Heritage & Conservation Collaborations

“The 3rd Training Workshop on Disaster Risk Management for Southeast Asian Cultural Heritage: Building Resilience for Urban Heritage in Time of Changes”, 15-25 Feb 2023

The 3rd Training Workshop on Disaster Risk Management for Southeast Asian Cultural Heritage: Building Resilience for Urban Heritage in Time of Changes

Venue: Bangkok, Thailand

Date: 15-25 February 2023

Course Aim:

1) Guiding participants to develop heritage management action plans that takes into account the diverse risk factors, vulnerabilities and multiple hazards related to disasters and climate change in order to solicit management solutions for risk mitigation, adaptation and preparedness for historic urban areas.

2) Contributing to the development of a guideline/publication of disaster risk management of Southeast Asian cultural heritage.  


The training workshop comprises two main parts:

1)    Interactive lectures by resource persons who have long-standing experience in cultural heritage conservation and disaster risk management 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), UN Habitat and the World Heritage Centre.

2)    On-site workshop activities, including field exercises in historic quarters and other heritage sites in Bangkok and various assignments adapted from the methodologies developed by R-DMUCH and ICCROM.

The contents of this training workshop will be an interdisciplinary endeavor combining heritage conservation focusing on historic urban areas, disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.

Course Structure

The course is a 10-day course (excluding a day-off) that will take place both in classrooms and on-site.

Working language: English

1. Date and Venue: 15-25 February 2023, Bangkok, Thailand

2. Organizers:

  • SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA)
  • International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and the Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM)
  • Institute of Disaster Risk Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage, Ritsumeikan University (R-DMUCH), Kyoto, Japan

 3. Supporter:

  • Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology – Japan (MEXT)

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 are 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 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 SPAFAS’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 the circumstance 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 at Bagan 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 was held to implement place-based approach in heritage management. The theme: Understanding People, Nature and Culture: Heritage Management for Building Resilience of Living Settlements brought the issues of increasing resilience for heritage settlements in South East Asia through disaster risk management and climate change adaptation. In collaborating with ICCROM-IUCN World Heritage Leadership Programme, this training workshop aimed to improve conservation practice for culture and nature through the work of the World Heritage Convention, established the contribution of World Heritage properties to sustainable development, strengthened cooperation between diverse partners and formulated a network of collaboration for such integration as a crucial basis for the success of the entire programme. In addition, recognizing the link between disasters and climate change, the course also looked at ways of integrating climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies with disaster risk management of cultural heritage. Therefore, the more-than-600-year water village, known as Kampong Ayer located on the Brunei River at the heart of Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city of the country, and surrounded by mangrove forest was chosen to be the venue of this training. However, due to the Corona virus pandemic the training workshop was converted to be an online training course and was ultimately completed successfully in 2021.

For the 3rd training workshop of this series, theme on disaster risk management of historic urban areas in relation to urban conservation for Southeast Asian cities is proposed. In the past few years, heritage professionals, involving organizations and communities around heritage places, have become more concerned and aware of potential risks to heritage and their living conditions from natural hazards, most especially climate change. Relevant initiatives have been undertaken, such as the UN Climate Change Conference organized annually, the launch of ICOMOS Report entitled “Future of Our Pasts: Engaging Cultural Heritage in Climate Action”, and other events. Although disasters caused by natural hazards seem to dramatically increase, one of the major factors that escalates the severity and frequency of impacts including losses and damages is the vulnerabilities caused mainly by human activities. In most Southeast Asian historic quarters, towns or cities, the infrastructure and tourism facility construction, urban expansion and transformation, population growth and demography were obviously due to economic and social development. It is clearly seen that these actions can affect heritage attributes found in the cities while they also catalyze the impacts from both natural and human-induced hazards to be more disastrous.

  1. Raising awareness on disaster risk and its impact on cultural heritage in Southeast Asian countries
  2. Introducing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction to Southeast Asian participants
  3. Promoting disaster risk management as part of cultural heritage conservation 
  4. Providing the fundamental principles in disaster risk management for cultural
  5. Harnessing traditional knowledge and local wisdom for the elaboration of risk mitigation measures
  6. Increasing the recognition of the importance of community participation in cultural heritage conservation
  7. Establishing a Southeast Asian and international network of collaboration in disaster risk management

Course coordinators:

  • Hatthaya Siriphatthanakun – Senior Specialist in Cultural Heritage Management, SEAMEO SPAFA
  • Rohit Jigyasu – ICCROM
  • Okubo Takeyuki – R-DMUCH

The maximum number of participants will be limited to 25 people, with 11 slots reserved for the SEAMEO member states.  The remaining slots will be open for applicants from any regions.


Participants should:

  • be preferably mid-career (5-10 year experience) Southeast Asian or Asian professionals working in cultural heritage conservation as architects, landscape architect, archaeologists, engineers, heritage site managers, urban planners working with municipalities and etc., 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; and
  • be in a position to continue to exchange information and interact with the organizer after returning to their home countries.

Course Fee 750 US$

Travel, accommodation and living expenses

Participants will be responsible for their round-trip travel costs to and from Bangkok, Thailand while the course fee covers lunch (10 days) and accommodation (12 nights on a shared basis). Candidates are strongly encouraged to seek financial support from sources such as governmental institutions, employers and funding agencies, and inform organizer of any funding secured or in the process of application.

It is noted that one participant from each SEAMEO member countries will be covered all expenses including traveling costs, accommodation and meals by SEAMEO SPAFA while up to 5 participants from Thailand will be provided domestic transportation and meals.

Apply: Please send the application form with your curriculum vitae (CV) and copy of passport by 15 December 2022 to: DRM-IRS2023@seameo-spafa.org

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