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Cultural Heritage and Disaster Risk Reduction: Case Studies from Sri Lanka
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Cultural Heritage and Disaster Risk Reduction: Case Studies from Sri Lanka

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There are many kinds of disasters taking place in the globe such as coastal erosion, tidal waves, floods, soil erosion, increased storm intensity, species migration, fire and explosions which can be …

There are many kinds of disasters taking place in the globe such as coastal erosion, tidal waves, floods, soil erosion, increased storm intensity, species migration, fire and explosions which can be damaged to human lives as well as cultural heritage. A significant number of human lives and cultural heritage destroy due to unavailability of effective early warning dissemination system. Therefore, disaster prone countries should take preventive measures to minimize the damages created by natural disasters. Human actions are causing greater change in climate and that will have a significant adverse impact on the cultural heritage. Many historic cultural sites are likely at risk from direct impact of human actions. It is prudent to take sound action to protect world heritage from natural or man–made causes, as it destroys both cultural property and the people. It is our collective responsibility to protect our heritage for present and future generations. This paper describes the natural and man-made disasters and mitigation measures taken by the Sri Lankan government to build strong community.

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  • 1. Cultural Heritage and Disaster Risk Reduction Case Studies from Sri Lanka Kamani Perera Regional Centre for Strategic Studies Sri Lanka K_vithana@yahoo.com; kvithana@gmail.com
  • 2. Coverage • Introduction • Frequent Disasters • New Technology use for Disaster Management • Main Activities of DMC, Sri Lanka • Disaster Risk Reduction • Role of Media • Coastal Communities in Sri Lanka • Training Programs for Community Awareness • Natural and Human – made Disasters – Evidences from Sri Lanka
  • 3. Introduction What is Disaster? • Serious disruption • Human losses • Property losses • Environment losses How to Mitigate Disasters? • Preventive measures • Awareness programs • Training for DRR http://practicalaction.org/disaster-risk-reduction-old/
  • 4. • Floods Frequent Disasters in Sri Lanka • Droughts • Cyclones • Landslides • Coastal erosions http://redcross.lk/news/red-cross-continues-to-help-familiesdevastated-by-floods/
  • 5. New Technology use for Disaster Management • Remote sensing system • Geographical information system • Global positioning system • Warning and forecasting system • Internet • Communication technology
  • 6. Main Activities of DMC, Sri Lanka Vision • Disaster risk management for safer communities and sustainable development Broad Mission • Create a culture of safety among communities and the nation • Systematic management of natural, technological and manmade disaster risks How they protect the community? • Early warning system • Effective communication system • Awareness programs such as disaster preparedness, evacuation and rescue
  • 7. Main Activities of DMC, Sri Lanka Tools used for Early Warning System • • • • • Telephones Radio TV channels Mobile phone networks Police and military communication systems Disaster Risk Reduction • • • • • • • Hazard Mapping and Risk Assessment Information and Data Collection Research and Analysis Building Technology DMC Website Long term Disaster Risk Reduction Specific risk reduction projects to reduce specific identified risks that can cause future disasters • DRR integration in Development • Long-term action planning
  • 8. Main Activities of DMC, Sri Lanka Early Warning • Have systems in place for receiving forecasting and early warning • Forecasting of impending disasters Early warning and Dissemination Emergency Operations in Case of a Disaster • Establishment of National Emergency Operation Centre • Establishment of Emergency Operation Rooms at provincial, district and divisional levels • Carrying out Emergency Operations, coordinating with armed forces, police and other related agencies at national and all sub levels
  • 9. Main Activities of DMC, Sri Lanka How to Educate Social Community on DRR? • Informal Education • Formal Education Informal Education • Dissemination of written materials • Creative educational materials • Culture and performing arts • After school safety clubs, scouting badges and project activities • Public awareness through posters, manuals, calendars, leaflets, arts and drama
  • 10. Main Activities of DMC, Sri Lanka Formal Education • School curriculum • University education (undergraduate/postgraduate courses) • Information network • Annual media award • TV Regular program on DRR • Establishing DRR centers regional basis (DMC, SL)
  • 11. Role of Media • Make awareness among larger community • Stimulate more participation activities • Share information on DRR • Communicate more effectively via social media tools – e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Messenger, Skype etc. • Facilitate to access pictures, sounds etc. http://irevolution.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/social-mediaemergency-lg.jpg
  • 12. Coastal Communities in Sri Lanka • Major income – coastal fisheries • Vulnerable to the resource conditions • Highly depending on natural resources Development Activities • Defining the target area • Community entry and integration • Assessment of resources, needs and opportunities • Education and capacity development • Rehabilitation plan • Long-term sustainability plan • Adaptive learning through monitoring and evaluation http://www.fisheriesdept.gov.lk/vision_english .html
  • 13. Training Programs for Community Awareness Points to be considered • Emphasize the importance of participation e.g. especially women for training programs • Discuss important steps • Give strengthen to keep positive mind sets • Teach simple way. Use informal community language. Community language is easy to • understand for particular community • Give examples, successful stories, successful survivors regionally and globally • Check whether the whole community is trained well. Repeat if needed • Be friendly. Let them to ask questions. Do rehearsals
  • 14. Natural Disasters Disasters such as coastal erosion, tidal waves, floods, soil erosion, increased storm intensity, species migration, fire and explosions which can be damaged to human lives as well as cultural heritage. Case Studies – natural • Tsunami 2004 • Cyclone no name 2013 • Floods 2013 (natural/man-made) Galle Bus Station After Tsunami 2004 26 December http://www.ukfgsrilanka.co.uk/wp-content/gallery/tsunamidevastation/ttsunami.jpg http://pcolman.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/sri-lankaescapes-tsunami-april-11-2012/
  • 15. Conclusion Human-made disasters Disasters that created by man purposely or accidently (due to lack of awareness or knowledge) by way of accidents, negligence, human design etc. which make significant damage to livelihoods and cultural heritage. Case Studies – human made • Bomb attack to sacred Tooth Relic Temple of Lord Buddha After the Bomb Attack 1998 January http://www.umarlankatours.com/sacred-temple-of-the-toothkandy.html http://www.defence.lk/LTTE/20110520MOT.asp

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