2019 Yearbook

R E V I E W A N D A N A L Y S I S 23 the four Sendai priorities: 1. understanding disaster risk – countries should raise awareness of the risks to heritage from disaster and support targeted projects that address all categories of risk 2. strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk – countries should promote the collaboration of competent authorities and support structural documentation of heritage using digital methods 3. investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience – countries should establish priorities for protecting cultural heritage assets and improve education on the subject 4. enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to ‘build back better’ in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction – new European standards should be drafted, the application of satellite services is to be fostered, and research on safeguarding heritage should be supported. EUROPEAN CIVIL PROTECTION FORUM The findings of the European Commission study were presented in Brussels to 900 representatives at the European Civil Protection Forum 2018. The aim was to provide a platform to discuss the current developments in safeguarding cultural heritage from the effects of disaster, and the future of the Union’s civil protection mechanism. The forum was developed on four strategic pillars: strengthening preparedness; simplifying response; scaling up prevention; and fostering resilience in Europe’s neighbourhood. Of particular interest was how cultural heritage needs should be incorporated in future EU policy decisions. The forum’s ‘Pillar 3 Scaling Up Prevention – protecting cultural heritage’ event offered a series of related presentations that built upon the European Commission study findings, concluding with a discussion that summarised its concerns and promoted a future direction. Consequently, in the forum’s final report, the section ‘Pillar 3 Scaling up Prevention, cultural heritage’ comes centre stage in directing the various agencies civil protection future policies, as the extract below makes clear. Adequate preparedness, improved coordination at EU level and enhanced capacity-building is needed for better protection of cultural heritage. The facilitation of pre-event assessments and pre-defined recovery actions and targets can lead to greater and more effective protection of cultural heritage in emergencies. Disaster risk assessment and the related risk reduction measures should be introduced into the planning and management cultural heritage resources. The proposed Civil Protection Knowledge Network should develop in-depth knowledge, analysis and data collection and assessment of risks to cultural heritage. Strengthening coordination at EU level among National cultural heritage authorities, research centres, and emergency response actors is fundamental. In the context of the ongoing revision of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, capacity- building initiatives and best practices should be harnessed and scaled-up to address the existing gaps. Dedicated cultural heritage units within civil protection agencies should be created. From Pillar 3, Civil Protection in a Changing Risk Landscape: Final Report It should be noted that, in the aftermath of Brexit, a key to the continuing success of European cooperation in the safeguarding of cultural heritage against risk and the development of future needs lies in the ability to effectively link with like- minded professionals and operatives in mutual recognition of the issues to be addressed. Inevitably, concern over research funding will emerge, but with an appropriate will and the greater benefits of remote electronic communications, much can still be achieved, notwithstanding the political and administrative turmoil that will inevitably take time to settle down post-Brexit. Further information All the documents referred to here can be found online, including Safeguarding Cultural Heritage from Natural and Man-Made Disasters, European Union Publications, 2018, to which the author contributed. Ingval Maxwell OBE DA(Dun) FRIBA FRIAS CAABC FSAScot had a career with Historic Scotland spanning 39 years and he retired in 2008. Past chair of COST Action C17 he has since acted as an EC Research Project expert assessor. Currently, he is chair of COTAC and a member of the RIBA Conservation Group. A joint European Commission cultural heritage meeting in progress, held in Prague Castle, Czech Republic