The purpose of the website Nordic Safeguarding Practices is to compile information and present Good Practices in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in the Nordic region and facilitate processes of communication between different levels of stakeholders.
The Nordic region is, at the time being, limited to Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. Representative stakeholders from these four countries have been prime movers for Nordic Safeguarding Practices.
The short term objective is to include Denmark as well as the associated territories of Greenland, the Faroe Islands and the Åland Islands. However, the pace of inclusion depends on the implementation process of the UNESCO 2003 convention in each country. A long term objective is to extend the site to the Baltic countries.
The Convention, with its full name The UNESCOs 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, is ratified by all state parties in the Nordic region, but the process of implementation is at different stages in each country.
Intangible cultural heritage is a complex phenomenon and concept.This regards the living heritage itself, but also the safeguarding processes and stakeholders which are a part of it. Working in the field, stakeholders experience constraints and obstacles many a times. This site offers stakeholders to look beyond their own practice and national borders, to be inspired or inspire.
Moreover, the idea is to::
- Bring minds together to raise enthusiasm and brainstorm on needs and constraints in their ICH field.
- Bring to the fore innovative and creative practices
- Raise awareness of both the simplicity and complexity of safeguarding methodologies
- Raise awareness of common identity as well as diversity in the region
- Join forces to strengthen capacity building
- Join forces to harmonize the implementation of the Convention
The term stakeholders refers to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), grassroot groups, institutions and individuals in all areas of living heritage. They act either as practitioners or as coordinating organs and hubs with a mission to practice, pass on, transfer, train, research, document or raise awareness of living heritage.
A group of accredited NGOs plays a particular role regarding the Convention. They are accredited by UNESCO as experts in their field of intangible cultural heritage. Being accredited, requires a commitment to work in the spirit of the Convention.
The Convention defines safeguarding strategies in the following way:
«… measures aimed at ensuring the viability of the intangible cultural heritage, including the identification, documentation, research, preservation, protection, promotion, enhancement, transmission, particularly through formal and non-formal education, as well as the revitalization of the various aspects of such heritage.»
The strategies may work one by one, or as a multiple in order to constitute a good practice
Good Practices are any projects or part of them, programmes, activities, measures, initiatives etc. that are considered as innovative, creative and/or successful in their methodology of safeguarding living heritage.
A practice is in addition considered as good when it:
… reflects the spirit of the UNESCO 2003 Convention
… demonstrates effectiveness in safeguarding
… involves the participation of relevant stakeholders such as communities or groups of practitioners
… involves steps of identification, documentation, research, preservation, protection, promotion, enhancement, transmission and/or revitalization
Nordic Safeguarding Practices is moderated by a group of administrators representing the following countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. The administrators reserve the right to request adjustments to submissions, as well as to, if necessary, remove inadequate or inappropriate submissions.
National Board of Antiquities, Helsinki Finland
Coordinator of Intangible Heritage, ms Leena Marsio
FolkArt Ltd/ÞjóðList, Húsavík, Iceland
Managing director ms. Gudrun Ingimundardottir