Compiled by the Council of Pacific Arts and Culture and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
Investing in Pacific Cultures
Understanding the economic, social, educational and political dimensions of culture is not easy. Culture includes the dances, songs, chants, performances and handicrafts that most people are familiar with and that are celebrated at the four-yearly Festival of Pacific Arts.
But culture is much more than that; it is about a way and a quality of life, and it is about identity, rights, difference and tolerance, sustainable and healthy livelihoods, individual and community creativity and growth and, most importantly, about the future.
Culture is also a sector, like agriculture or fisheries or tourism, that is definable and requires public and private investment. That is why this Regional Culture Strategy is titled: Investing in Pacific Cultures.
The Strategy is simple; it sets out ten goals — seven for the national level and three for the regional level — which encompass all the dimensions of culture and the components of the culture sector. It focuses work on six targets: traditional knowledge and intangible cultural heritage; cultural sites, places and spaces; cultural infrastructure and institutions; cultural industries; cultural goods and services; and cultural practitioners.These targets are components of the culture sector that have been identified as requiring the most immediate attention, and they provide the greatest opportunities for growth and development — the areas where investment will reap the greatest benefits.
The Strategy is designed so that it can be used by a wide and non-specialised audience. Policy makers, practitioners, regional and international agencies, NGOs, communities and churches should all find it easy and practical to follow. Most of all, it provides a guide to countries on how to mainstream culture into other economic and social sectors and how to promote culture as a sector in itself.
The potential of the Pacific culture sector is largely untapped. It is integral to the lives of all Pacific people, has great potential to both drive and support sustainable development and economic growth within the region, and yet receives little attention or recognition as a formal sector requiring astute management to maximise its economic and social contributions. The Regional Culture Strategy 2010–2020 sets out steps to earn the cultural sector this recognition of its full, multi-faceted contributions to the region.
Secretariat of the Pacific Community