Research on ICH Safeguarding and Disaster Risk Management (FY 2020–2023)

Amid growing international concerns about the disaster risk management of cultural heritage, discussions concerning the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in emergencies have made considerable progress in the past 5 years or so. Alongside this development, from FY 2016, IRCI implemented a 3-year research project on ICH and disaster risk management in the Asia-Pacific region that is frequently exposed to various natural hazards, to explore the current situations and challenges. Building upon the recommendations that were adopted at the workshop held in December 2018 as a project outcome, the current project carries out more practical research for safeguarding ICH from disasters and mobilising ICH for disaster risk reduction.


Considering the difficulty of conducting field research due to the COVID-19, in FY 2021, IRCI conducted a desktop study for eight countries (Bangladesh, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, the Philippines, Vanuatu, and Viet Nam), in which potential disaster risks to ICH and aspects of ICH that are effective for the disaster risk reduction, response, and recovery were assessed for all ICH domains and typical disaster types.

Based on the results of this study, in FY 2022, a regional workshop was held to discuss what we can do to reduce disaster risks to ICH and to utilise it for disaster risk reduction, while identifying specific issues and challenges in each country. Field research reflecting the outcomes of desk study and the workshop is in progress, with a view to proposing specific action plans.

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