ICOMOS is an association of over 9 800 cultural heritage professionals present in over 100 countries throughout the world, working for the conservation and protection of monuments and sites -the only global non-government organisation of its kind. lt benefits from the crossdisciplinary exchange of its members – architects, archaeologists, art historians, engineers, historians, planners, who foster improved heritage conservation standards and techniques for all forms of cultural properties: buildings, historic towns, cultural landscapes, archaeological sites, sites having intangible values, etc. ICOMOS is officially recognized as an advisory body to UNESCO, actively contributing to the World Heritage Committee and taking part in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. lt also runs 28 specialised International Scientific Committees on a variety of subjects.
One of these is the International Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage which, within the mandate of ICOMOS as an organisation concerned with the conservation of monuments and sites, specialises in the protection of sites that have intangible values and in so doing the conservation of the intangible that gives value to certain monuments and sites.
ICOMOS has six principal objectives:
To bring together conservation specialists from around the world and serve as a forum for professional dialogue and exchange;
To collect, evaluate and diffuse information on conservation principles, techniques and policies;
To co-operate with national and international authorities on the establishment of documentation centres specialising in conservation;
To work for the adoption and implementation of international conventions on the conservation and enhancement of architectural heritage;
To participate in the organisation of training programs for conservation specialists on a world wide scale;
To put the expertise of qualified professionals and specialists at the service of the international community.
Year of accreditation: 2008-2015, 2018 (reaccreditation)
Domain(s): (a) oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage; (b) performing arts; (c) social practices, rituals and festive events; (d) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; (e) traditional craftsmanship.
Main Safeguarding measures: a) identification, documentation, research (including inventory-making); b) preservation, protection; c) promotion, enhancement; d) transmission, (non-) formal education; e) revitalization.
ICOMOS’ activities have been prompted by the preamble to the ICH Convention: “Considering the interdependence between the intangible cultural heritage and the tangible cultural and natural heritage”. ICOMOS specialists were in the drafting process of the ICH Convention. ICOMOS’ core business is the conservation of monuments and sites and the development of standars of professional practice and networks. Recognition of traditional practices and systems of conservation is important aspects of ICH. With this philosophy, various activites such as international scientific conferences, colloquiums, debates, charter draft and declaration, etc, took place.
Main countries where the NGO works: France as a main office, and many National Committees across the globe
Local, national or international level of the NGO: International