First International Training Programme for Risk Management starts this autumn in Kyoto, under the leadership of Dr. Kanefusa Masuda, ICOMOS Member, Professor at Ritsumeikan University, Japan
An International Training Course on Risk Management of Cultural Heritage will be held (22 October - 3 November 2006) in Kyoto, Japan, under the coordination of the Research Center for Disaster Mitigation of Cultural Heritage of Ritsumeikan University (Rits-DMUCH), with the scientific cooperation of UNESCO World Heritage Centre, ICCROM and ICOMOS.
This course is a follow-up action to the recommendations adopted at the Special Thematic Session on Risk Management for Cultural Heritage held at UN-WCDR (World Conference on Disaster Reduction) in January 2005 in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan. Among these recommendations was the need for the academic community to develop scientific research, education and training programs incorporating cultural heritage in both its tangible and intangible manifestations, into risk management and disaster recovery. The importance of strengthening knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of disaster prevention at WH properties was reiterated also by the World Heritage Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, Lithuania, July 2006).
Furthermore, the "Declaration", adopted at the International Disaster Reduction Conference (IDRC) of Davos (August 2006) confirmed that 'concern for heritage, both tangible and intangible, should be incorporated into disaster risk reduction strategies and plans, which are strengthened through attention to cultural attributes and traditional knowledge'.
In line with the above-mentioned policies, Rits-DMUCH will organize a two-week intensive training program for cultural heritage risk management, inviting cultural heritage experts together with disaster risk management experts from different countries. This course will provide lectures, presentations, site visits and most importantly collaborative formulation of integrated risk management plan for participants' own heritage sites.
During the first year, 8 experts from 4 Asian countries will be invited. In the following years, it is planned to extend the course to 2 months for 10 experts from 5 countries. The course will be open to all Asian or Pacific countries which have World Cultural Heritage sites and which need to formulate risk management plans for these sites. It is hoped that this programme will be continued for a minimum of 5 years, possibly up to 10 years, as Japan is a unique country where many traces of past disasters are to be found such as earthquakes, fires, typhoons, floods and tsunamis.