Project

UNESCO Chair Programme on Cultural Heritage and Risk Management, International Training Course (ITC) on Disaster Risk Management of Cultural Heritage 2020
2nd September to 24th September, 2020, Kyoto, Japan

Background:


Disasters and Cultural Heritage
There have been multiple disasters in recent years: fires in the Notre-Dame de Paris, the Shuri Castle in Okinawa in 2019, and the National Museum of Brazil in 2018, earthquakes in Central Mexico in 2017, Myanmar and Italy in 2016, Nepal in 2015, Haiti and Chile in 2010, earthquakes and cyclones in the Philippines in 2014, and the devastating tsunami in the Northeast of Japan in 2011. These have caused enormous losses of life, property, and cultural heritage. These events have once again shown that cultural heritage, including historic buildings, archaeological sites, historic cities, cultural landscapes, and historic artifacts are highly vulnerable to natural and human-induced disasters. Furthermore, climate change is causing increases in the frequency and intensity of hydro-meteorological hazards on cultural heritage.

Therefore, it is important to undertake proactive measures that can reduce the risks to cultural heritage from these catastrophic events through adequate mitigation and preparedness measures. During the emergency phase, the challenge is how to assess damage and stabilize built heritage properties that are at risk of demolition. This also includes efforts to salvage movable heritage fragments and collections. The long-term challenge during the recovery phase is how to repair and retrofit heritage sites and undertake reconstruction that respects tangible and intangible heritage values while reducing their vulnerabilities.

In the light of these challenges, comprehensive disaster risk management is essential for the protection of cultural heritage from disasters. Therefore the Cultural Heritage and Risk Management project of the Institute of Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage (R-DMUCH), Ritsumeikan University, aims to organize the international training programme to build the institutional capacities needed to formulate the comprehensive disaster risk management plans which are fundamentally considering the characteristics of cultural heritage and the nature of the hazards to which the region is exposed.


Background of the Training Programme
A thematic meeting on cultural heritage risk management was held in Kobe, Japan in January 2005 as part of the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR). The meeting adopted a declaration that recognized the close relationship between cultural heritage protection and socio-economic development.

In response to the recommendations of the Conference, R-DMUCH has been acting as a focal point for organizing international research, training, and information networking in the field of risk management and disaster mitigation related to cultural heritage.

The past training courses have been joined by 152 participants in total from 62 countries; East Asia (Indonesia, South Korea, China, Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos), South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Maldives), Oceania (Palau, Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia), Central and South America (Peru, Chile, Jamaica, Haiti, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Honduras, Brazil, Panama and Argentina), Europe (Serbia, Moldova, Italy, Albania, Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, Spain, Netherlands, Romania, France, Georgia, Belgium, and Armenia), Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, and Jordan), Africa (South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Egypt, Morocco, Malawi, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe).

Objective:

The main objective of the course is to provide an overview of various aspects of disaster risk management of cultural heritage. In particular, the course provides interdisciplinary training to:

  • Undertake an integrated risk assessment of tangible and intangible, immovable and movable, cultural heritage by analyzing their vulnerabilities to natural and human induced hazards that can cause disasters;
  • Build integrated systems for the disaster risk management of cultural heritage by incorporating various measures aimed to reduce risks, responding to disasters, and recovering from them;
  • Formulate disaster risk management plans for cultural heritage that correspond to the local/urban, national, and regional levels, as well as policies for disaster risk management, humanitarian responses and recovery mechanisms;
  • Learn practical tools, methodologies, and skills for the disaster risk management of cultural heritage such as cost benefit analysis, value assessment, budgeting methods, and communication skills with various stakeholders ranging from decision makers to local communities; and
  • Strengthen the international scientific support network in order to build the institutional capacities needed to formulate comprehensive disaster risk management plans which are fundamentally considering the characteristics of cultural heritage and the nature of hazards in the national and regional contexts.

Target Audience of the Course:

    A. From Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management
  • Professional staff members of international, regional, national, provincial, and local heritage organizations, and government departments from the departments of archaeology
  • Cultural heritage professionals working in heritage sites and museums in the public and private sectors, and caretakers/custodians of religious sites and communities
  • Urban planners / development practitioners working in the field of cultural heritage conservation and management
  • Researchers, lecturers, and doctoral scholars working in the field of cultural heritage from academic institutions and research organizations
  • NGOs working in the field of cultural heritage conservation and management
  • Private professionals working in the field of cultural heritage conservation and management
    B. From Disaster Risk Management
  • Professional staff members from international, regional, national, provincial, and local organizations and government departments
  • Members of international, regional, and national humanitarian response agencies
  • Urban planners / development practitioners working in the field of disaster risk management
  • Researchers, lecturers, and doctoral scholars working in the field of disaster risk management from academic institutions and research organizations
  • NGOs working in the field of disaster risk management
  • Private professionals working in the field of disaster risk management
    C. From Both Cultural Heritage Conservation/Management and Disaster Risk Management
  • Combined skill set from A and B
  • Security and facilities staff from heritage sites and museums

Structure of the Course:

The training course includes classroom lectures, field-based learning through site visits and practical demonstrations at cultural heritage sites and museums in Japan, along with workshops, team projects, discussions, and individual/group presentations.

The participants work in multidisciplinary teams to learn the principles and practical know-how for balancing disaster management measures with those needed for conserving the values of cultural heritage. These will help towards the disaster risk management of cultural heritage sites by taking into consideration the nature of cultural heritage and the socio-economic and institutional contexts of the participants.

During the course, R-DMUCH will also provide academic support to the participants to help them develop disaster management plans for particular cultural heritage sites in their home countries. Therefore, each participant will select one cultural heritage site or museum in his/her respective country before attending the course.