Understanding Risk Factors in a Disaster Environment: Evaluation of a Three Week Study Tour of Japan

Adam Lebowitz, University of Tsukuba, Japan, Kelsea Clingeleffer, Liana Riddington, Zara Hoare, and Warde Macintosh, University of Tasmania, provide insights into the advantages of study tour experiences.

Abstract
On-site tours of post-disaster areas can deepen conceptual understanding of risks in a disaster environment. This evaluation describes highlights of a three-week program in Japan for Australian students of disaster psychology to study disaster mitigation and management in a different cultural setting. Students visited northeastern areas of Japan affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011, and centres for learning and memorialisation (the process of preserving memories of people or events) in Tokyo. This visit allowed students to meet experts in disaster risk reduction and recovery and allowed observation of how theory and practice in these areas have been developed in Japan.

Read Australian Journal of Emergency Management, Volume 30 Number 3, July 2015, pp 62-65.

For further information contact Dr Tanya Park, Chair Blue Shield Australia 

 

CULTURE: Conserving it Together conference Suva, Fiji, 1-5 October 2018

The 2018 CULTURE Conference Committee invites you to register for the conference. Visit the CULTURE: Conserving it Together conference website for more information on registration, the program, speakers and more. Following on from the Blue Shield Australia Symposium held in January, one of the key themes of the conference is Heritage at Risk: Climate Change and Disasters. The conference is a joint undertaking of Australia ICOMOS and ICOMOS Pasifika.

Download the 2018 CULTURE Conference Leaflet.

Initial queries about this conference can be directed to Bradley Hayden, details below.

Bradley Hayden
Countrywide Conference & Event Management
PO Box 5013
ALBURY NSW 2708
Phone: +61 412 461 392
email Bradley

Blue Shield Australia submission to the Australian Government Inquiry into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, March 2018

Blue Shield Australia submission to the Australian Government Inquiry into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, March 2018

Australia is a signatory to the 1954 Hague Convention Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict, but has yet to adopt the First and Second Protocols.  Signing of the Protocols would place Australia on an international level and underline legal commitment alongside the 108 nations that are parties to the First Protocol and Second Protocol [New Zealand (2013) and the UK (2017)]

Immediately following the Blue Shield Symposium [29-30 January 2018] a “Cultural Property Protection Expert Group Roundtable” met at Old Parliament House, Canberra [31 January 2018]. Representatives attended from the Departments of Defence, Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Communications and the Arts, and Environment and Energy met with BSA, ARC, the International Committee of the Red Cross, peak bodies and international observers from the UK, Japan and the Pacific.  Discussions centred around enhancing discourse on Cultural Property Protection, and move towards the support of the Australian government in the adoption of the Protocols and Hague Convention for Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict.

Conference: 8th International Conference on Building Resilience (Risk and Resilience in Practice: Vulnerabilities, Displaced People, Local Communities and Heritages)

The 8TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUILDING RESILIENCE is to be held in Lisbon, November 7-9, 2018.

The theme is Risk and Resilience in Practice: Vulnerabilities, Displaced People, Local Communities and Heritages.

This places cultural heritage within the global context of disaster risk reduction and provides an opportunity for heritage to be brought into the mainstream. It also provides an opportunity for heritage professionals to discuss with a non-heritage audience the contribution of heritage to resilience building, as well as the issues we have identified as critical for reducing risks to cultural heritage. This includes discussing cultural heritage in relation to displaced communities, which in the Australian context could include Aboriginal communities and refugee communities.

The conference is structured around the four priorities for action set out in the Sendai Framework and provides an opportunity for discussion of heritage in the broader context of disaster risk reduction and resilience, as well as to present evidence based heritage case studies.

