DEPARTMENT OF HERITAGE & ARTS
The Department of Heritage and Arts formerly known as Department Culture and Heritage was established in 2000 to spear-head coordination of the culture sector in Fiji. It is the premier government institution responsible for policy and legislative responses necessary to preserve (conserve) protect and promote Fiji’s cultural diversity and unique heritages.
The Department in its humble beginning began with two staff, increased to three and now has emerged in the new millennium with a total of 23 staff. The increase is indicative of the:
(a) Enormous work that the Department is involved in as far as linking global agendas to grassroots cultural initiatives so that the livelihood of Fiji’s populace is enhanced;
(b) The demand to find alternative well-being and livelihood industries to cater for increasing unemployment figures in the country – the cultural industries serves as a force to reckon with in as far as economic growth is concerned;
(c) Increasing international recognition and appreciation of the rich heritages that Fiji has such as the recent UNESCO World Heritage Listing of the Historical Port Town of Levuka as one of the unique heritage features of humanity!
(d) Global pressures, unusual natural calamities and occurrences, societal problems and others have been on the rise. Scientists, academia and researchers have resorted to indigenous or traditional knowledge systems to address climatic challenges we face including the decrease in world’s food resources, sea level rises amongst others. Hence local and traditional measures are needed to solve global problems.
(e) New areas of work that the culture sector in Fiji has dwell into in response to continuing global trends. These include cultural statistics, cultural education, safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, development of the cul-tural industries etc.
Similarly to carry out its roles, the Department deals with community based organizations, national, regional and international stakeholders from non-governmental organization, statutory bodies (Fiji Museum, Fiji Arts Council, National Trust of Fiji, 6 Multi-Cultural Centres), Regional bodies (PIFS, PIMA, USP, SPC etc.) and international organisations (UNESCO,UN, UNDP, MINISTRY OF CULTURE – CHINA, INDONESIAN CUL-TURE EXCHANGE SCHOLARSHIP UNIT, ICHCAP, CRRIHAP).