- Ritsumeikan University International Training Course on Cultural Heritage and Crisis Management -The World's Only Certified Programme by UNESCO in the Field of Cultural

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The Ritsumeikan University (Location: 1 Nishinokyo-Suzaku-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan; President: Mikio Yoshida) Institute of Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage will be running an international training course from September 12th to 28th, 2015, titled “Ritsumeikan University International Training Course on Cultural Heritage and Crisis Management,” covering the topic of disaster prevention for cultural assets in historical cities.

The scene of last year's program

In October 2006, this project by the institute became the world's only certified UNESCO Chairs Programme within the field of Cultural Assets Protection and Disaster Prevention. This programme engages cultural heritage protection specialists and disaster prevention experts from Asia-Pacific, a region that is often affected by many natural disasters, with the aim to recognize the problems faced by various countries and to help them learn how to create crisis management plans that are respectful of the value inherent in cultural heritage. This programme is implemented through a number of lectures, field trips, and practical exercises.

This year, the programme will feature the largest number of participants since its launch, with 16 participants attending from 15 countries, including Nepal, where considerable damage was suffered due to the big earthquake of April 25th, 2015, as well as the Philippines, India, Holland, Palestine, among others.

This course will provide on-site training at Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture, a region that had suffered great damages due to the Great East Japan Earthquake, plus some fieldwork in Kobe, an area that was heavily struck by the Kobe Earthquake. There will also be lectures given by experts on protection and disaster prevention in relation to cultural assets of the World Heritage Historic City of Kyoto, which welcomes its 20th anniversary since its designation as a world heritage site, as well as local visits led by cultural heritage owners and administrators (Kiyomizudera and its surrounding regions, etc.). These will allow participants to learn about case studies in regional disaster prevention achieved due to the cooperation of members of the community from the areas surrounding cultural heritage sites.

The participants will then be able to make use of what they have learned during the course in order to create their own concrete cultural heritage disaster prevention plans for their own countries. These plans will then be presented on Monday, September 28th.

Date: September 12th (Sat) to 28th (Mon), 2015
Venue: Primarily the Kyoto city area, Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture, and Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture
Course Content: Fieldwork and workshops
*Please refer to a separate sheet for more details.
Other Information: Please contact us beforehand if you wish to cover the event. The training course will be given in English, so we will make all preparations from our end for Japanese interpreters, etc.

● For inquiries with regard to the course content or coverage of the event please contact:
E-mail: pr-web(at)st.ritsumei(dot)ac(dot)jp
Ritsumeikan University Kinugasa Research office (main contact: Araki) Tel. +81-75-465-8206
Ritsumeikan University Public Relations Division (main contacts: Kataoka, Kawaguchi, Ikeda) Tel. +81-75-813-8300

"International Training Programme - Overview of UNESCO Chairs Programme "Cultural Heritage and Crisis Management"
Course Period: September 12th (Sat) to 28th (Mon), 2015
Participants: 16 attendees (participating countries: Holland, Chile, Iran, South Africa, Ghana, Italy, Nepal, India, Palestine, plus others)
Sponsored by: Ritsumeikan University Institute of Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage
In cooperation with: UNESCO World Heritage Centre, ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property: an organization that works for the preservation and restoration of cultural assets), ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites: an international NGO involved in the protection of cultural heritage, and an advisory body for UNESCO that carries out assessments for registrations of new World Heritage Sites, etc.)
Language: English

*The Ritsumeikan University Institute of Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage welcomes this year the 10th anniversary of this international training project, which covers the topic of cultural heritage disaster prevention, and which was credited as the world's only certified UNESCO Chairs Programme within the field of Cultural Assets Protection and Disaster Prevention in October 2006. In the past nine years, from a total of 691 applicants, a selection process has been followed to select a total of 84 people from 39 countries to participate in this training project. The participants who have completed the course have taken the knowledge they have gained from the programme to provide leadership in crisis management in Nepal for their World Heritage sites, as well as to act as lecturers in order to provide training in their own countries of Indonesia, Mexico, Sri Lanka, among others.

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Tatsuhiko Kataoka
Ritsumeikan University
+81 75-813-8146 Ext: 2153
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