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Traditional Knowledge,
Thoughts and Practices Concerning
Nature and Humanity

2022 World Forum for Intangible Cultural Heritage
September 21 (Wed.) ~23 (Fri.), 2022
14:00-16:00 (KST), Online

Over the course of history, humanity has always developed systems of knowledge about natural and social environments and
skills and technologies related to everyday life and passed this knowledge down to younger generations. Knowledge, value
systems, and customs are living heritage accumulated over generations, and they strengthen social connections, support
response to crises, and enable sustainable development. For example, women of the Kikuyu community in Kenya have
accumulated knowledge about cultivating and storing a wide range of beans. This knowledge has become a valuable resource
buffering the community from the ills of monoculture farming. Samoans use traditional knowledge about the ecological
cultivation of pandanus, raw material for textiles, producing eco-friendly textile products that contribute to environmental
sustainability. Thus, traditional knowledge as intangible cultural heritage not only contributes to the development of ways
of life that ensure the survival and prosperity of the community but also the sustainability of humanity as a whole.

Traditional knowledge is intangible cultural heritage containing the wisdom of humanity that has adapted to changing
environments with limited resources. Within intangible cultural heritage, we find production knowledge allowing the
community to sustain itself, knowledge on nature and the universe accumulated in the process of adaptation to the
ecosystem, and knowledge on traditional medicine to improve human health. Such knowledge covers the full range of
the community’s values, customs, technologies, rituals, and language. Traditional knowledge as living heritage contributes
not only to inclusive economic and social development but also to environmental sustainability, taking humanity to the
next stage of progress. However, the value of traditional knowledge has not received the attention it deserves amidst the
stunning development of modern science and rapid changes in society. At the 2022 World Forum for Intangible Cultural
Heritage, we aim to shine new light on the value of traditional knowledge, which is under siege due to rapid societal
developments, through the perspective of intangible cultural heritage. We invite you to join us on this occasion, during
which we will share case studies on traditional knowledge from around the world, rediscovering the value and affirming
the role of traditional knowledge as intangible cultural heritage in the sustainable development of humanity