Atlixco promotes cultural heritage protection against disasters with an Action Plan

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean United Nations Development Programme - Mexico
Atlixco impulsa la protección del patrimonio cultural ante desastres con un innovador Plan de Acción

The Municipality of Atlixco, in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Territorial Planning of the State of Puebla (SMADSOT), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Mexico, has launched the Local Action Plan for Cultural Heritage Resilience. This pioneering plan aims to safeguard and strengthen the resilience of Atlixco's cultural heritage, a significant tourist destination that welcomes approximately 1.2 million visitors annually.

The Action Plan, officially presented after the workshop "Towards Cultural Heritage Resilience in the State of Puebla" held on March 31, 2023, is the first of its kind globally to use the Scorecard self-assessment tool, Cultural Heritage Resilience Addendum. This innovative tool allows for the identification of gaps and opportunities, the definition of priority actions, and the promotion of community participation in integrating specific measures into territorial planning instruments.

The “Municipal Resilience Program of Atlixco” is structured around three main pillars. The first focuses on building an updated and sustainable municipality by integrating cultural heritage into the Municipal Development Plan (PMD), the Municipal Urban Development Program (PMDU), and Emergency Plans. The second pillar aims to strengthen governance processes by improving communication and coordination between municipal sectors to enhance response to threats. Finally, the third pillar promotes participatory analysis and mapping to identify the exposure and vulnerability of cultural heritage and update the Risk Atlas to take appropriate mitigation and adaptation measures.

Nahuel Arenas, Head of the UNDRR – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean, noted: “Guided by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, this plan integrates specific measures into planning instruments, promoting community participation and respect for Atlixco’s rich cultural heritage. Advancing the implementation of this Action Plan will not only serve to protect Atlixco's cultural heritage but also lay the foundations for a safer and culturally richer future.”

The Local Action Plan for Cultural Heritage Resilience of Atlixco represents a collective effort towards the municipality's resilience and sets a significant precedent for the protection and conservation of cultural heritage throughout the region. This document is a testament to Atlixco’s commitment to institutionalizing practices that strengthen municipal resilience and protect its rich cultural heritage, in line with the Sendai Framework, which proposes to “protect or support the protection of cultural and collection institutions and other historically, religiously, and culturally significant sites.”

The Mayor of Atlixco, Ariadna Ayala Camarillo, highlighted: “We, the people of Atlixco, understand that the risks we face are reduced when there is planning, coordination, and commitment. With these actions, we move towards more sustainable, balanced, and resilient development processes that allow us to better safeguard our cultural heritage.”

This document, developed with the valuable cooperation of SMADSOT, UNDP Mexico, and UNDRR, is a testament to Atlixco’s commitment to institutionalizing practices that strengthen municipal resilience and protect its rich cultural heritage. 

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