Projects – Communication and Information

Safeguarding the Documentary Heritage of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Southeast Asia through the UNESCO Memory of the World (MOW) Programme

UNESCO, through this project, aims to support the safeguarding of the significant documentary heritage of Southeast Asia, particularly focusing on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) through the implementation of the UNESCO Memory of the World (MOW) programme and UNESCO’s Recommendation concerning the Preservation of, and Access to, Documentary Heritage including in Digital Form (2015). The Recommendation serves as the most up-to-date tool available to governments, museums, archives, libraries, the private sector and individuals working to preserve and provide access to the world’s documentary heritage.

The programme will also result in the creation of a Southeast Asian / ASEAN ‘action plan’ for the implementation of the new UNESCO Recommendation.

In this context, UNESCO through its office in Bangkok and Jakarta, will undertake the following actions:

  1. Organize an international seminar on the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Preservation of, Access to, Documentary Heritage including in Digital Form.
  2. Organize National Capacity Building Workshops on the MOW programme.
  3. Organize Regional and National study of significant documentary heritage in Timor Leste, Myanmar and wider Southeast Asia.
  4. Develop illustrated publication (online and hardcopy) of the results of the study of significant documentary heritage.

Photo Credit: UNESCO Asia Pacific

Key ActivitiesNews

  • Launching of the National Committee of Timor-Leste for MOW and organized a two-day capacity building workshop with local stakeholders from 1-2 December 2016. The two-day workshop focused on increasing the awareness of the existence and significance of documentary heritage in Timor-Leste and the importance of safeguarding this material; support participants, identify documentary heritage with local, national, regional and international significance; and assist participants in identifying and preparing their respective applications for nominations to the Memory of the World International Register in accordance with the existing procedures. Over 30 participants from 11 districts from across Timor-Leste were trained.
  • Organized a national level Memory of the World (MoW) training workshopfrom 4-5 May 2017 in Yangon, Myanmar. The workshop focused on increasing participants’ knowledge of and skills related to the MOW programme, particularly developing nominations to MOW registers and how the programme can bolster efforts to safeguard Myanmar’s documentary heritage through the establishment of a Memory of the World National Committee. Over 30 participants from different Memory Institutes in Myanmar were trained.
  • Organized the International Symposium on “Preservation and Access: Southeast Asia’s Documentary Heritage in the Digital Age” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 8 May 2017. Presentations on various aspects of preservation of documentary heritage ranging from how to strengthen international cooperation, improve preservation strategies, as well as exploring the issues of access to documentary heritage materials were shared. The symposium brought together more than 300 participants from around the world, including from all ASEAN countries, Timor-Leste, as well as China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. It is a prelude to a 3-day expert consultation meeting.
  • Organized a 3-day expert consultation on the implementation of the “UNESCO’s Recommendation Concerning the Preservation of, and Access to, Documentary Heritage including in the Digital Form” from 9-11 May 2017. A five-point UNESCO-ASEAN Member States Action Plan emerged from the consultation, identifying concrete actions that can be taken in the areas of documentary heritage identification, preservation and access, as well as policy measures to support efforts in these areas and opportunities for international cooperation. The Action Plan was adopted by delegates from 10 ASEAN Member States and Timor-Leste. The country presentations can be accessed here. The training materials and presentations given during the symposium can be accessed here and the material for the consultation here.
  • Organized a two-day capacity building workshop focusing on specific nominations for a potential national register in Timor-Leste from 4 to 5 December 2017. The workshop succeeded in identifying an inventory of significant documentary heritage including the identification of 8 potential collections for inscriptions on the MOW register.
  • Organized a two-day workshop on Developing a Myanmar National MoW Committee and Register from 20 – 21 February 2018 in Yangon. UNESCO took the occasion to launch a booklet entitled “The Documentary Heritage of Myanmar: Selected Case Studies”.
  • Organized a one-day workshop in Vientiane on 27 March 2018 to introduce the selection criteria for development of MOW nominations and discuss the establishment of a National MOW Committee in Lao PDR.
  • Developing Booklet (online and hardcopy) on documentary heritage. The booklet will be developed in English, Tetum and Portuguese.



Post COP 21: Strengthening Media Capacity to Monitor and Report on Climate Change in Asia Pacific
climate change reporting

climate change reporting


This project seeks to build on the momentum generated by the Conference of the Parties (COP) 21, along with other activities of UNESCO to enhance media reporting on the globally interconnected issue of climate change by building capacity of media in developing countries, and most particularly in Less Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), to provide timely and reliable access to information and knowledge on a key development issue such as climate change. More specifically, the project aims to:

  • Equip journalists with the specialized knowledge and skills necessary for authoritative reporting on climate change, taking into account the phenomenon’s social, political and economic complexities.
  • Raise public awareness of the dangers that climate change poses for Pacific islands States, Southeast Asia and African countries, as an integral part of their commitment under the Paris Agreement to implement “their nationally determined contributions, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, in a coordinated and effective manner, including through, inter alia, mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology transfer and capacity building” (Article 6.8).
  • Promote South-South networking among Pacific islands States, Southeast Asia journalists and schools of journalism and those from Africa, as a way of demonstrating both the global and geo-specific nature of the communication challenges inherent in climate change,
climate change reporting

climate change reporting

climate change reporting

climate change reporting

Key ActivitiesNews

During the implementation period, the project had conducted the following activities:

  • UNESCO Bangkok in partnership with the Cambodian Institute for Media Studies and Climate Tracker organized a regional workshop for young journalists on reporting climate change and sustainable development issues in Southeast Asia from 20-23 March in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 14 participants from Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam) joined the 4-day workshop comprising various lectures from climate change science to the photojournalism and field trip that enabled participants to see the impacts of climate change in agricultural area in Cambodia.
  • UNESCO Jakarta, the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, and Universiti Sains Malaysia jointly organized several workshops to discuss and explore the issue of reporting on climate change and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as to provide input to a new journalism curriculum that can report on climate change and sustainable development in a holistic manner. The proposed curriculum aims to tackle these challenges with the objective of training journalists that could effectively report on climate change and sustainable development issues.
  • In order to better support journalistic reporting of the climate change and sustainable development in Asia Pacific region, UNESCO is producing a new resource material that take into consideration the unique challenges and opportunities in the region. The forthcoming guidebook is tentatively titled “Getting the Message Across: A Guidebook for Journalists on Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Asia Pacific” which based on the 2013 “UNESCO’s Climate Change in Africa: A Guidebook for Journalists”.
  • Organized the Regional conference “Getting the Message Across: Better Journalistic Reporting on Climate Change and Sustainable Development” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 8 November 2017. The talks were recorded and will be uploaded online as open access educational videos that can be freely used to learn more about reporting on climate change. This was followed by a two-day expert round table meeting to review the draft of the “Getting Message Across: A Guidebook for Journalist Reporting on Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Asia Pacific”.
  • Organized a 6-day training course in Fiji for 15 participants from Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and Vietnam on the psychological implications of disasters relating to climate change.