The European Union will fund projects to promote the culture and heritage of its outermost regions and overseas countries and territories.

The EU will spend €1.2m (A$1.8m) on projects to protect the EU’s cultural diversity. These include perpetuating the use of vernacular languages and promoting various artistic works from the overseas territories. This is the first time the European Commission has decided to fund the protection of the intangible cultural heritage of its overseas territories. The programme is called It concerns nine European outermost regions (ORs). Azores, Canary Islands, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Madeira, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion and Saint-Martin. It also covers the 13 Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) constitutionally attached to France, Denmark and the Netherlands (New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Wallis and Futuna, Saint Barthélemy, Greenland, Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles). Until now, the European Union has launched numerous programmes to safeguard biodiversity, but not cultural diversity.