Context 161 - September 2019

22 C O N T E X T 1 6 1 : S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 9 Friday, 5 July Friday day school the end of the 20th century the emphasis shifted towards a more risk-based approach. This encompasses risks associated not only with disaster, but also with planned or cumula- tive change, for example the threat posed to historic settlements by insensitive public works, or the creeping decay of a historic collection due to light exposure. In the risk-based approach we need to assess both the potential impact of a threat, and the chance of it happening. This allows us to identify priorities and target resources where they are most needed. Inpractice,DRMembodies a riskmanagement cycle that begins with risk prevention and moves on to emergency response procedures, mitigation and, ultimately, rebuilding. ‘The key to effective protection of cultural heritage at risk is advance planning and preparation,’ Aslan said. Before a disaster this involved the documentation, inventory and survey of heritage assets, efforts to understand their heritage values, and analysis of historic disaster responses and their outcomes. During a disaster we needed a method – a combination of response procedures – allowing us to deliver effective first aid to cultural herit- age. Our preparations might include the training of a team of first aiders to assist in the process Recovery and disaster management Keynote speaker: Zaki Aslan Following a welcome from the chair, the day school opened with keynote speaker Zaki Aslan introducing delegates to disaster risk management (DRM) in the world context. Aslan is a conservation architect and director of ICCROM’s regional conservation centre in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The subject is both topical and emotive, with recent disasters including fires at the National Museum of Brazil and Notre-Dame Cathedral; earthquakes in Central Mexico and the Philippines; and intentional destruction or collateral damage resulting from conflicts in the Arab region. Add to this the fact that many historic cities are prone to flooding by river or sea, and the significance of current risks to world heritage becomes plainly clear. Over the last 30 years or more, the lit- erature and practice that provide the context for DRM have undergone significant development. Aslan highlighted the early work of Sir Bernard Fielden – a past director of ICCROM – in a field that initially focused on the avoidance of loss, that is to say, ‘preventive conservation’. Towards From left to right, Zaki Aslan, Liz Davidson, Jez Pegram, Ben Robinson, Steve Emery and Ed Morton