21 July 2021

PAC Cameroon to host conference linking documentary heritage preservation with peacebuilding, with support from UNESCO’s Participation Programme

IFLA’s Preservation and Conservation (PAC) Centre hosted at the International Center for Research and Documentation on African Languages and Traditions (CERDOTOLA) will deliver an international conference on the topic, “Conservation and preservation of documentary heritage in Central Africa: pillars of reconciliation and peacebuilding”.

This programme was accepted for funding from UNESCO’s Participation Programme 2020-2021, through cooperation with IFLA. We are honoured to have the opportunity to further align the work of library and documentary heritage professionals with the goals of UNESCO. 

This conference, to be held 28-29 July 2021, confronts the reality of armed conflict and associated challenges in the Central African region. It seeks to share strategies for safeguarding documentary heritage collections during times of conflict, and as well to share ideas and create plans to engage local communities with heritage collections, with the goal of promoting peace and reconciliation.

Conference Activities

Over two days, participants from libraries across Francophone Central Africa and from the different regions of Cameroon will come together to learn more about the UNESCO Memory of the World programme, become familiar with existing standards and instruments for the preservation of documentary heritage and the safeguarding of cultural property during armed conflict, and exchange ideas for engaging the public in peacebuilding through engaging with collections.  

The conference and accompanying interactive workshop will guide participants to:

  • Reflect on a strategy for the preservation and conservation of documentary heritage in countries in conflict;
  • Propose a strategy for the preservation, accessibility and promotion of heritage in danger within their contexts;
  • Propose strategies for the involvement of their communities and local populations in the process of preservation and conservation for peacebuilding and reconciliation.

By the end of the conference, participants will have gained a greater knowledge of the regional context for conflict risk preparedness, and how their institutions can have a role. Further, they will have created their own plans and strategies based on the topics discussed during the conference and with feedback from expert facilitators. 

UNESCO Participation Programme

This conference is made possible through the generous funding of the UNESCO Participation Programme 2020-2021. This programme helps UNESCO Member States and partner NGOs facilitate national, sub-regional, inter-regional and regional projects that support the goals of UNESCO.

This conference will work towards UNESCO’s overarching goal of education and culture for peacebuilding, with a focus on the Central African region.

This will be accomplished through building capacity for preservation and conservation efforts among information professionals, especially in the context of conflict zones, and developing strategies to work within their institutions for the promotion of cultural heritage as a tool for peace.

PAC (Preservation and Conservation), Conservation, Cultural heritage, Peace, Preservation, Cameroon

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