JAMMU, Jan 7: The Department of Lifelong Learning (DLL), University of Jammu, today organized an extension lecture on the theme “Protecting cultural heritage in times of disasters and conflicts” by Aparna Tandon, Project Specialist, ICCROM, Italy.
Tandon, who is working with ICCROM, a UN body based in Rome, Italy, is leading its international capacity development programme on disaster risk management and its flagship training on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis. Additionally, she is coordinating and developing the activities of the SOIMA (Sound and Image Collections Conservation) program aimed at safeguarding endangered audiovisual heritage.
Speaking about the need of preserving cultural heritage and the efforts of ICCROM to educate locals on methods of preservation, Tandon informed that 42 million life years have been lost due to disasters, as per a UN study. Around 1.2 billion people live in conflict afflicted and fragile areas and the UN Refugee agency says 18.1 million refugees are registered. Disasters, she said, can result from a complete interaction of hazards, exposure and vulnerability. She said conflicts and disasters impact cultural heritage (both-formally protected and unlisted).
Tandon who has worked extensively in regions like Syria, Iraq, Nepal, Philippines etc, addressed several questions including if it is possible to save cultural heritage from the intentional targeting that we are witnessing in Syria and Iraq or in the aftermath of large-scale natural disasters such as Nepal earthquake, Kashmir floods.
Earlier Dr Kavita Suri, Director and Head, DLL, informed that Tandon has led post disaster assessments and training initiatives for recovery of cultural heritage in Haiti (2010), Philippines (2013) and Nepal (2015).
Prof Poonam Dhawan, Dr Priyanka Sharma, Dr Vivek Sharma, Dr Pallavi Sachdeva, Dr Sandeep Singh, Dr Rewa Khajuria and Sonia Mahajan from the DLL, attended the programmes. Shikha Mahajan conducted the programme while Karan Pradhan presented vote of thanks.