Pacific ministers of culture on Wednesday endorsed a regional strategy to further enhance the development of the Pacific's cultural sector.

Designed by the Council of Pacific Arts and Culture (CPAC) with support from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Regional Cultural Strategy, entitled Investing in Pacific Cultures 2010-2020, aims to strengthen Pacific cultures by providing a regional framework for policy formulation and development, including the integration of culture into national development plans.

It was developed in response to issues raised during the first ministers of culture meeting in Noumea, New Caledonia in 2002, which highlighted the need for proper management and development of the cultural sector in the Pacific.

The issues raised included a need to develop national legislation, statistics and protection mechanisms for culture and heritage; promote cultural industries; and enlist greater government and donor partner support.

The development of the Pacific Regional Cultural Strategy engaged wide stakeholder consultations, and the strategy consists of a number of national and regional goals.

It works to strengthen the cultural sector at a regional level; develop cultural standard setting tools; and address objective 11.1 of the Pacific Plan, which is 'Recognised and protected cultural values, identities and traditional knowledge'.

The ministers also endorsed the Pacific Culture and Education Strategy, which gives guidance at the regional and national levels for greater inclusion of culture in all types of education (formal and informal) and at all levels, including tertiary.

The Pacific Culture and Education Strategy was also developed by CPAC in wide consultation with regional and national partners.

The gathering, held during the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts in Honiara, Solomon Islands, marked the second time that the Pacific ministers of culture have met to discuss and address key issues facing the cultural sector in the region.