Caribbean Conference on Disaster Recovery and Heritage Preservation

27/07/2018

Around fifty participants representing international and regional policy makers, emergency responders and cultural heritage stewards gathered in Phillipsburg, Sint Maarten from 30 July to 3 August 2018, for a conference on disaster recovery and heritage preservation. 

The conference was organized by the Caribbean Branch of the International Council on Archives (CARBICA) in coordination with the International Council on Archives in response to widespread impacts to cultural heritage following the destructive 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season.

Participants from Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Curaçao, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Martinique, Sint Maarten, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Tortola and Trinidad and Tobago took the opportunity to discuss their national responses to the impacts of the hurricane season on their cultural heritage, any challenges encountered, as well as lessons learnt. 

There were presentations on the actions of regional and international actors such as UNESCO, the International Council of Museums (ICOM), Blue Shield and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). The conference covered topics such as civil authority and cultural organizations response, disaster management planning for cultural institutions, and examined various models for coordinating emergency planning for cultural heritage. It brought together culture professionals and disaster management experts, to examine how to better align policies for greater protection of cultural heritage against the threat of disasters.

An important conference outcome was the development of a Memorandum of Agreement between the Parties in the Caribbean Heritage Protection Network.

UNESCO, through the Heritage Emergency Fund, provided support to the conference, which is in keeping with its focus of protecting cultural heritage from threats posed by disasters, through disaster management planning, strategies and policies and via post-disaster needs assessments.

For additional information on this project, please contact the Culture Sector of the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean at kingston@unesco.org

Please also see http://www.carbica.org/News/Events/Disaster-Recovery/ for more information.