Proculther-Net, Protecting Cultural Heritage from the Consequences of Disasters-Network, is a project coordinated by the Civil Protection Department and co-funded by DG ECHO under the Union Civil Protection Mechanism.
The aim is to build a community committed to the protection of cultural heritage during emergencies, within the framework of the European Civil Protection Knowledge Network and to promote multidisciplinary exchange practices to support and complement the European Union efforts in the field of civil protection.
The cultural heritage constitutes the identity and history of every community: safeguarding it turns into a priority objective not only during emergencies but also in ordinary times, when all the activities necessary for its protection and preservation can be planned.
The growing impact of natural and man-made risks, amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, has caused a considerable increase in disaster risk factors, endangering cultural heritage as well.
With the establishment of the EU Civil Protection Knowledge Network, the European Union aims to strengthen the Union Civil Protection Mechanism by engaging all those operating in disaster risk management in productive collaboration and learn from mutual experiences
In January 2022, Proculther-Net-Protecting Cultural Heritage from the Consequences of Disasters-Network takes off. It is a project coordinated by the Civil Protection Department and co-funded by DG ECHO-Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations under the Union Civil Protection Mechanism.
The project, which will end in 2023, follows up the work of Proculther, to strengthen and expand the community focused on the protection of cultural heritage during emergency situations, within the framework of the EU Civil Protection Knowledge Network.
To enhance the interoperability standards of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, to strengthen the process of learning and knowledge sharing, and to integrate the European Union's efforts in safeguarding cultural heritage. These are the main objectives of Proculther-Net, which aims to create a community of experts including academics, scientists and humanitarian organizations, ready to operate during emergency situations and able to counter the effects of disasters on cultural heritage, both at the national and European level.
Thanks to the extensive network of contacts and the technical and operational content acquired as a result of the Proculther project, Proculther-Net aims to highlight the importance of including the safeguarding of cultural heritage in all risk management processes and ensure more effective and coherent decision-making.
Three lines of action are included in the Proculther-Net activity plan:
- Connection, to strengthen and expand the network of experts including the drafting of guidelines and memoranda of understanding to support the community dedicated to the protection of cultural heritage in emergency situations.
- Knowledge Sharing, to achieve through training and education activities, also based on the needs identified among the actors involved in cultural heritage management, thematic workshops and the publication of technical bulletins on topics of interest.
- Growth, contributing to the efforts of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism to integrate cultural heritage protection in emergency situations.
To allow the identification of stakeholders and establish training needs to identify the content and the processes to focus on to strengthen this community of experts in cultural heritage protection during emergencies, the Proculther-Net Consortium released a survey at the end of June to all interested stakeholders. The results of this survey will guide the project's activities for months to come.
Proculther-Net also has a social presence with a profile on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn platforms and the hashtag #ProcultherNet.
The Consortium managing the Proculther-Net project consists of the Civil Protection Department, as coordinator, together with ICCROM- International Center for the Study of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, the Ministry of Interior - Disaster and Emergency Management Authority-AFAD (Turkey), the German Archaeological Institute-DAl (Germany), to the Ministry of the Interior-Directorate General of Civil Security and Crisis Management-DGSCGC (France), the Hallgarten Foundation-Franchetti Centro Studi Villa Montesca- FCSVM, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Government of the Castilla y León Region-JCyL (Spain), the Federal Agency for Technical Relief-THW (Germany), UNISOB-University Suor Orsola Benincasa (Italy), and the University of Porto-UPORTO (Portugal).
First established to consolidate the results achieved by the Proculther project, concluded in 2021, Proculther-Net-Protecting Cultural Heritage from the Consequences of Disasters-Network operates within the framework of the EU Civil Protection Knowledge Network with the aim of setting up a community on protecting cultural heritage in emergencies and promoting multidisciplinary exchange practices to support and complement the European Union's civil protection efforts.
The most important products of the Proculther project have been:
- The publication of "Key elements of a European Methodology to Address the Protection of Cultural Heritage during Emergencies". This methodology, grounded in lessons learned and best practices from project partners, provides a set of elements to advance preparedness and response activities with a view to including the protection of cultural heritage in all disaster risk management processes.
- The development of minimum requirements for a response module led by the Union Civil Protection Mechanism capable of intervening and supporting national response actions worldwide to protect cultural heritage at risk.
In view of these achievements, the Proculther-Net Community is now set up and ready to engage new stakeholders to support and complement the European Union efforts in the field of civil protection for the inclusion of cultural heritage protection in all the stages of risk management.