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Division of Food Production and Society

Summer farming as an intangible cultural heritage - the process and the result

Photo: Bolette Bele
Finished Last updated: 24.08.2022
End: dec 2022
Start: jan 2022

The value of intangible cultural heritage (ICH), i.e. traditions, knowledge, customs and practices, which have been passed down between generations, has come into focus through the "UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices". Today, Sweden has no ICH and only one safeguard practice listed.

Start - end date 01.01.2022 - 31.12.2022
Project manager Håkan Tunón
Project manager at Nibio Bolette Bele
Division Division of Food Production and Society
Department Landscape and Biodiversity

For representatives of an ICH a listing under the UNESCO treaty means that the value of the ICH will increase at national level and in the long run it may contribute to its future preservation.

Gaining new knowledge about the process behind the listing of an ICH on the UNESCO list is important. Research shows that it is more difficult to get recognition and support for the preservation of ICH, than of a material heritage–mainly because it is difficult to define and convey inherent values in an ICH.

Currently, a common initiative of the Swedish and Norwegian summer farming movement attempts to get summer farming listed under the UNESCO treaty.After a recommendation from appointed experts, a process has been initiated to reach a consensus that will lead to a joint application. In this project, the mentioned process, including divergent opinions, definitions and documents will be mapped on both sides of the border.

The project is led by SLU and carried out by experts in Sweden and Norway. The data is expected to contribute to future research, and to informed decisions regarding summer farming in Sweden and the Nordic countries.