First UNESCO nomination from Germany: Organizing shared interests in cooperatives
In March 2015, Germany has filed its first nomination for the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity: "The idea and practice of organizing shared interests in cooperatives".
Cooperatives are community-based associations whose members work together on a voluntary basis for the benefit of all. It needs at least three people to found a cooperative. The purpose defined in the cooperatives' statutes may serve social, cultural and economic interests. The principles of self-help, self-responsibility and self-administration as well as trust and reliability form the fundamental basis of all cooperatives. They are based upon democratic principles and intend to contribute towards an improvement in general living conditions. It is a model of civic self-help. Cooperatives are open to all people, regardless of social, political, religious or ethnical background. The idea for the first cooperative organizations goes back to the Welshman Robert Owen. Early precursors can be dated back to the Middle Ages. In Germany, at a time of economic plight in the 19th century, the concept was adapted and shaped in particular by Hermann-Schulze-Delitzsch and Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen. They founded non-profit financial cooperatives with open membership and joint business operation in order to make low-interest loans available to farmers and craftsmen. The cooperative idea is spread widely today in Germany. It is applied in the most varied aspects of life such as labor, finances, nutrition or housing. Cooperative practice is a matter of specific, tangible commitment to a common goal. Today, the cooperatives, with their practised solidarity, are an effective structural element of society in Germany. The aim of social self-organization in cooperatives is to live and breathe personal responsibility and to practice solidarity among the members.
Germany joins multinational nomination "Falconry"
Germany was also involved in the extension of the multinational file "Falconry, a living human heritage". The extension of the element has been coordinated by the United Arab Emirates. The element on the Representative List is now shared by 18 State Parties as approved by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee in December 2016.
Organ Craftsmanship and Music
In March 2016, Germany has filed another nomination for the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity: "Organ Craftsmanship and Music". A decision of the Intergovernmental Commitee of the UNESCO Convention is expected for November 2017.