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Cultural Dimensions

Why this Handbook?
Securing cultural heritage during large-scale and multilayered humanitarian
crises is challenging for many reasons. One major reason is the lack
of consideration for cultural heritage within national and international
emergency management systems. Other reasons are encompassed in
such questions as: if multiple cultural sites are affected, where does one
start? Who can provide access? Who can assist? When is the right time
to intervene? How should one intervene?
This Handbook and its Toolkit explain ‘cultural heritage first aid’: the
immediate and interdependent actions taken to stabilise and reduce risks
to endangered tangible and intangible cultural heritage, with the aim of
promoting its recovery. Through a field-tested, three-step framework, it
establishes when and how to protect endangered cultural heritage, and
indicates all those who could assist in such operations. The steps and
workflows provided can be adapted to different types of emergencies
and their specific contexts.
This handbook aims to serve as a:
• Reference to train cultural first aiders, emergency responders and
volunteers.
• Tool to improve the emergency preparedness and response plans of
cultural heritage institutions.
• Guide to assist in implementing first aid operations in conjunction with
humanitarian relief and recovery