UNESCO attends first ever pan-Arab disaster risk reduction conference in Aqaba
The UNESCO Amman Office participated in the first Arab Regional Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in March 2013 at Aqaba, Jordan. The conference covered critical areas such as: global risk trends, regional progress in DRR, developing a global DRR framework, challenges and opportunities, the UN Plan of Action for DRR, urban risk reduction in the region, making cities resilient and good practices.
In highlighting the role of heritage, cultural practices and traditional knowledge in DRR, the UNESCO Amman Office made a presentation on DRR and heritage activities in Jordan, focusing on:
(1) the concluded Risk Mapping Project of Petra and the results achieved, such as the development of a risk management methodology to identify and assess risks within the Petra Archaeological Park and the final publication on ‘Risk Management at Heritage Sites’;
(2) the ongoing project of Sustainable Monitoring Techniques for Assessing Instability of Slopes in the Siq of Petra, which focuses on risks facing the site, in particular the Siq, and the Integrated Monitoring System that is being installed at the Siq for risk monitoring.
As heritage can contribute to DRR before, during and after disasters, through acting as a physical barrier against the calamities before and during the disaster, and acting as a symbol of unity after the disaster, it was stressed that more should be done to integrate heritage considerations when planning disaster prevention strategies and resources such as the World Heritage Strategy for DRR should be better used.
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