the label will be the starting point of the projects implementation process over a period of up to two years, thereby constituting a key outcome for the Forum’s follow-up.

The selected action projects propose innovative and feasible action for development, by and for youth, tackling youth-related issues. They contribute to the general theme of the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum, under which they address one of the following seven specific themes, stemming from the youth consultations conducted by UNESCO from February to April 2013:

1.     Social Inclusion

2.     Civic Engagement and Participation

3.     Intercultural Dialogue

4.     Social Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation

5.     Violence and Conflict Prevention, and Consolidation of Peace

6.     Democracy

7.     Skills Development

All action projects aim at promoting several fundamental principles that lie at the core of UNESCO’s mission, namely: human rights, gender equality, culture of peace and sustainable development.

You can read some further information and watch a video about this process here:


The youth leading the project have asked me about where we could find the support for the process of mobilising this project – because the “UNESCO Label” is only a label – it does not come with any cash. If you had any thoughts on potential donors and investors we would be interested to hear them.

We can also share with you the official version of the Outcome Document of the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum! This includes the recommendations identified by the youth participants of the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum as well as the final list of 15 projects (3 per region) that the Forum participants selected to receive the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum Label: Document

UNESCO has kept all 1,532 project proposals, which will constitute a “pool” of action projects and made available online, for partners and the public to consult, in case of interest.

In addition, we invite you to visit, consult and disseminate:

– The dedicated webpage with the 15 action projects that receive the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum label : http://www.unesco.org/new/en/youth-forum-2013/participate/youth-led-projects/15-youth-led-action-projects/

– The press release on the results of the Forum: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/8th_unesco_youth_forum_let_the_worlds_youth_speak_out/back/9597/

– The webpage with the 45 shortlisted projects: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/youth-forum-2013/participate/youth-led-projects/short-list-of-45-action-projects/

The Outcome Document of the Forum is submitted to the 37th session of UNESCO’s General Conference (5-20 November 2013) as a main series documents, available in all six official languages of UNESCO. Until the 16th of November, five youth delegates (who are in Paris during the General Conference) will be presenting the Forum’s conclusions in the five different programmatic commissions of the General Conference.

Some of the specific youth and cultural rights activities that we are engaging in through this program are:

Mini Arts Festivals – funded by The Christensen Fund
Listen to Further Arts Artistic Director Marcel Meltherorong talking about this project here.
Reconnecting with traditional music in Vanuatu

Tatem Rop Wetem Manples – funded by the Pacific Development and Conservation Trust

Songs and Stories of Biodiversity – funded by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund

This project is supported by Ethos Global FoundationEGF


Using arts and culture for social transformation