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Intangible Cultural Heritage

The UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was adopted at the UNESCO General Conference in 2003. 172 states are now parties to the Convention. In Finland the Convention was ratified in May 2013. 

The National Board of Antiquities is responsible for the national implementation in Finland. Living heritage! Plan for National Implementation (2015) defines the general guidelines for the implementation and it is supplemented with the Action Plan for Intangible Cultural Heritage for 2016-2018 (2016). The Ministry of Education and Culture has founded an expert group on intangible heritage to support the implementation of the Convention.

The spirit of the Convention presupposes that communities play a central role in the identification and definition of intangible culture heritage. This is why it is suggested that the national implementation be carried out as a networking activity, and that the participation of communities and stakeholder groups is emphasized.
In February 2016 a Wiki-inventory for Living Heritage was opened to enable communities and groups to present their own intangible cultural heritage. ICH communities produce the contents to the Wiki and it is maintained and moderated by the National Board of Antiquities. In a year’s time it attracted over 100 articles from more than 120 communities.

The Wiki-inventory supports the process of national inventorying of intangible cultural heritage. The first application period for the National Inventory of Living Heritage was in March and April 2017. The Ministry of Education and Culture decides on the elements included in the national inventory as well as on the possible nominations for inscription on UNESCO's international lists of intangible cultural heritage.

Leena Marsio
Coordinator of Intangible Heritage
National Board of Antiquities, Finland
+358 29533  6017


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Last updated 18.5.2017
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