Wallis and Futuna, the two islands that together form a single country in the heart of the Pacific, have begun a process of cultural mapping to work towards developing a cultural policy in which agricultural and environmental traditional knowledge and conservation will play a central role.
The islands held a workshop in April, last week 2013 in order to begin the mapping process: it brought together the departments of culture, agriculture and environment as well as representatives from the education sector and the women’s council. All agreed that conservation and agricultural policy and programmes are intertwined with culture and the sectors need to work together closely for a sustainable future.
Expressive art forms, which are core to expressing Wallis and Futuna identity, depend heavily on natural resources and on traditional know-how as they draw on local trees, plants and sea shells; and the yearly cultural calendar is set according to the natural elements which in turn determine agri-cultural production.
A Futunian consultant has begun mapping the culture sector in Futuna and is working closely with elders, women, young people to document the state of culture in their island.