ICOMOS Philippines partners with R-DMUCH in localizing DRM Training for Cultural Heritage in the Philippines

On June 27, 2024, the Institute of Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage of Ritsumeikan University (R-DMUCH) represented by Director Dr. Shinta Yoshitomi and UNESCO Co-Chair holder on the Program of Cultural Heritage and Risk Management Associate Professor Dr. Dowon Kim and the International Council of Monuments and Site Philippines, Inc. [ICOMOS Philippines] represented by its Chairman and President Dr. Cheek S. Fadriquela and Vice President Ar. Kenneth Javier Tua entered into and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). 

ICOMOS Philippines President Cheek Fadriquela shares his gratitude to R-DMUCH in his speech: “With this Memorandum of Understanding, we are addressing the paucity of DRM related personnel in cultural heritage who will craft plans of actions before, during and after disaster events in the Philippines. In partnership with Ritsumeikan, I believe our aspirations will come into fruition in protecting our shared legacies.”

This MOU establishes key goals for the partnerships, particularly in the promotion, conservation, and protection of culture and heritage in the Philippines. In this vein, R-DMUCH and ICOMOS Philippines will cooperate in research and investigation as partner organizations and for educational activities and specialized professional programs on the conservation, disaster prevention, and risk management of cultural heritage. To broadcast this knowledge, the MOU allows two (2) representatives to participate in the International Training Course on Disaster Risk Management of Cultural Heritage [ITC]. 

One major output from participation in the ITC will be the establishment of a National Training Course on Disaster Risk Management of Cultural Heritage (DRMCH) in the Republic of the Philippines which will be under the partnership of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) and ICOMOS Philippines; both will implement a capacity building program to aid stakeholders in formulating their own disaster risk management plans. 

R-DMUCH and ICOMOS Philippines sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the “Collaboration on human resource capacity building for the implementation of a national training course on disaster risk management of cultural heritage in the Republic of the Philippines”

Knowledge sharing is key in this partnership and will help refine disaster risk management of cultural heritage plans to the context of the Philippines with its own set of hazards and vulnerabilities. Ar. Kenneth Javier Tua, who successfully participated in the 2023 cohort of ITC and developed a Heritage Disaster Risk Management (HDRM) plan for the World Heritage Site in the Historic City of Vigan,  said: “This kind of capacity building is long overdue for us Philippine Heritage Professionals and Conservationists.”

Dr. Dowon Kim added to Ar. Kenneth Javier Tua’s comment stating “R-DMUCH will support the institutionalization of the DRMCH plan in the Philippines as R-DMUCH has been active in assisting other Southeast Asian nations, India and Nepal among others with their own National Disaster Risk Management Plans.” These countries already had sent their representatives to participate in the ITC in previous years.

Both Director Dr. Shinta Yoshitomi and Dr. Cheek S. Fadriquela closed the MOU signing ceremony with appreciation and gratitude that ICOMOS Philippines and R-DMUCH will strengthen the network between the two organizations and expressed appreciation and gratitude for future fruitful collaboration.

For the Philippines, this MOU represents the ongoing endeavor to elevate cultural heritage as an essential community resource and to adopt the attention that it deserves during times of disasters and crisis. Since cultural heritage resources are especially susceptible to the changing climate and its itinerant hazards, the implementation of a DRMCH plan will help mitigate the loss and disruption of our precious cultural heritage resources for now and for future generations. 

For more information on ICOMOS Philippines ➡️ https://philippines.icomos.org/

For more information on R-DMUCH and UNESCO Chair on Cultural Heritage and Risk Management ➡️ https://rdmuch-itc.com/

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