The duties and cooperation of the Cultural Environment Services department
The Finnish Heritage Agency is a key expert authority on the cultural environment in state administration. The duties of the Cultural Environment Services department are concerned with archaeological heritage, built cultural environment and restoration, including the cultural landscape and marine archaeology. The department is in charge of state subsidies for the cultural environment.
The tasks of the department are based on the Act on the National Board of Antiquities. The department’s operations are steered by the Antiquities Act, Land-Use and Building Act, Act on the Protection of the Built Heritage, Church Act and Act on the Orthodox Church in particular. The work focuses on protecting ancient relics, state and church built heritage as well as sites protected by the Act on the Protection of the Built Heritage. The Cultural Environment Services department participates in the drafting of regional land-use plans and other land-use projects of principled significance.
The Cultural Environment Services department is a national developer and influencer in its field. We produce data and provide insight on the values, usage and maintenance of cultural heritage as part of sustainable development. We participate in legal reforms and the drafting of national strategies and policies. We are in charge of national protection projects, participate in producing information on the cultural environment and promote its availability. We draft instructions and guidebooks on how to protect the cultural environment in cooperation with interest groups. We implement national and international joint projects.
The department is an active international operator in intergovernmental and inter-authority organisations and networks. The Council of Europe, the European Union, the Baltic region and the Nordic countries are some of our central forums for cooperation.
The department is also responsible for the restoration, repairs and construction of strategically significant museums and attractions as well as sites in the National Museum of Finland museum family, particularly Seurasaari.
The key cooperation partners of the department include museums with national and regional responsibility, state environmental administration, holders of state real property and churches. Most land use tasks related to cultural environment (land-use planning, permits based on the Land Use and Building Act) are managed by museums with regional responsibility.