Heritage & Conservation Collaborations

Postponement of the 2nd Training Workshop on Disaster Risk Management for Cultural Heritage in Southeast Asia

Programme Category: Conservation in the Tropics

Type/Category: Workshop/Conservation and Collaboration

Date/Duration: 17 – 27 March 2020 (excluding travelling days) *Postponed to 20-30 July 2020 tentatively (Please see ‘Postponement’ tab below for more details)

Venue: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam


  • SEAMEO Regional Center for Archaeology and Fine Arts
  • SEAMEO Regional Center for Vocational and Technical Education (VOCTECH)
  • Institute of Disaster Risk Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage, Ritsumeikan University (R-DMUCH), Kyoto, Japan
  • International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and the Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM)
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)


  • Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, Brunei Darussalam
  • Department of Museum, Brunei Darussalam

Due to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s declaration on the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19, previously known as the “2019 novel coronavirus”) outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and mindful of everyone’s health and safety, SEAMEO SPAFA, along with the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and the Institute of Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage, Ritsumeikan University (R-DMUCH), have agreed to postpone the 2nd Training Workshop on Understanding People, Nature, Culture: Heritage Management for Building Resilience of Living Settlements from 17-27 March 2020 to 20-30 July 2020 tentatively.

Should you have any inquiries on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us at DRM-IRS2020@seameo-spafa.org, with CC to Ms Hatthaya Siriphatthanakun, Specialist in Cultural Heritage Conservation at hatthaya@seameo-spafa.org.

The Southeast Asian region is home to invaluable and significant forms of cultural heritage, ranging from the tangible, such as collections of antiques and objects, ancient monuments, archaeological sites, historic buildings, towns, cities and cultural landscapes, to the intangible, such as customs, relics, music, craftsmanship and traditional lifestyles. In recent years, unpredictable disasters caused by natural hazards, such as flooding, tsunamis, earthquakes, fires and tropical storms have affected the region’s cultural heritage. Human actions such as tourism, economic development and urban expansion are also making a dramatic impact on heritage. These hazards can affect heritage at various levels, both locally and regionally. Whether natural or human-induced, disasters affect the physical condition and intangible aspects of heritage. As a result, intervention and action are needed to help protect the region’s heritage. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to restore heritage to its original state, and sometimes the damage is irreversible. Therefore disaster risk management in regards to cultural heritage is urgently needed.

Following a consultative meeting on “Developing Capacity-Building Activities on Disaster Risk Management for Southeast Asian Cultural Heritage” held in Bangkok from 19 to 21 April 2016, SEAMEO SPAFA in collaboration with the Institute of Disaster Risk Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage, Ritsumeikan University (R-DMUCH) and International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and the Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) have developed and conducted training workshops on disaster risk management of cultural heritage. At least three training workshops have been included in SEAMEO SPAFA’s 7th Five-Year Development Plan, each of which are to be held at selected Southeast Asian historic sites/cities comprising various types of cultural heritage. The theme of each training workshop is proposed according to circumstances at the time when the activities are being organized, while the comprehensive heritage typology will be considered as one of the criteria in the selection of the workshop venues.

The first training workshop was conducted in Bagan, Myanmar in 2018 under the theme: post-disaster recovery for the living urban archaeological complex. The issue of disaster risk management focusing on post-disaster measures was raised so that the experience from Myanmar could be shared and learnt. The training workshop also included capacity-building activities for Myanmar conservation practitioners in return for their hosting efforts. In addition, the workshop brought various globally discussed issues in heritage conservation identified in Bagan, such as living heritage, value-based management, archaeological heritage management, urban conservation and intangible aspects of cultural heritage.

In 2020, the second training workshop will be held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, using Kampong Ayer and its landscape as a case study to implement a place-based approach to heritage management. The theme: Understanding People, Nature and Culture: Heritage Management for Building Resilience of Living Settlements will focus on increasing resilience for heritage sites in Southeast Asia through disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.

In collaborating with the ICCROM-IUCN World Heritage Leadership Programme, this training workshop will improve conservation practice for culture and nature through the work of the World Heritage Convention, establish the contribution of World Heritage properties to sustainable development, strengthen cooperation between diverse partners, and formulate a network of collaboration for the integration of all of these aspects and activities as a crucial basis for the success of the entire programme. Disaster risk management and climate change adaptation will be established as key component parts of a new approach to integrated conservation, management and presentation of nature and culture within heritage sites to build their resilience. Disaster risk management and climate change adaptation should be adopted and made crucial and indivisible components of policies and management strategies for World Heritage sites as well as their larger contexts. The training will also discuss the implementation of effective disaster risk management planning for World Heritage sites including mitigation, adaptation and preparedness in the face of climate change and disaster risks.

