Disaster Risk Reduction for (World) Heritage Sites

The Borobudur Conservation Office simulates a disaster response scenario in 2014 (©Borobudur Conservation Office)

Sustainability of a heritage site is dependent in part on its ability to withstand the impact of natural disasters and climate change. A Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategy should be an integral part of heritage site management; thus, cooperation for disaster risk mitigation and heritage conservation should go hand in hand. 

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for (World) Heritage Sites is a project domain of UNESCO Office Jakarta that aims to strengthen the resilience of heritage sites by incorporating DRR programs into their management. We work with key actors from heritage backgrounds as well as the disaster management sector to formulate programs and strategies aimed to not only conserve the built environment itself, but to also sustain the local livelihoods, many of which ultimately depend on the sites’ resilience as heritage destinations. Moreover, our DRR for heritage sites programs aim to safeguard valuable museum collections and immaterial traditions, which embody the identity of the people. 

UNESCO Office Jakarta assists heritage sites and historic cities across our five cluster countries to build capacities in strengthening the protection against disaster risks and minimizing associated damages by increasing risk awareness and improving response capabilities. In parallel, the office also collaborates closely with other UNESCO field offices to promote inter-regional cooperation on DRR across Asia, Pacific and Africa.

Areas of Actions

  • Safeguarding the Borobudur Temple Compounds World Heritage Site and strengthening DRR resilience following the eruptions of Mount Merapi and Mount Kelud
  • Supporting the formulation of a DRR Publication for Semarang Old Town, in order to enhance the site’s resilience against self-identified disaster risks [English / Indonesian]   
  • Minimizing fire risk and improving fire response capacities at the George Town World Heritage Site through a series of posters raising awareness of the local community
  • Strengthening the resilience of the Levuka Historical Port Town against fire, cyclones, flooding, and landslides.



For more information about DRR at (World) Heritage Sites programmes and activities in Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Timor-Leste, please contact:

Mrs. Moe Chiba
Program Specialist for Culture Unit

Mr. Ardito M.Kodijat
Program Officer for DRRTIU

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