When natural or human-induced disaster strikes, the damage to museums, archives, archaeological sites, libraries, and historical buildings is often enormous. When local resources and capacities for rescue are lacking, tangible heritage may even be lost forever. While disasters cannot always be predicted, damage to cultural heritage can be mitigated through emergency preparedness.
The Prince Claus Fund, through its Cultural Emergency Response (CER) programme, and the Gerda Henkel Foundation, through its Funding Initiative Patrimonies, support the protection and preservation of cultural heritage in crisis regions. Both Foundations have a history of preventing and minimizing the loss of cultural heritage. In 2019, they launched a joint Call for Emergency Preparedness for Cultural Heritage under Threat for the first time. Nine projects with a total amount of around 180,000 Euro were approved. Their scopes vary from fire preparedness for museums and buildings in Bhutan, India and Zimbabwe, to sustainable management plans of traditional techniques in case of flooding in Kenya, and the enhancement of disaster preparedness networks and plans for museums and sites in Jamaica and Suriname. For more information about the projects, please have a look at our press release on all initiatives supported in 2019.
This second round of our joint Call for Applications aims to support the development and implementation of more preparatory measures for heritage buildings, collections, and sites to protect these in case a disaster occurs. We encourage organisations to enhance their emergency preparedness by implementing lessons learned during previous incidents. Special attention will be given to cross-sectoral collaborations strengthening networks, and the establishment of local structures for disaster preparedness and emergency response. The call also aims to step up both our Foundations’ efforts in the field, raise awareness about its importance and illustrate how preventive concepts can safeguard heritage. Cultural practitioners, institutions and local NGOs are encouraged to submit their ideas and plans for the protection of tangible cultural heritage under threat.