Continuing our stories on natural resource conservation, the Cabinet has agreed to nominate Khorat Geopark for consideration by UNESCO as a world geopark. On the conservation of local arts and culture, the Ministry of Culture will be proposing to the Cabinet the nomination of the Songkran Festival as an aspect of intangible cultural heritage to the UNESCO.
An adviser at the Department of Cultural Promotion, Pimravee Watthanavarangkul revealed this week that Thailand has so far successfully listed 300 items in six categories as part of its national intangible cultural heritage. The items include local folk performances, handicrafts, and expressions of culture such as Songkran Festival.
She said items from the list will be selected for further nomination to the UNESCO to be proclaimed as UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage. This process still requires further study at local meetings in four regions and approval from the cultural heritage conservation committee, and the Cabinet’s approval. The final submission for UNESCO’s consideration is expected to take place in March next year.
Surveys conducted in four regions of Thailand show members of the general public of all ages and gender participate in the Songkran festival, with special mention of local festivities in Phra Pradaeng by Thai-Mon people where folk recreational activities and costumes have proven to express their unique identity. All Songkran festivities across the country share the same objectives, which are bringing people to temples where they can observe religions rites, allowing people to express their gratitude towards their parents, and helping enhance friendships.
The Cabinet has in its regular meeting yesterday approved the nomination of Khorat Geopark to become UNESCO’s Geopark as proposed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment.
Khorat Geopark is a conservation site for petrified wood, and home to fossils of prehistoric elephants, mammals, and dinosaurs including three recently discovered types of Iguanodon.
There are currently 147 geoparks enlisted by UNESCO world wide, one of which is in Satun, Thailand.
(Source: – NNT of Thailand)