Swiss-Austrian ‘avalanche danger management’ submitted to Unesco

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Swiss-Austrian ‘avalanche danger management’ submitted to Unesco
Photo: SLF/Margherita Maggioni

The system by which Switzerland and Austria predicts and manages avalanche danger has been submitted to Unesco for potential inclusion on its ‘intangible heritage’ list.


The joint candidacy was lodged with Unesco on Friday, said the Swiss government in a statement
The threat of avalanches in Switzerland and Austria has given rise to a joint management system between the two countries based on a vast bank of historical data gathered over the centuries, it said. 
“This ancestral knowledge continually evolves combining historic practices with the most specialized techniques,” it said.
To prepare the candidacy, the Swiss federal culture office worked with both Swiss and Austrian bodies and experts including the Institute for the study of snow and avalanches (SLF) and the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC).
Unesco is expected to give its verdict in November 2018. 
Avalanche danger management was one of eight Swiss traditions approved by the Swiss government in 2014 for submission to Unesco’s ‘intangible heritage’ list, which, according to Unesco, refers to “practices, representations, expressions, knowledge and skills transmitted by communities from generation to generation”. 
Last year one of the eight, a wine festival held once every 20 years in Vevey called the Fête des Vignerons, was successfully granted Unesco status
Basel’s Fasnacht festival, the biggest carnival in Switzerland, was submitted for consideration last April, with a decision by Unesco expected this December.
In the next few years Switzerland also plans to submit to Unesco the traditions of yodelling, precision watchmaking, the alpine livestock season and Swiss typographic design.
In addition, Switzerland is also participating in another collaborative project to submit ‘the construction of dry-stone walls’ to the list along with Greece, Croatia, Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia and Cyprus. 



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