November 16, 2023

International Food Atlas Saudi Initiative Adopted by UNESCO

International Food Atlas

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On Monday, the Saudi Press Agency reported UNESCO’s official endorsement of Saudi Arabia’s groundbreaking “International Food Atlas” initiative. Developed by the Culinary Arts Commission, this transformative project, officially titled “The International Food Atlas and Digital Platform for Preserving, Promoting and Transmitting Foodways to Tomorrow’s Generations,” aims to preserve and document cultural heritage, ensuring its sustainable transmission across generations.

Culinary Heritage Conservation: Saudi Arabia’s Initiative Receives UNESCO Endorsement

Scheduled to be officially launched during the 18th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the (Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage) in Botswana in December. the initiative holds significant promise in culinary heritage preservation. Cultural heritage, a cornerstone of local identity, reflects historical roots and underscores the rich cultural diversity among different groups.

This innovative initiative is the outcome of collaborative efforts between “The Ministry of Culture” – “The Saudi Fund at UNESCO” – “The Culinary Arts Commission”. Together, they aspire to establish a comprehensive digital platform in partnership with UNESCO. The platform’s purpose is to facilitate the registration of traditional foods from local communities in member states, aligning with the principles and standards outlined by the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The heart of the “International Food Atlas” initiative lies in sharing and disseminating the Kingdom’s extensive experience in documenting traditional foods, customs, and practices. The digital repository aims to make this wealth of cultural knowledge easily accessible to member states, fostering a global appreciation for the diverse culinary heritage that contributes to the world’s cultural richness.

Global Impact: Saudi Arabia’s “International Food Atlas” Leading Cultural Preservation and Culinary Heritage Conservation

As Saudi Arabia’s “International Food Atlas” initiative prepares for its global debut, it stands as a testament to the forward-looking commitment to cultural preservation and intercultural understanding. The Kingdom’s leadership, in championing initiatives that transcend borders, contributes significantly to the global tapestry of shared heritage.

In summary, the “International Food Atlas” initiative not only reflects a pioneering approach to preserving culinary heritage but also serves as a bridge connecting communities worldwide through the shared appreciation of cultural diversity. Furthermore, the upcoming launch marks a milestone in the efforts to safeguard and promote the global legacy of culinary practices.

Source: Asharq Al-Awsat

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