In 2012 the government of the Netherlands ratified the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Dutch Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage (in Dutch: Nederlands Centrum voor Volkscultuur en Immaterieel Erfgoed) has been assigned to implement this convention in the Netherlands, which includes the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. For this purpose a National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage was drawn up, for which the heritage communities themselves can nominate elements for the inventory. The main purpose of the Inventory is to support the communities in their heritage care. A safeguarding plan is therefore an obligatory part of every nomination for the National Inventory, including a SWOT-analysis of the tradition. Every community that placed its tradition on the National Inventory must send in a progress report every two years.
DICH (Dutch Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage) is a centre of expertise for the communities and has also an important advisory function to the Dutch government. Its main task is, apart from assisting the communities and raising awareness within Dutch society, to develop safeguarding methodologies, set up a research agenda, and reflect on issues concerning intangible heritage, including issues as tourism and the safeguarding of ICH, controversial heritage (e.g. the discussion on Black Pete in our Saint Nicholastradition) etc. Every year DICH organizes an international conference, in 2014 on the topic of ‘Creating sustainability for the (heritage) crafts’. Apart from publications on all kinds of subjects we publish the popular magazine Immaterieel Erfgoed [=Intangible Heritage]. DICH also participates in the editorial board of the NGO forum magazine Heritage Alive: voices and practices.