The safety and protection of people is the first and foremost priority in any disaster, as is the resilience of their communities in times of disasters. The themes, presentations, discussions and conversations surrounding this Global Risk conference strongly support life safety being paramount, as do we within ICOMOS-ICORP.
As Chairperson of ICOMOS-ICORP, I would like to add additional thoughts that should also be addressed as we move forward, particularly with regards to disaster risk management and how heritage can be better protected from disasters while contributing to the resilience of societies.
ICOMOS: Recalling the resolutions adopted on religious heritage by the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th General Assemblies of ICOMOS regarding the protection and enhancement of sacred heritage sites, buildings and landscapes;
ICOMOS condemns the recent destructions of Sufi cultural heritage in Tunisia and continued threats to this heritage in several countries of the region.
Having always been esteemed and regarded with affection, Sufi architectural heritage in Tunisia is now threatened by planned acts of destruction which began shortly after the revolution of 17 December 2010 – 14 January 2011.
Protection of Syria’s Cultural Heritage in Times of Armed Conflict: ICOMOS - ICCROM e-learning course for Syrian cultural heritage professionals
ICOMOS, in cooperation with ICCROM and the Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums of Syria (DGAM), and in coordination with UNESCO, held an e-learning course for Syrian cultural heritage professionals from 7 to 8 January 2013 at the Damascus National Museum. The course was led by the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Risk Preparedness-ICORP.
Since its beginnings in 2011, armed conflict in Syria has reached an unprecedented and dramatic level with huge human loss, hundreds of thousands of refugees, and extensive damage to infrastructure and properties. Cultural heritage in all its forms is continuously suffering from the direct and indirect effects of this on-going conflict. Syria’s World Heritage sites together with numerous cultural properties of national and local significance are at serious risk.
This new publication has been prepared for the 4th Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, 19-23 May 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland by Rohit Jigyasu, UNESCO Chair Professor at the Research Center of Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, and President of ICOMOS-ICORP,with the support of Manas Murthy, Architect and Sustainable Urbanist; Giovanni Boccardi (UNESCO World Heritage Centre); Christopher Marrion and Diane Douglas (ICOMOS-ICORP); Joseph King (ICCROM); Geoff O Brien (Northumbria University) and Glenn Dolcemascolo, Yongkyun Kim and Paola Albrito, Mariana Osihn, from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Northeast Asia & Global Education and Training Institute at Incheon and the Regional Office for Europe. All have provided valuable advice in developing this paper.
Statement by Yildiz Technical University and ICOMOS-ICORP from the International Symposium on Cultural Heritage Protection in Times of Risk: Challenges and Opportunities, 15 - 17 November, 2012 at Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey.
This Statement is made on the 40th Anniversary of the adoption of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention on 16 November, 1972.
Understanding that past civilizations have formed the foundations of today’s societies and that our cultural heritage will continue to shape and inform communities into the future,
Recognizing that cultural heritage is constantly at risk from natural and human-induced disasters, including armed conflict, some of which are not always predictable,
The Istanbul Statement recommends that all risk preparedness, disaster response and recovery strategies should address cultural heritage in parallel with practical humanitarian needs, as disaster recovery is also a wider and longer-term social process.
Specifically the Istanbul Statement recommends that:
- Istanbul Symposium- Final Programme
- UNESCO deplores destruction of ancient Aleppo markets, a World Heritage site
- ICORP Annual Business Meeting 2012
- ICOMOS Statement on Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Libya / Déclaration de l'ICOMOS sur la destruction intentionnelle du patrimoine culturel en Libye