ABC Radio Australia has posted an interesting audio commentary on how the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is calling to protect cultural identity in the Pacific Islands.
UNESCO’s Director for the Pacific, Etienne Clement, says countries must act to put a stop to the illegal trafficking of artifacts as well as to protect their cultural diversity, including their languages.
He states that artifact trafficking is on the rise in the Pacific, mainly due to improvements to infrastructure and technology. Another contributing factor is the accessibility of the countries, as Mr. Clement explains, “They’re building roads everywhere, villages that have never been accessible in the past are now accessible, communities are starting to sell their artifacts so in the Pacific it’s growing, it’s the phenomenon that happened in Africa 20 years ago.”
Mr Clement says governments must be more pro-active to protect traditional culture, as many communities do not realize their culture is disappearing until it is too late.
To hear Etienne Clement speak on the topic, simply, click here.