Meld. St. 16 (2019–2020)

New goals for Norway’s cultural environment policy— Meld. St. 16 (2019–2020) Report to the Storting (white paper)

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3 Summary

The purpose of this white paper is to present new national goals for Norway’s cultural environment policy and to ensure a clearer focus concerning the cultural environment sector as an important part of Norway’s overall climate and environmental policy. The white paper consists of three main parts.

Part I Status and development trends

This part describes the work that has been done to achieve the existing national targets for cultural monuments, sites and environments. Chapter 4 provides an account of the work to date.

Some of the key challenges in the current cultural environment management are discussed in chapter 5.

Chapter 6 provides an account of the key players in the management of the cultural environment. A brief historical summary is followed by an overview of the current management system. The Regional Reform, which came into force on 1 January 2020, entails a number of changes in the management of the cultural environment.

Finally, chapter 7 provides an account of the main overarching guidelines and frameworks, including international conventions that affect the management of the cultural environment.

Part II National goals

This section contains a more detailed account of the proposed new national cultural environment goals and the proposed measures and instruments to attain them.

The government’s proposed new national goal that everyone shall have the opportunity to get involved in and assume responsibility for the cultural environment is discussed in chapter 8. Here importance is attached to the cultural environment as a common good and shared responsibility. Key topics include participation and democracy through voluntary work, involvement and co-creation, the accessibility of the cultural environment, and cultural environment data in a digital age. The framework conditions for owners and users of cultural environments, including advisory services and the Cultural Heritage Fund, are also discussed in this chapter.

The government’s proposed new national goal that the cultural environment shall contribute to sustainable development through integrated land use and social planning is discussed in chapter 9. Here the role of the cultural environment is clarified in the three dimensions of sustainable development: environmental sustainability, social sustainability, and economic sustainability. In addition, it is highlighted how social planning and land-use management are fundamental to safeguarding the cultural environment as a resource for society.

The government’s proposed new national goal that a diversity of cultural environments shall be preserved as a basis for knowledge, experience and use is discussed in chapter 10. This chapter discusses the transition from conservation programmes to preservation strategies, financial policy instruments, collaboration, and legislation. The diversity that is to be preserved must be representative of the cultural, social and geographical diversity from different eras.

Part III Knowledge and international cooperation

This section discusses two topics that are essential for the attainment of the goals.

Chapter 11 focuses on the role of research and advancement of the discipline for the development of the cultural environment sector, so that it can be related to important trends in social development and remain relevant in an evolving society. This chapter also discusses knowledge about the state of repair, cultural environment data, and documentation.

International cooperation is discussed in chapter 12. An account is provided of the international cooperation in the cultural environment sector and how this underpins Norway’s international commitments and ambitions.

The financial and administrative consequences of the priorities set out in the white paper are discussed in chapter 13.

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