17.11.2011 - UNESCO Venice Office

World Heritage site of Berat to host training workshop on Disaster Risk Preparedness and Management

Managing Disaster Risks for World Heritage (01/07/2010) © UNESCO

The World Heritage Committee has adopted in 2007 a Strategy for Reducing Risks from Disasters at World Heritage Properties which encourages all States Parties to develop disaster risk management plans for the World Heritage properties in their respective countries. Yet, disaster risk management is still at a preliminary stage among heritage professionals. In coherence with this and under the framework of the One UN in Albania, the UNESCO Venice Office and ICCROM are conducting a training workshop on Disaster Risk Preparedness and Management at the World Heritage site of Berat in Albania from 19 to 24 November 2011. The workshop aims to bring together heritage professionals from selected major heritage sites of Albania (Gjirokastra, Berat, Saranda-Butrint and Apollonia archaeological park) to introduce the disaster risk issue within the developing process of World Heritage site disaster risk management plans.

The workshop will be developed through a participatory methodology and upon the newly issued Resource Manual for Managing Disaster Risks for World Heritage - which focuses on one specific approach to the principles, methodology and process for managing disaster risks at cultural and natural World Heritage properties.

Special focus will be devoted to risk preparedness for earthquakes and fires, through the participation of highly qualified international experts on such fields of expertise. The objectives are: to raise the awareness among professionals and responsible agencies for the need to develop appropriate disaster risk management plans; to raise capacity in developing appropriate regimes of risk management in major cultural sites of Albania; and, to lay the ground for the development of a disaster risk management plan in the selected cultural sites, acting as a model for other sites both in Albania and in the whole Region.

The workshop intends to bring heritage professionals from Albania and provide them with the knowledge on current thinking, methods and tools available for the preparation of Disaster Risks Management plans. The World Heritage Manual on managing disaster risks will also be introduced to the participants. Using the manual and analyzing the specific context of the selected sites, a broader framework will be developed. This will be done through team work methodologies that will form the basis for further developing a site management plan by the respective site management authorities to be delivered and presented on the occasion of the final workshop on disaster risk preparedness and management in cultural sites scheduled in Albania in spring 2012.

Trainees will be able to rely on adequate coaching support after the end of the training and will be praised with personal certificate of attendance only upon delivery of a framework for draft management plan on risk preparedness at the above conclusive workshop. 

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