Preparing local communities to assess risk and provide first aid to cultural heritage in times of crisis
Cultural heritage is about people, and each community has its own cultural manifestations, tangible and intangible, proudly conserved and protected. But how about awareness about the risk they face? How to identify hazards and the impact over ancient heritage? How to properly act to protect it? When disasters strike, local communities are the first to try and safeguard their cultural heritage. However, their ability to intervene often gets greatly reduced during the emergencies, due to the complexity of the multi-faceted humanitarian crises. At the same time, the first responders’ teams may not always be aware of what is culturally important, or how to prioritize the relevance of cultural values. They often lack the training to properly and securely handle movable heritage, such as historic objects and materials, and asses heritage structures, such as monuments and historic buildings. Likewise, identify and protect intangible heritage is difficult and needs close interaction with the local community.
The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) has developed a two-part publication created for the various actors involved in an emergency. It provides a practical method and a set of ready-to-use tools for securing endangered cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible. The user-friendly workflows help readers to plan and implement coordinated cultural rescue and risk reduction operations that involve local communities, heritage custodians, emergency responders, and humanitarians.
This session will be divided in two activities:
1. Panel of experts briefly presenting experiences and best practices on protecting movable and intangible heritage at risk, fostering dialogue with the audience in Q&A format;
2. Interactive exercise on community risk mapping, where the audience will become members of a local community to work on groups creating risk maps and prioritizing actions to protect their heritage.
Partner organization: Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)