Intangible Cultural Heritage

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Leena Marsio
Senior adviser
Finnish Heritage Agency, Finland
+358 295 336 017

Pirjo Hamari
Development director
Finnish Heritage Agency, Finland

+358 295 336 005

Mirva Mattila
Senior advisor
Ministry of Education and Culture
+358 295 330 269

Implementation in Finland

The UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was ratified in Finland in May 2013. The Finnish Heritage Agency is responsible for the national implementation in Finland. Living heritage! Plan for National Implementation (2015) defines the general guidelines for the  implementation and it 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 emphasised.

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 Finnish Heritage Agency. In two years the Wiki has over 140 articles from more than 180 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 spring 2017. The Ministry of Education and Culture has nominated 52 elements for inclusion in the National Inventory of Living Heritage. The National Inventory will be updated regularly, and the next opportunity to submit applications will be in 2019 at the earliest.

In addition a lot of seminars are being organised in the various domains and themes of ICH. All speeches from our seminars can be found from the Elävä perintö YouTube channel with over 100 videos. On the Elävä perintö Facebook one can find the timely events and discussions under the theme.

Here you can watch a video on the Convention in Finland.

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