International conventions related to cultural heritage
Key conventions related to the preservation and protection of cultural heritage are, for example, the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage and Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for the introduction and enactment of international conventions related to cultural heritage in Finland.
Intangible cultural heritage
Over 160 countries have signed the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Intangible cultural heritage can be oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, knowledge and craftsmanship. Communities play a crucial role in identifying and defining the intangible cultural heritage.
The Convention entered into force in Finland in 2013. The Convention obligates each Party to safeguard, identify, preserve and inventory the intangible cultural heritage. The Convention also requires each Party to draw up a national inventory of the intangible cultural heritage.
In Finland, the National Board of Antiquities is responsible for implementation of the Convention, along with communities and various stakeholder groups.
The goal of the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage is to safeguard the values of the world's most important cultural and natural heritage sites and preserve them for future generations. The Convention entered into force in Finland in 1987.
The World Heritage Committee approves new World Heritage Sites and monitors the status of sites listed in national inventories. Finland served as a member of the World Heritage Committee during the period 2013-2017.
Finland's National World Heritage Strategy sets its World Heritage policy and implementation of the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in Finland during the period 2015-2025. According to the strategy, Finland is a responsible actor in the preservation of world heritage, whose World Heritage Sites serve as a model of conservation, preservation and presentation to others. Vital environments are a shared world heritage for future generations
Finland has seven sites on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Six of Finland's World Heritage Sites are cultural heritage sites and one is a natural heritage site.
Sites in Finland equivalent to World Heritage Sites include the Archipelago Sea and North Karelian Biosphere Reserves, which are part of the Man and the Biosphere Programme as well as the Rokua Geopark, which is a UNESCO Global Geopark.
- World Heritage in Finland (National Board of Antiquities)
- International Cultural Heritage Conventions (National Board of Antiquities)
Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property
The 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property is a humanitarian convention under UNESCO whose purpose is to protect cultural property in the event of armed conflict. The Convention and related Protocol were ratified by Finland in 1994.
Faro Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society
The Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society was opened in 2005. The Convention includes guidelines for sustainable cultural heritage work, emphasising cultural heritage as a shared, valuable resource.
In Finland, the Ministry of Education and Culture assigned the preparatory review for ratification of the convention to the National Board of Antiquities, which did so in co-operation with the Finnish Local Heritage Federation. The review was published in May 2015.
- The Faro Convention (National Board of Antiquities)
Other conventions related to the protection of cultural and natural heritage
Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage