Getting Cultural Heritage on the National Agenda:
A Case Study from Vanuatu by Ralph Regenvanu
The Honorable Ralph Regenvanu (MP, Minister of Justice and Community Services, Vanuatu) speaks about the innovative cultural and economic initiatives in his country and the region that attempt to "mainstream" cultural heritage in national policy. He reflects on his transition into politics from his past work with cultural institutions and regional and international organizations. For eleven years Mr. Regenvanu was the director of Vanuatu's principal cultural heritage management agency, the Vanuatu Cultural Centre (1995--2006). He was also a board member of the Vanuatu National Cultural Council, a founding member of the Pacific Islands Museums Association and a member of its executive board (1997--2009). He worked on a number of UNESCO projects including a draft of the "World Report on Cultural Diversity" and the "Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage." Mr. Regenvanu addresses a range of challenges that face island nations and indigenous peoples throughout the Pacific including issues of sustainability, the promotion of cultural heritage as a part of development, and the protection of cultural resources. Presented Monday September 26, 2011 at the Western Museum Association Annual Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.