29.10.2013 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Opening of the Sub-Regional Training Workshop on Disaster Risk Preparedness and Management for Cultural Heritage in Yogyakarta

The Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture in partnership with UNESCO is holding a sub-regional Training Workshop on Disaster Risk Preparedness and Management from the the 28 October - 01 November 2013 in Yogyakarta in order to strengthen the capacity of countries in the Southeast Asian region to prepare for and manage disasters affecting cultural heritage sites. The international workshop brought together some 50 participants from Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam, as well as international experts and staff from the World Heritage Centre and UNESCO Field Offices in the Southeast Asia region.

The key objectives of the Sub-Regional Training Workshop on Disaster Risk Preparedness and Management are to raise the awareness among heritage practitioners and responsible agencies for the need to develop appropriate disaster risk management plans; to strengthen capacity in developing appropriate regimes of disaster risk management in major cultural sites of the region and Indonesia; and to promote a regional cooperation mechanism through the exchange of information and experiences in disaster risk management.

During the opening ceremony Mr Kacung Marijan, Director General of Culture, Ministry of Education and Culture, Indonesia outlined that research has shown an increase in the number of disasters around the world every year with climate change being associated with the occurrence of more frequent and intense extreme weather events. As a result of this cultural heritage sites are increasingly affected by disaster events, impacting people’s lives as well as valued heritage resources. Mr Kacung Marijan stated that the Government of Indonesia had decided to initiate this sub regional  workshop in order to address these challenged and to help ensure places of cultural significance in Indonesia and more widely in Southeast Asia are protected against disasters and ensure that they be safeguarded for generations to come.

In his opening remarks Mr. Hubert Gijzen, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Office Jakarta,  thanked the Government of Indonesia through the Ministry of Education and Culture for its strong leadership in organizing the workshop and outlined that Indonesia is developing as a leader in the Disaster Risk Preparedness and Management field, having responded to a number of large scale devastating natural disasters including the 2004 Tsunami, the 2005 Nias earthquake, the 2006 earthquake in Yogyakarta, and the 2010 Mt Merapi eruption, all of which affected cultural and natural heritage. Mr. Gijzen further added that the relationship between disasters and the preservation of cultural heritage is an area that has not received sufficient attention internationally and regionally, and it is therefore important this workshop raises attention to this and helps to build capacities in this regard.

The one week workshop will be facilitated by Mr. Giovanni Boccardi, Focal Point Sustainable Development and Disaster Risks, World Heritage Centre, UNESCO and Mr. Rohit Jigyasu, UNESCO Chair Professor at Research Center for Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage, Ritsumeikan University. UNESCO staff from Field Offices in Indonesian, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam will also help deliver the workshop through presentations and support in the facilitating workshop sessions. The workshop will continue until the 1st of November and will include a site visit to the Prambanan Temple Compounds, additional lectures on identification and assessment of risks, and group work on case studies from participants.

Download the Opening remarks here

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