Safeguarding of cultural heritage

The UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted in 1972, responds to the concern about the conservation of the world’s threatened cultural and natural heritage and preserving this for the future generations. The 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage further complements it.

The objective of the 1972 Convention is to strengthen the appreciation for the unique heritage of different nations and to enhance its protection through educational and information programmes. The Convention sets the foundation for international cooperation efforts to save, cherish and restore cultural heritage when the resources of the nations themselves do not suffice.
Finland ratified the Convention in 1987.

At present the World Heritage List contains six Finnish World Heritage Sites and one Natural Heritage Site:

  • Fortress of Suomenlinna (1991)
  • Old Rauma (1991)
  • Petäjävesi Old Church (1994)
  • Verla Groundwood and Board Mill (1996)
  • Bronze Age Burial Site at Sammallahdenmäki (1999)
  • Struve Geodetic Arc (2005)
  • Kvarken Archipelago (2006)

Since December 2020, the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity includes Finland’s sauna culture.

National World Heritage Strategy

The national world heritage strategy “Our Common heritage”  and its implementation plan outline the Finnish policy on world heritage and the implementation of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in 2015–2025. Both the strategy and its implementation plan involve relevant ministries, Finnish world heritage sites and other relevant stakeholders.

Finnish world heritage policy is active, visible and reliable. The protection, management, restoration and presentation of the Finnish world heritage sites form the foundation of world heritage activities. Empowering local habitants is also a key element of the world heritage.