Disaster Risk Reduction in UNESCO designated sites

UNESCO-designated sites (World Heritage sitesBiosphere Reserves and UNESCO Global Geoparks) promote sustainable development, and focus on the protection of natural and cultural heritage or the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and geological resources. In that context, they are mobilized to address the challenges of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

UNESCO-designated sites are often an important source of employment and income, through tourism-based activities and environmental goods and services. They may be partly or entirely exposed to natural hazards and extreme weather events, with potential impacts on the communities living in or near the sites, and on their livelihoods. Because of their high cultural and symbolic value, the impact of the loss or damage of a UNESCO-designated site can resonate across the world.

At the same time, these iconic sites have tremendous potential as platforms to share knowledge on Disaster Risk Reduction. Many UNESCO-designated sites have community and tourism-oriented programmes to raise awareness about the source of natural hazards, associated risks and ways to reduce their impact.