In an effort to encourage coordinated disaster planning, mitigation and relief, the United Nations General Assembly established 1990-2000 as the international Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR).
As disaster management strategies evolve at local, national and international levels, it is essential to assure inclusion of the cultural heritage - sites, structures and monuments, as well as museums, libraries, archives and their contents. A deliberate effort is required, as emergency management commonly focuses on humanitarian and strategic concerns. Under a grant by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), Dr. Sultan Barakat, Director, Post-War Reconstruction and Development Unit, University of York. U K., and Arlene K. Fleming, Cultural Resource Management Consultant in the U.S.A., proposed a series of regional workshops to foster integration of
cultural heritage into disaster management. Lazar Sumanov, president, ICOMOS-Macedonia, offered to host the first regional workshop. It will be followed by an international electronic forum on issues and successful practices.
WORKSHOP PURPOSE AND METHOD
To create national strategies for integrating cultural heritage into disaster planning, mitigation and relief, at local and national levels with regional and international cooperation.
Pairs of representatives from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the New Independent States - one in disaster management, and one in cultural heritage management - will discuss the challenges and procedures for accomplishing this integration. Examples of successful strategies will be presented and discussed, emphasising the deliberate effort needed to assure inclusion of cultural heritage. Each pair of representatives will report on the status of disaster planning and cultural management in their nation, and will formulate an appropriate plan of action.