This chapter begins by recalling that intangible cultural heritage does not exist independently from the communities who create and enact it, who give meaning to it and who identify with it. Therefore, ensuring continuity and intergenerational transmission is only possible with the fullest participation of community members. They take initiative for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage. However, third parties can support communities in their safeguarding efforts, which is a core idea behind the Convention. Third parties should not take decisions regarding the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage without the consent of the communities concerned. This principle is illustrated with concrete examples and leads to a discussion on the importance of community participation in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage as highlighted in the Convention.
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