  1. Raise awareness on disaster risks and their impact on cultural heritage in Southeast Asian countries
  2. Promote disaster risk management as part of cultural heritage conservation and management.
  3. Provide fundamental principles in conservation and disaster risk management for cultural heritage
  4. Harness traditional knowledge and local wisdom for the elaboration of risk mitigation measures
  5. Establish a Southeast Asian and international network of collaboration in disaster risk management
  1. Guide participants towards developing heritage management actions that take into account multiple hazards and risk factors related to disasters and climate change affecting the larger natural setting
  2. Build capacity in soliciting management solutions for risk mitigation, adaptation and preparedness for living settlements
  3. Contribute to the development of a new manual on building the resilience of World Heritage sites encompassing both natural and cultural heritage

Participants will be able to understand the basics of the heritage management structure by adopting a place-based approach to understanding the natural setting, its cultural features and the people involved. Participants will be able to critically analyze hazards and risk factors that need to be taken into account in establishing a holistic heritage management system with preventive conservation measures, adopting appropriate adaptation, mitigation and preparedness measures.

After the course implementation, participants will be asked to disseminate the acquired knowledge to their respective sites and institutions, and contribute towards establishing a holistic management system.

The training workshop will comprise two main parts:

1) Interactive lectures by resource persons with longstanding experience in cultural heritage conservation, disaster risk management and climate change adaptation for cultural heritage at regional and international levels, i.e. experts from ICCROM, the International Council of Monuments and Sites – International Scientific Committee on Risk Preparedness (ICOMOS-ICORP), IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and R-DMUCH

2) On-site workshop activities, including field exercises in Kampong Ayer and other heritage sites in Bandar Seri Begawan, and various assignments based on the methodologies developed by R-DMUCH and ICCROM.

The contents of this training workshop will be an interdisciplinary endeavour combining cultural and natural heritage conservation, disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.

The 10-day course will take place both in classrooms and on-site, and will be conducted in English. The maximum number of participants will be limited to 25 people, with 17 slots reserved for the SEAMEO member states. The remaining slots will be open for international applicants.

Experts from various related international organization i.e. ICCROM, ICOMOS-ICORP, IUCN, lecturers from leading universities in heritage conservation and disaster risk management of cultural heritage.

Participants should:

  • be preferably mid-career (5-10 year experience) Southeast Asian or international* professionals working in cultural heritage conservation such as heritage site managers, architects, landscape architects, archaeologists, curators, anthropologists, environmentalists, disaster risk managers, and who can make effective use of the result of the training course upon returning to their home countries; or those with potential of working with heritage, who may be part of a heritage office/authorities, risk management agencies, urban development institutions or a living community;
  • have English proficiency to allow discussion, exchanges and presentations;
  • attend the entire training programme;
  • be in good health and able to participate in the training programme;
  • submit all of the required documents by the stated deadlines;
  • be in a position to continue to exchange information and interact with the organizers after returning to their home countries;

* Applicants do not necessarily have to be nationals of Southeast Asia. Although this is primarily a Southeast Asian regional course, a small number of slots are reserved for international participants. Therefore everybody is eligible to apply.

Participants will be responsible for their round-trip travel costs to and from Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. Meals (10 days) and accommodation (11 nights on a shared basis) are expected to cost approximately USD$ 600.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek financial support from sources such as governmental institutions, employers and funding agencies, and to inform the organizers of any funding secured or in the process of application.

SEAMEO SPAFA will provide scholarship to cover international and domestic travel, accommodation (shared basis) from 16 to 27 March 2020 (11 nights) and meals for one participant from each SEAMEO member country. It is noted that participants who get scholarship from SEAMEO SPAFA are not allowed to come earlier than 16 March 2020 and/or stay longer than 28 March 2020.

ICCROM-IUCN World Heritage Leadership Programme will provide scholarship to cover international and domestic travel, accommodation (shared basis) and meals for a small number of selected participants subject to the availability of funds, other than those receiving support from SEAMEO.

Applicants who have been included in the final selection may also request partial financial support from the organizers subject to the availability of funds.

Please send the application form with your curriculum vitae (CV, English, less than 2 pages) and copy of passport by 27 December 2019 to: DRM-IRS2020@seameo-spafa.org

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