In March 2015, the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction took place in Sendai, Japan. Prior to the main conference a series of expert meetings were held. The expert meeting on Cultural Heritage and Disaster Resilient Communities took place in Tokyo and discussed the importance of cultural heritage for disaster risk reduction.  

Interest in the contribution of cultural heritage to building resilient communities has been growing in recent years. For many years, professionals in the heritage field focused primarily on the value of cultural heritage per se, developing strategies to protect the physical cultural heritage in times of disaster. At the same time, the disaster risk reduction field focused primarily on immediate concerns of saving life and property in times of disaster without thinking about the role that culture and cultural heritage might play in strengthening community resilience. In recent years this has changed and the expert meeting looked at the increasing awareness towards the role of cultural heritage in disaster risk reduction. Naoko Kobayashi, Director of PAC Asia (Japan) attended the expert meeting on behalf of IFLA.

Please read her intervention to the expert meeting.