Sustainable cultural heritage

Kiviks Museum's active work with sustainable natural and cultural heritage. A summary from the 1960s onwards.

Kiviksbygden as a locality consists of a unique cluster of archaeological, marine archeological, geological, historical and cultural geographical remains, specifically designated by the National Antiquities Authority, dated in an exclusively uninterrupted chronology from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages to the Middle Ages and the present. As institutions, museums play an extremely important role as social, cultural and intellectual meeting places, and this role is particularly important to us at Kiviks Museum. We believe that research's "third task", to reach out to the public, can be made available, broadened and strengthened through our own museum education work, especially if we can work with applied research that provides more practical and concrete results for the public to take part in and interest in. Our own research and design work is permeated by this approach, and our lectures and workshops meet a large and curious audience throughout the year with high-class lecturers. Under the mottoPast – Present – ​​Futurewe work to ensure that our entire operation, both internally and externally, engages, touches, lifts, inspires and develops. Ourselves as an institution and employees, the business and the visitors.

As a well-established museum institution in Österlen isThe Kiviks Museum & Archive Foundationof course member of as wellInternational Council Of Museums(ICOM) asInternational Council on Archives(ICA). The recently proposed update of ICOM's international museum definition states:

"A museum is a not-for-profit, permanent institution in the service of society that researches, collects, conserves, interprets and exhibits tangible and intangible heritage. Open to the public, accessible and inclusive, museums foster diversity and sustainability. They operate and communicate ethically, professionally and with the participation of communities, offering varied experiences for education, enjoyment, reflection and knowledge sharing.”

Under the leadership of museum director Sten Andersson, Kiviks Museum began projects in the 1970sContact Forskare-Skola – Hand in hand, where students in years 4–6 from Sweden, Norway and Denmark were welcomed to camp schools at Kivik and were able to meet researchers from various disciplines in archeology, history and environmental science and together with them learn the basic methods of research as an integral part of both the school's teaching and the museum's educational work. Already in the 1960s, Sten Andersson had created environmental projects at the forefront, and inspired by Rachel Carson's acclaimed bookSilent spring, Kiviks Museum worked under Sten's leadership to create the cleanest society in this end of the country. Not infrequently, the various camp projects led to deepened interest among the students, and many of them chose both high school and post-high school studies based on the interests that Sten Andersson and the Kiviks Museum succeeded in arousing in them at an early age. This can rightly be called an applied museum pedagogical method, which was also introduced very early in Sweden. Sten Andersson also won several awards for his work at the forefront and he was recognized by several teacher training colleges.

An increasingly central issue for museums and cultural institutions as well is how we ourselves as institutions manage and make available to the public knowledge about the environment, climate change and sustainable development. Regarding the museums' sustainability work, ICOM states that:

"Museums are perfectly positioned to address and enhance sustainability as they are able to work with communities to raise public awareness, support research and knowledge creation to contribute to the well-being of the planet and societies for future generations.

The term sustainability also applies to the health of museums themselves in order to be able to carry out their core missions and position themselves as vital societal agents. As representative of the global museum community, the vision of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) is a world where the importance of natural and cultural heritage is universally valued. ICOM strives to ensure that sustainability –through all its forms: social, economic and environmental- is included in its mission and values, as well as in specific activities.”

As an institution, Kiviks Museum has therefore for several decades been involved in a series of questions regarding cultural heritage concerning research, design, dissemination of knowledge and not least research on sustainability and resilience. Recent examples include:

Österlen Biosphere Reserve - an opportunity?

Experimental cultural heritage - Kivik

Geo hero

Save Hanö Bay

As a result of this sustainability work and an extensive application process with a careful selection method, Kiviks Museum has been accredited as the first museum in Scandinavia as a member of the UN's sustainability network,Sustainable Development Solutions Network(SDSN) in June 2022. The network has existed since 2012 under the supervision of the UN Secretary-General, and consists of universities, research institutes and sustainability companies overthe whole world working together to mobilize global, scientific and technical expertise with the aim of spreading practical solutions and knowledge about the UN's 17 global sustainability goals and the Paris climate agreement. SDSN seeks to accelerate joint learning and integrated approaches that can address the economic, cultural, social and environmental challenges facing the world, and the network therefore works closely with various UN agencies, multilateral funding institutions, the private sector and civil society.

The application for membership in SDSN is examined by several different international bodies and is only granted to organizations that can show concrete examples of how to work continuously, actively and in terms of quality with the dissemination of knowledge and research on sustainability issues, preferably in a network with other institutions and universities. Because Kiviks Museum has for many years worked with research on cultural heritage, tourism and resilience in collaboration with various universities, with establishing the Collaboration for the Bay of Hanö which today consists of companies, coastal councils, authorities, universities, the region and the county board, with spreading knowledge to children and young people about sustainability and the environment in various forms and collaborations since the 1960s, and in addition together with the Österlen Nature Conservancy has worked with the knowledge dissemination project Biosphere Reserve Österlen – an opportunity? were we meant to be a good ambassador for spreading knowledge about the UN's climate goals both to the public we meet in exhibitions and lectures, but also within the museum and archive industry as the first museum in Scandinavia and one of the few in the world - despite the fact that museums actively work on these issues according to ICOM's definition.

On 5 October 2022, Kiviks Museum was granted membership inSDG AcademyCommunity of Practice, also as the first museum in Scandinavia. A condition for membership is accreditation in SDSN and a further application and review with Letter of Commitment. SDG Academy is the UN's flagship education for sustainable development, with the mission within SDSN to create and curate the best available education on sustainable development and make it available globally. The SDG Academy Community of Practice brings together educators worldwide in universities, civil society and business for peer exchange around education for sustainable development.




Year 2019 was formedThe Nordic-Baltic Cooperation Council for Intangible Cultural Heritageat the Hanaholmen Conference Center in Helsinki, Finland. Kiviks Museum has had a regular board seat in the network since its formation. Within the network, we work to protect, document, spread knowledge about and research Nordic-Baltic intangible cultural heritage, such as dance, storytelling, crafts, traditions, etc. From our area, Kiviks Museum represents, among other thingsÅlakusten's cultural heritage associationas intangible cultural heritage. Among other things, the network makes study trips to each other, holds exchange conferences and has close cooperation withThe LIVIND projectwhich is run by, among other things, Finland's counterpart to the National Antiquities Authority in Sweden.

Furthermore, since March 2022, Kiviks Museum is Scandinavia's only museum representative in UNESCO's research council group on intangible cultural heritage, sustainability and tourism (Research Group on ICH & Sustainability). Within the group, we work together with about 15 other researchers from all over the world with applied research in the field and will produce descriptions of good safeguarding examples. On October 27, 2022, the research group together launched a brand new website about good examples ofsustainable tourism in world heritage.

Kiviks Museum - a center for applied cultural heritage research

Working in this way together with several global networks strengthens our institution's work, competence and knowledge transfer. Through the various accreditations and with the knowledge tools that are made available to us via both the SDG Academy and UNESCO, we can strengthen our ongoing work with research, education and information about the sustainability goals in schools, associations, companies, organizations, to the museum and archive industry and to our visitors. Through the various research group networks in sustainability, tourism and cultural heritage, and that we simultaneously represent both the archive and museum industry nationally and internationally, Kiviks Museum functions as a gateway for sustainability issues within cultural heritage and an ambassador for the importance of cultural heritage for sustainable development. Kiviks Museum will concretely become a center for applied cultural heritage research with an experimental method as a basis.