Heritage can be better protected from disasters while contributing to the resilience of societies. This module addresses gaps in disaster risk management (DRM) practices; explores how to integrate disaster risk management with other management frameworks; and promotes inter-sectorial, inter-organizational collaboration to advance heritage concerns in the wider agenda for disaster risk reduction. Another priority is to gather knowledge, develop tools and provide guidance for climate change mitigation and adaptation in World Heritage sites.
Synergies will be coordinated with other existing programmes in UNESCO, IUCN, ICCROM, ICOMOS and UNISDR (UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction). The programme will tightly focus around revising the existing resource manual on disaster risks, by coherently linking disaster risk management and climate change responses, and by integrating risk management with daily heritage management.
Disaster Risk Management manual revision
The existing resource manual on Managing Disaster Risks is currently being revised to provide a strong foundation on aspects of risk preparedness for World Heritage sites, be it from disasters or climate change impacts. The integrated manual should set the standard for site-based disaster risk management and building resilience of the heritage place. Case studies are being developed to collect lessons learned from properties that have been subject to disasters, and all phases (planning before, emergency work during, and recovery after) are being included.
Climate change adaptation will be established as a key component of the new approach to integrated conservation, management and the presentation of nature and culture within World Heritage sites. The new resource manual will include guidance on climate adaptation, and case studies of best practices will be gathered and disseminated. A literature review on climate change has been conducted to provide for the scoping study for the development of this guidance.
Policy document on the impacts of climate action on World Heritage properties
UNESCO is producing a policy document in collaboration with the WHL programme and other partners, to galvanize urgent and transformative action on climate change by States Parties to the World Heritage Convention and all stakeholders, including indigenous peoples and local communities, civil society, and the private sector.
Through its vision, goals and components, the policy document aims to contribute to the objectives of the World Heritage Convention and other climate and heritage related multilateral agreements, processes and instruments.
The policy document will contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. It aims also to foster synergies and progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 2015 Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, the 2016 New Urban Agenda, and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
DRM and People Nature Culture course
The DRM-PNC course aims to help participants develop heritage management actions that take into account multiple hazards and risk factors related to disasters (including those resulting from climate change) from the wider setting. Upon completion, they will be able to solicit management solutions for risk mitigation, adaptation and preparedness for living settlements. The course is being implemented in partnership with SEAMEO-SPAFA (Bangkok, Thailand).
It is important for World Heritage sites to adopt disaster risk management as a crucial and indivisible component of their policies and management strategies, including with regards to the larger contexts of a site. Effective Disaster Risk Management planning also needs to be in place and should encompass effective strategies for mitigation, adaptation, and preparedness to address disaster risks.
Recognising the link between disasters and climate change is crucial. The course will look at ways of integrating climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies with disaster risk management of cultural heritage