ICOMOS-ICORP is an associate partner of the conference, along with UNISDR and a number of universities and research centres from around the world that specialise in resilience and disaster and emergency management. There is a broad range of tracks proposed for the conference which are aligned with the four priorities for action set out in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction:

  • Priority 1: Understanding disaster risk
  • Priority 2: Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk
  • Priority 3: Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience
  • Priority 4: Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction

Several of the tracks are expressly related to heritage, although, as heritage is part of the main theme for the conference, it would also be possible to address heritage within the other tracks on offer, although heritage is not specifically mentioned in their title. For the full range of tracks, which include among other areas cultural landscapes and indigenous heritage, refer to the conference website: http://2018.buildresilience.org

ICORP members are co-chairing the following tracks:

  • 3A – Heritages: Risk mitigation, adaptation and assessment
  • 4C – Risk and resilience issues of the architectural heritage: documentation, conservation, restoration and recovery
  • 4F – The Role of Heritage in Reducing Risks, Building Resilience, Sustaining Culture and Enabling Recovery and Healing

The call for abstracts closes this Sunday, 4 March 2018.

International Training Course: UNESCO Chair Programme on Cultural Heritage and Risk Management, International Training Course (ITC) on Disaster Risk Management of Cultural Heritage 2018

Call for Application for UNESCO Chair Programme on Cultural Heritage and Risk Management, International Training Course (ITC) on Disaster Risk Management of Cultural Heritage 2018, 13th year.

Dates of Course: 29th August to 19th September, 2018
Place: Kyoto and Kobe, Japan
Deadline: April 5th (Thursday), 2018 (JST)


Cultural heritage is increasingly exposed to disasters caused by natural and human induced hazards such as earthquakes, floods, fires, typhoons, theft, terrorism etc. Recent examples include Earthquakes in Central Mexico in 2017, Central Italy and Myanmar in 2016, Nepal earthquake in 2015, UK floods in 2015, Balkan floods in 2014 and ongoing conflicts in Syria and Yemen. These disasters not only effect the immovable heritage components such as monuments, archaeological sites and historic urban areas but also cause damage to the movable components that include museum collections and heritage objects that are in active use such as religious and other artefacts of significance to the local community. Both these movable and immovable components are exposed to various hazards that necessitate appropriate measures to reduce disaster risks. Also in the aftermath of a disaster many architectural fragments of damaged or collapsed buildings need documentation, handling and storage similar to movable heritage collections. Therefore an integrated approach for movable and immovable heritage is needed for risk assessment of heritage sites as well as museums and its collections before, during and after a disaster situation. Limited availability of human and financial resources also calls for closer coordination between professionals and institutions dealing with heritage sites, museums and the external agencies. Moreover integrated disaster risk management involves appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies to reduce various risks to movable and immovable heritage components by taking into consideration their heritage values that are often interdependent. It is also important to recognize many examples of traditional knowledge evolved by communities through series of trials and errors that demonstrate that movable and immovable cultural heritage can be an effective source of resilience against disaster risks and integrate these in larger disaster risk management strategies.

Japan is home to a variety of frequently occurring disasters, which can cause wide-ranging damage to its cultural resources. For this reason, the country has taken specialized measures in establishing a disaster risk management system and methodology for post-disaster emergency response and recovery.

Together with the preservation of historical townscapes and buildings, we aim to protect the objects and implements long used in the daily lives of people of the region, as well as objects that serve as clues to understanding the lives and achievements of past generations. For this reason, we consider both movable and immovable cultural property to be essential subjects of our disaster risk management efforts.

Seasonal festivals and rituals as well as local celebrations and customs also help to make people’s lives more abundant in the local community. Thus, another significant task is the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage from natural hazards.

These various cultural heritage disaster mitigation measures, many developed in response to Japan’s special circumstances, will be covered in this training.

The 13th International Training Course will give special focus on the Integrated Protection of Immovable and Movable Cultural Heritage from Disasters.

See http://r-dmuch.jp/en/project/itc_2018.html for Guidelines for Application, Application Form and further information about the course.

Culture Under Attack Exhibition

Every society is shaped by its social, artistic and religious histories and the cultural treasures that embody them. Because these objects are so intrinsic to our sense of identity they are increasingly targeted in modern armed conflict.

