NDRF UNIT TO SAVE HERITAGE STRUCTURES
Context: The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will soon come up with a specialized unit in each battalion to help preserve monuments and other heritage structures battered by disasters, apart from its basic responsibility of rescue and restoration.
- There will be a set of personnel in each battalion of NDRF who will get the basic training on preserving monuments.
- These personnel will have some sort of insights as to how to preserve heritage structures in the pre and post disaster scenario.
- TheNational Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a specialized force constituted “for the purpose of specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster” under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
- The Apex Body for Disaster Management in India is theNational Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
- The Chairman of the NDMA is the Prime Minister.
Reducing Disaster Risk at World Heritage Properties
- World Heritage properties and heritage sites in general are exposed to the impacts of natural and man-triggered catastrophic events, which threaten their integrity and may compromise their value.
- The loss or deterioration of these outstanding properties has severely negative impacts on local and national communities, both because of their cultural importance, and because of their socio-economic value.
NEED FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION
The earthquake that occurred in Kathmandu, Nepal, in April 2015 or the fire at the Royal Palaces of Abomey, Benin, in January 2015 are high profile examples of the vulnerability of cultural heritage worldwide. Natural heritage can, quite similarly, can be threatened by such events.
NEED FOR ACTION
There are many ways in which heritage can assist in reducing the impact of disasters. For instance, research in areas affected by seismic activities has shown that buildings constructed with traditional techniques have proven very resilient to earthquakes when well maintained.
UN POLICIES AND UNESCO STRATEGY
1. The Sendai Framework
The Sendai Framework for Action 2015 – 2030 will orient Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategies and actions at the international and national level for the next fifteen years.
2. Strategy for Reducing Risks from Disasters at World Heritage Properties
The Strategy for Risk Reduction at World Heritage Properties was presented and approved by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session in 2007.
Its priority actions were structured around the five main objectives defined by the Hyogo Framework for Action, the main UN-wide policy on the subject of Disaster Reduction.