The intangible cultural heritage linked to the sense of identity and belonging of communities has a fundamental role for the transmission of memory to the new generations, for social cohesion and to encourage inter-cultural dialogue and mutual respect between peoples, cultures and different systems of knowledge and of life. The continuity and safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage are among the aims of the Convention itself (art.1) and contribute to the planning of sustainable development measures, also with a view to preventing and resolving any conflicts and generating positive socio-economic impacts in the life of the communities and of civil society in general, both locally and nationally and internationally.
These prerogatives are aimed at guaranteeing the vitality of the intangible cultural heritage and are pursued through the identification of safeguarding measures, planned and implemented with the direct involvement of the communities, which take into consideration the different areas referred to in the Convention:
identification, documentation, research, maintenance, promotion, enhancement, transmission – in particular through formal and informal education – as well as the revitalisation of the various aspects of the intangible cultural heritage directly concerned.
The Operational Directives of the Convention represent a useful guiding tool for planning an articulated and sustainable safeguarding system, including for the elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage involved in the pathways for recognition in the UNESCO Lists.
At national level, Law n. 77 of 20 February 2006, “Special measures for the protection and use of Italian sites and elements of cultural, landscape and environmental interest, included in the ‘world heritage list’, placed under the protection of UNESCO”, which introduced the Management Plans for the Italian sites already inscribed on the List, in order to ensure their conservation and create the conditions for their enhancement, also provides support measures for the preparation of the Safeguarding Plans for the elements recognised in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.