Culture Under Attack is an Australian Red Cross exhibition that highlights the impact of war on cultural heritage. The images in this exhibition reveal the tragic destruction of important buildings, monuments, objects and artefacts – things that tell the stories of who we are and where we have come from. They illustrate the impact of this loss, from the indiscriminate bombing of Europe during WWII, the burning of irreplaceable manuscripts from Timbuktu’s library, to the recent devastation in Palmyra, Syria.

Drawn from the portfolios of photojournalists across the world, Culture Under Attack also portrays the invaluable work of cultural custodians and organisations dedicated to keeping our heritage safe for future generations.

Culture Under Attack was made possible by the generous support of the Australian Government Attorney General’s Department.

https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/culture-under-attack 

When
Weekdays, 10am to 7pm
Weekends, 11am to 4pm

Friday 24 November 2017 to Saturday 31 March 2018

Except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Australia Day and Good Friday

Where
Customs House
31 Alfred Street, Sydney 

Level 2
Cost
Free

 

Symposium 29-30 January 2018

2018 Symposium

You are invited to join Blue Shield Australia members and supporters at the 2018 Blue Shield Australia Symposium to be held at the National Library of Australia, Canberra, Australia.

The symposium will be held over two days as follows:

Monday 29 January 2018—Tours, Workshops and Evening Welcome Reception

Tuesday 30 January 2018—Symposium with invited speakers

The purpose of the symposium is to share expertise, experiences and case studies of the protection of cultural heritage in times of natural disaster, as well as to discuss climate change and the strategies being put in place by the sector to work towards a sustainable future. The Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Pacific Regions are often affected by natural disasters and we look forward to learning from each other to advance the work of the International Committee of the Blue Shield to safeguard cultural assets for future generations.

More information – 2018 Symposium webpages – http://blueshieldaustralia.org.au/symposium

Register your interest now.

Deakin Cultural Heritage Seminar in association with Blue Shield Australia: Heritage and spatial knowledge in the Second World War: How the ‘Monuments Men’ documented cultural property.

Date: Wednesday, 28 September 2016. Deakin Melbourne Corporate Centre, 3rd Floor, Deloitte Building, 550 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Theatre room – 2:00-3:30pm

RSVP: antonio.g@deakin.edu.au

The Anglo-US Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Sub-Commission (the ‘Monuments Men’ organisation) was set up within the military government structures of the Allied armed forces in 1943. Part of its remit was ‘to preserve historic buildings, works of art and historical records…. by [furnishing] the ground and air forces with information as to the location of such monuments’ and to those ends the organisation, supported by largely American civilian agencies, produced a range of what might now be called ‘no-strike’ lists. This paper examines the production and evolution of this documentation by considering themes that are still issues in the production of modern cultural resource inventories. These include:

Production: Who undertook the research for these lists, and how? What were the relative roles of civilian and military personnel in this process?
Formatting: What formats and media were employed, and in what contexts?  These include typescript lists, printed booklets, and annotated maps and aerial photographs.
Data selection: What information was presented in the lists?
Magnitude: How comprehensive were the lists as inventories of cultural property, and how were decisions made over incorporation in, or exclusion from them?
Prioritisation: To what extent were priorities assigned to cultural property within the lists? Who made these decisions and how?
Dissemination: How and to whom within the Allied military structures were the lists distributed?
Reception: How useful and practical did military personnel find the lists?
All of these questions are relevant to the production of comparable lists today, and the experience of the Second World War provides us with valuable lessons in establishing such lists.

 

Biography: Nigel Pollard is Associate Professor of History and Classics at Swansea University, UK. PhD Classical Archaeology, University of Michigan 1993, with a thesis on Roman Syria, which became his 2000 University of Michigan Press monograph, Soldiers, Cities and Civilians in Roman Syria. He has done archaeological fieldwork in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Italy and the UK, but his main research focus now is on cultural property protection in conflict zones, both historical and contemporary. He is currently working on a monograph on the 1943 Allied bombing of Pompeii in the context of the development of cultural property protection in the Second World War, a board member of the UK National Committee of Blue Shield, ICOMOS UK member, and a member of the UK Military Cultural Property Protection Working Group.