The Text for the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was adopted on the 17th of October 2003 at the General Conference of UNESCO as an important instrument particularly for the identity building of people. Its goal is the safeguarding of the diversity of human expressions, for which its implementation demands participatory approaches. All forms of cultural expression are considered intangible heritage worthy of protection as long as they do not contradict human rights and illustrate in theory and in practice the meaning of intangible heritage for sustainable human development.
Based on the initiative of Dr. Birgitta Ringbeck, the former Head of Coordinating Body of World Heritage at the Federal Foreign Office, Prof. Dr. Marie-Theres Albert, who at the time was chairholder of the UNESCO Chair in Heritage Studies at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, created the Feasibility Study for the implementation of the Convention in Germany which was possible with its adoption by Germany in 2013. Since then, IHS supports the process of recognizing the diversity of expressions of intangible heritage through research and knowledge transfer. For this, the basic categories of the Convention are identified and discussed, their interpretations analysed and reflected upon, and implementation strategies developed. Moreover, it is about the values of cultural diversity for individuals and societies being anchored in society itself contributing to an international acceptance of this diversity.