Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) has become a world-wide cultural issue after UNESCO raised the subject and urged all nations to participate in organizing an international entity for its promotion around 2000. In 2003 UNESCO adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. This went into effect on 20 April 2006, and Hong Kong government started its official policy to promote the issue.
The preliminary survey of HK ICH, completed by 2008, lists 480 items, of which most have long cultural traditions safeguarded by local communities without substantial government support. Since then, HK government has allocated sizable funding and manpower to awaken the cultural consciousness of an overly profit-oriented society. The social meaning and the necessity of safeguarding ICH are promoted not only in local communities, but also in elementary and secondary schools with the cooperation of many school board associations. The difficulty of safeguarding ICH mainly comes from cultural ignorance and the rapid economic development in a transitional society. Thus, Hong Kong's predicament and future of its ICH can serve as a working model for other Asian societies in rapid economic growth.