This methodology, relying on a common and shared understanding of the subject at European level, aims at providing key operational and technical elements to address cultural heritage at risk of disaster, offering an overview of the main actions that should be taken into particular account to advance preparedness and response activities for the inclusion of cultural heritage safeguard in disaster risk management processes at both national and European level. Many structural, technical and operational aspects on how to enhance the protection of cultural heritage at risk of disaster at each territorial level have been explored in order to produce a document which concisely points out the elements that are crucial in disaster risk management operations: from the existing institutional framework to the inclusion of cultural heritage in planning processes, from the needed coordination structure and supporting team to the tools and data management system in support of the experts deployed on the field, as well as training sessions and exercises focused on the protection of cultural heritage at risk.
In order to provide for specific references and further analysis, the document also reports ten case studies on the practices already developed by the PROCULTHER partners in terms of institutional framework, planning, coordinated structure and teams. Finally, it concludes the actions to be undertaken to achieve an effective protection of cultural heritage at risk of disaster. It is worth mentioning that the contents of the methodology were also tested through the implementation of the Virtual International Training Module on the Protection of Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage in Emergency organized in November 2021. Actually, the purpose of this event was twofold: it allowed to test the module following the training programme proposed by the Methodology, and to provide PROCULTHER Partners and stakeholders with the opportunity for its further improvement and deeper analysis, thanks to the feedback and insights by about 40 disaster risk management and cultural heritage experts, coming from 15 different UCPM Member and Participating States, that took part in the training and discussion-based exercise dealing with cultural heritage protection that closed the event.