Consultation Workshop on Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation

When :

from Tuesday 28 January, 2020
to Thursday 30 January, 2020

Type of event :

Category 7-Seminar and Workshop

Where :

Pooram International Hotel, Thrissur, India

UNESCO New Delhi in collaboration with the Department of Culture, Government of Kerala, and Kerala Lalithakala Akademi is organising a consultation workshop on disaster preparedness and mitigation. The objective of the workshop is to provide a platform for local partners and concerned communities to elaborate a disaster risk prevention strategy for Koodiyattam.

These strategies will be helpful in mitigating the impact of future disaster events and contribute to sustainability of the cultural practices.

Between June and August 2018, Kerala experienced the worst floods ever in its history since 1924. Working closely with the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Government of Kerala, UNESCO led the post-disaster needs assessment of the cultural heritage sector. The assessment included an analysis of the effects of the floods on tangible heritage -- monuments and archaeological sites; intangible heritage — traditional crafts, rituals and traditional performing arts; and movable heritage – museums and manuscripts in the state.

It also estimated the economic and human impact of the disaster on the sector and formulated a recovery strategy to address short, medium, and long-term needs in the sector. Subsequently, the Government of Kerala established the Rebuilding Kerala Initiative (RKI) to coordinate and formulate the Recovery Framework. The PDNA which was presented to the Government of Kerela estimated the total damages due to the flood to be around $3.8 billion.
The vernacular architecture of Kerala addresses various climatic, cultural, and even gender needs. Similarly, the intangible cultural heritage elements are largely community-based rituals and practices, which cater to the cultural integrity of the society. Communities are inherently resilient but they need to be supported with certain basic, enabling environments to express and manifest their cultural needs, and to reinstate their cultural values and identity in the spaces they inhabit. Koodiyattam, which is also on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, was severely affected due to floods. The floods destroyed costumes, props, musical instruments and the theatre where the artists performed and trained for this art form.