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3rd International Conference on Risk Management in Nara, Japan
  PublishDate:2009-02-11  Hits:1057

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The 3rd International Conference on Risk Management: Reducing Vulnerability to Disasters in Historic Cities was jointly organized by Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan, the Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) and other institutes in Nara, Japan, from 28th to 30th January 2009. The conference was built upon the fruits of previous meetings on risk management organized by ACCU (Nara) in 2007 and 2008, which identified risks and challenges of cultural heritage, and discussed risk preparedness against natural disasters. This meeting focused on disaster reduction of historic towns and urban areas. Experts from ICCROM, Vietnam, Nepal, India and China shared experience with Japanese professionals in the field of risk management. Dr. Kong was invited, representing WHITR-AP to deliver a presentation on ‘The Current Status and Issues of Disaster Reduction in Dujiangyan’ based on the ‘Post-Earthquake Evaluation on World Heritage Site: Mt. Qingcheng and Dujiangyan Irrigation System’ carried out by WHITR-AP (Shanghai).

During the conference, participants had a chance to experience the 55th Cultural Properties Fire Drill in front of the Nara National Museum, witnessing the joint effort of Japanese professionals in raising awareness of fire prevention to protect important cultural properties. Meanwhile, participants walked through ‘Nara-Machi’ districts and observed the protective measures against fire in cultural properties. The conference stimulated ardent discussion on disaster reduction measures and concluded with a series of recommendations by recognizing the vulnerability and positive role of urban heritage in disaster reduction.

On 31st January 2009, Mr. Tsujimura (priest of Gango-ji Temple), Dr. Jigyasu and Dr. Kong were invited by Mr. Nishimura, director of ACCU (Nara), to give lectures and panel discussion at the International Symposium collaborating with NHK Broadcast Corporation, in order to promote public awareness and participation in heritage conservation. The conference and symposium showed the rising concerns on risk management and integrated approach of conservation for heritage properties. WHITR-AP would like to cooperate with different institutes, organizations and universities to promote awareness and undertake further research in this field.

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