Managing Disaster Risks For World Heritage

Published in 2010 by the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNESCO World Heritage Centre
7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 SP
Tel: +33 (0)1 45 68 24 96
Fax: +33 (0)1 45 68 55 70
E-mail: [email protected]
Title:  MANAGING DISASTER RISKS for World Heritage  
 Edition:  2010  
 Author:  World Heritage Centre  
 Table of Contents:

1. What is Disaster Risk Managment and why is it important? 8
2. What does a DRM plan consist of? 15
3. How do you get started? 20
4. How do you identify and assess disaster risks? 23
5. How can you prevent disaster risks or mitigate their impact? 32
6. How do you prepare for and respmnd to emergencies? 41
7.  How do ypu recpver and rehabilitate your property after a disaster? 49
8. How to implement, reassess and reappraise the DRM plan 56
AppendixI. Glossary of relevant disaster management terms 58
AppendixII. Typology of hazards 59
AppendixIII. Relevant charters and recommendations 61
AppendixIV. International organizations and research institutions 62
AppendixV. Key references and publications 64
What are the key objectives of the Resource Manual?
• To help the managers and management authorities of cultural and natural World Heritage properties to reduce the risks to these properties from natural and humanmade disasters, as emphasized by the World Heritage Committee at its 2006 session (UNESCO / WHC, 2006, Section A.5, para. 19).
• To illustrate the main principles of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) for heritage and a methodology to identify, assess and mitigate disaster risks.
• To explain how to prepare a DRM plan based on this methodology.
• To demonstrate that heritage can play a positive role in reducing risks from disasters and so help to justify the conservation of World Heritage properties.
• To suggest how DRM plans for heritage properties can be integrated with national and regional disaster management strategies and plans.
Who is the target audience?
The manual is primarily aimed at site managers, management teams and the agencies and organizations that have a direct stake in the management of a heritage property. It can also be adapted and applied by other stakeholders, depending on their mandate and responsibilities.
What is the scope of the manual?
The manual focuses on one approach to the principles, methodology and process for managing disaster risks at cultural and natural World Heritage properties.
Considering the great variety of types of property, and many possible disaster risks, it does not attempt to be comprehensive. Disasters may result from various kinds of hazard, either natural in origin such as earthquakes and cyclones, or human-induced such as fire caused by arson, vandalism, armed conflicts or disease epidemics. The focus is on sudden catastrophic events rather than gradual, cumulative processes that can have an impact on heritage properties, such as erosion, mass tourism, drought or the spread of invasive species. Furthermore, specific technical and operational aspects (for example, how to strengthen a masonry structure against the risk from earthquake or how to set up early warning systems for a tsunami) are not covered.
The manual is concerned with planning for Disaster Risk Management at cultural heritage properties. It does not attempt to develop a general theory of cultural heritage DRM. Drawing mainly upon the available sources and published literature on DRM, it has been prepared by cultural heritage experts with some contribution from experts in the conservation of natural heritage.
How is the manual organized?
The manual is structured as a series of questions that the user might ask about preparing a DRM plan. The questions are answered by reference to a single, coherent approach to the principles, methodology and process for managing disaster risks at heritage properties. The first three sections (1 to 3) explain why DRM plans are necessary, how they relate to other management plans, and who should be involved in preparing them. Each of the following sections (4 to 8) focuses on one step in the process of preparing a DRM plan. Throughout the manual, methodological principles are illustrated by case studies. These examples are drawn from the experience of a wide range of disaster risks, on the one hand, and from a wide range of World Heritage property types, on the other. The appendices provide a glossary of DRM terms, a typology of common hazards, and lists of relevant organizations, sources and publications useful for further reading about DRM for heritage sites.


See Manual