Department for Cultural Environment

The Department for Cultural Environment is responsible for developing strategies and policies within the entire field of cultural heritage. Important topics are archaeology, building protection, cultural heritage as a resource in developing urban areas and villages, vessel protection, cultural environments and cultural landscapes.

Additional responsibilities include developing legal and economic instruments, considering protection cases according to the Cultural Heritage Act and land-use cases according to the Planning- and Building Act, cooperation with other sectors and international cooperation. The department is responsible for governing the Directorate for Cultural Heritage, and also for the Ministry of Environment’s contact with cultural heritage administration at the regional level. Following up and developing the Norwegian Cultural Heritage Fund is also the responsibility of the department.

The Department is responsible for coordinating Unesco cases within the Ministry's area of responsibility. It is the responsibility of the department to ensure that Norway fulfils its obligations according to Unesco conventions on cultural heritage protection. Relevant conventions are the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (the World Heritage Convention, 1972) and the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (the Hague Convention, 1954).

The Department for Cultural Heritage Management is responsible for following up the European Council conventions on cultural heritage. Relevant conventions are the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (the Valetta Convention, 1992) and the Convention on the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe (the Granada Convention, 1985).

Through the EEA Financial Mechanism on cultural heritage, the department shall contribute to high-quality environmental projects and to strengthening the bilateral environmental cooperation.

Strategic aims
The diversity of cultural monuments and cultural environments shall be managed and protected as useful resources and as a basis for knowledge, experience and value creation. A representative selection of cultural monuments and cultural environments shall be protected in a long term perspective.

The department consists of the following sections