Methodology for inventorying intangible cultural heritage in biosphere reserves: the experience of Montseny

Selected in 2013 on the Best Safeguarding Practices

© Diputació de Barcelona, 2013
Initiated by the UNESCO Centre in Catalonia, a non-governmental organization, the project focuses on the identification of intangible cultural heritage in a biosphere reserve and the drawing up of inventories. The project was undertaken in an area covering the Montseny Biosphere Reserve and National Park in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, in cooperation with local stakeholders and institutions working in the fields of ethnology and traditional and popular Catalan culture. Its main objectives and outcomes were threefold: to design a methodology for preparing inventories; to draw up an inventory; and to prepare a document on the contributions of intangible cultural heritage to sustainable development. Through its participation plan and fieldwork, the project has also encouraged the involvement of the local population in identifying its intangible cultural heritage. The methodology developed for this project could be reproduced at the regional and international levels, and is suitable for developing countries. The observations on the contributions of intangible cultural heritage to sustainable development could also be useful for countries that have a rich natural and intangible heritage and are seeking ways to improve the conditions of their populations, without jeopardizing the opportunities for future generations.