Disaster Risk Management and mitigation have become buzzwords in heritage conservation in recent years, especially in Southeast Asia where disasters can come in many shapes and sizes. In this past decade, Borobudur was covered in a layer of corrosive ash following the eruption of Mount Merapi in 2010; more than 100 monuments in Ayutthaya were affected by the 2011 flood season; and Bagan was struck by a devastating earthquake in 2016, affecting some 400 temples. In 2018 fires struck the National Archives of the Philippines and the Jakarta Maritime Museum (which was destroyed).
Events like these highlight the need for proper Disaster Risk Management and preparation. If you are a manager for a cultural or archaeological site, here are some resources that might be useful as a starting point.
- ICOMOS-ICORP: The International Scientific Committee on Risk Preparedness under ICOMOS has a great page of documents and publications that can be downloaded, such as:
- A Guide to Risk Management of Cultural Heritage, ICCROM, 2016
- Managing Disaster Risks for World Heritage, UNESCO, 2010
- Disaster Risk Management of Cultural Heritage in Urban Areas, Research Center for Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage, Ritsumeikan University (RitsDMUCH), 2013
- IFLA Emergency Preparedness Planning for Library Collections: Development of a Program and Lessons Learned
- UNISDR: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction has a page dedicated to cultural heritage. There is supposed to be a publication, but the link isn’t working at this time.
- UNESCO Endangered Heritage: Emergency Evacuation of Heritage Collections: Free download from the UNESCO website.
If you have any other Disaster Risk Management resources to suggest, please leave a comment or send me an email and I will update the list. This page was originally adapted from a 2018 post following the fires that destroyed the Brazil National Museum.