A new initiative coming from Finland aims at promoting the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. The Wheel Chart of Sustainability and ICH is an easy tool allowing to understant and discuss in which way this heritage can contribute to sustainable development. The Wheel Chart is intended as an educational means in the broadest sense, and can be employed in a formal classroom and in an informal or even family environment. In any case, one of the participants in the activity should get familiar with the concepts of ICH and sustainable development, for the learning to be effective.
In this sense it is worth reminding that the Wheel Chart includes the four spheres of sustainable development. Still too often this concept is reduced to the economic developement that does not compromise the future of natural resources, that means that it ensures natural heritage conservation, including biodiversity. But today the consensus is that it should also include a cultural and a social sphere. Indeed, it would make no sense an economic environmental friendly development which would put at risk social cohesion or cultural diversity.
The Wheel Chart not only allows to verify the interrelation between the different spheres of sustainable development, it also facilitates the understanding of what is intangible cultural heritage and of the different roles it plays for the society. This is quite necessary, since it is a incompletely known concept, too often mixed up with popular and traditional culture, folklore or ethnologic heritage.
The Wheel Chart is available in different languages : Croatian, English, Finnish, French, Lithuanian, Spanish and Swedish. The IPACIM has contributed to the Spanish version and is willing to collaborate with other organizations or institutions for the development of projects aimed at implementing this innovative tool, from which also versions in Catalan, Galician and Basque could be prepared.