UNESCO Chair Programme on Cultural Heritage and Risk Management, International Training Course (ITC) on Disaster Risk Management of Cultural Heritage 2020,15th year
Towards the Integrated Protection of Immovable and Movable Cultural Heritage from Disasters
Cultural heritage is increasingly exposed to disasters caused by natural and human-induced hazards such as earthquakes, floods, fires, typhoons, theft, terrorism, etc. Recent examples include fires in the Shuri Castle and the Notre-Dame de Paris in 2019, the National Museum of Brazil in 2018, a typhoon in Western Japan in 2018, earthquakes in Central Mexico in 2017, Kumamoto, Japan, Central Italy, Myanmar in 2016, and Nepal in 2015, floods in the UK in 2015, in the Balkans in 2014, and ongoing conflicts in Syria and Yemen. In addition, climate change will cause floods, draughts, and bushfires that can create huge damage to both cultural heritage and the natural environment. These disasters not only affect immovable heritage such as monuments, archaeological sites, and historic urban areas, but also cause damage to movable heritage, including museum collections, heritage objects, religious artifacts and other artefacts that are of significance to local communities. For example substantial collections and heritage objects were lost in the National Museum of Brazil Fire in 2018. Both movable and immovable heritage are exposed to various disasters. Appropriate measures need to be taken for the reduction of disaster risks. In the aftermath of a disaster, many architectural fragments of damaged or collapsed buildings require documentation, handling, and storage.
Therefore, an integrated approach for the protection of movable and immovable heritage needs to be taken before, during, and after a disaster. This includes the risk assessment of heritage sites as well as museums and their collections. The limited availability of human and financial resources in the event of a disaster leads to the necessity of closer coordination between professionals, domestic institutions, and external agencies that deal with heritage sites, museums, and their collections. Moreover, integrated disaster risk management requires appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies based on an understanding of the values of movable and immovable heritage. Therefore, it is important to recognize many examples of traditional knowledge evolved by communities through a series of trials and errors. Thus, both movable and immovable cultural heritage need to be integrated into strategies for disaster risk management. This can be an effective source of resilience to disaster risks.
Japan is home to a variety of frequently occurring disasters that can cause huge damage to assets and resources. For this reason, the country has developed specialized measures such as the establishment of a disaster risk management system and methodologies for pre-disaster measures, disaster response, and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction.
Together with the preservation of historical townscapes and buildings, this programme aims to protect cultural objects that have been used in the daily lives of people in local communities. For this reason, it was considered that both movable and immovable cultural properties are essential to these efforts in disaster risk management.
Seasonal festivals and rituals, as well as local celebrations and customs, also serve to enrich people’s lives in local communities. Therefore, it is also important to protect intangible cultural heritage from natural and human-induced hazards.
This training course will cover various measures for the disaster management of cultural heritage , many of which have been developed in response to Japanese special circumstances.
The 15th International Training Course will put a special focus on the Integrated Protection of Immovable and Movable Cultural Heritage from Disasters.
Applications should be e-mailed to here.
by April 6th (Monday), 2020 (JST).
Please see the Guidelines for Application for more details.