This paper presents the current thinking in the field as well as various examples – from different regions of the world - of how heritage can be better protected from disasters while contributing to the resilience of societies. It aims to bring these important issues to the attention of the larger disaster risk reduction community and to stimulate wider discussion in the context of ongoing consultations around a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction and a post 2015 development agenda. In advocating for integration of these issues within both disaster risk and heritage conservation policies and practices, this paper promotes strategic partnerships that bring the knowledge and capacities of actors in the fields of cultural heritage and disaster risk together and encourages support to the initiatives of local governments and, most importantly, communities that safeguard our shared cultural heritage for resilience.
This paper has been prepared by the International Scientific Committee of ICOMOS for Risk Preparedness in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), UNESCO and ICCROM on the occasion of the Fourth Session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (Geneva, 18-23 May 2013). It includes contributions from a wide range of committed leaders and organizations including MARSH International, a global re-insurance company, and a group of European Mayors who have committed to work together to protect heritage and build resilience in their cities.