Track 5: PL5 - COF Roundtable and Discussion - Post-Disaster Mitigation Strategies for Cultural Heritage Sites
Increases in natural disasters and armed conflicts have led to significant recent losses in the world’s cultural heritage. In some cases, this has led to a greater understanding, and more favourable attitudes by heritage experts towards the rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged or destroyed places, even when faced with traditional opposition.
Decisions on recovery and reconstruction should follow people-centred approaches, fully engaging local communities and, where appropriate, indigenous peoples and other relevant stakeholders. However, the process of recovery and reconstruction should enable people to connect to their heritage, identity and history. In the 21st century, building resilience is a key concern in facing either human or nature-driven destruction. Heritage reconstruction that follows an armed conflict or disaster demands addressing existing structural and social vulnerabilities, often by making a building and place more resilient to damage, and by improving the quality of life while retaining cultural values. It is therefore essential to invest in long-term capacity building in disaster risk management and conservation techniques, in order to provide for a sustainable future of heritage places.
Via a moderator-led session including invited speaker talks, case studies, and panel discussion, this roundtable will explore how different sites and communities in the Caribbean and Americas have had to confront these critical issues. The panel will focus on the challenge of preserving indigenous architecture, landscapes and communities in the face of mounting natural and human threat. Instances where repair and reconstruction have led to greater visibility for previously ignored cultures and communities will be discussed. As a follow-up to the 2018 COF roundtable in Buffalo, the panel will delve into the complexities of recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of damaged or destroyed sites, and how the questions and challenges that arise go well beyond authenticity and integrity.
1.5 LU | HSW | PDH