As part of a joint project between ICCROM and the Georgian National Committee of the Blue Shield on “Community Centered Tools for Sustaining Cultural Heritage and Building Disaster Resilience”, a field trip took place in Racha-Lechkhumi and Lower Svaneti last summer, from 28 July to 2 August.
This consisted of a series of meetings and exercises that involved 30 community representatives, and local and international experts in cultural heritage protection and disaster risk reduction. Community participants came from various backgrounds, such as agriculture, but also emergency management, monument protection and social services. Together, and with the help of the project team, they identified priority lists of tangible, intangible and natural heritage in the Oni and Ambrolauri districts of Georgia. Also identified were the major risks faced in the area, as well as the existing and necessary mechanisms to deal with those risks.
The joint activity was conceived within the framework of ICCROM’s Flagship programme on First Aid and Resilience for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAR). Through targeted training and knowledge sharing, FAR enables communities, cultural heritage professionals, humanitarians and emergency responders to work together and reduce risks of damage and destruction. The targeted activities for disaster resilience include developing community-based tools for vulnerability and capacity assessment, providing guidance and advice to Member State institutions for formulating national policies, and preparing Disaster Risk Management plans for various types of heritage sites and institutions.