World Heritage Sites are places, such as buildings, cities, forests or monuments, listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) that bear cultural significance.
As of July last year, there are a total of 1,031 heritage sites, 802 of which are cultural, 197 natural, and 32 compound properties. According to UNESCO, the top three countries with the most heritage sites are Italy, China and Spain, with 51, 48 and 44 sites, respectively.
Each World Heritage Site remains under the legal jurisdiction of their territory, but the UNESCO considers it as the international community’s duty to preserve these places and structures.
Preservation through Reconstruction
Most heritage sites have been through the harshest weather conditions, while others have deteriorated through time and use. These battered structures, such as buildings or monuments, cannot avoid reconstruction to endure. Stoneset.com.au, in recreating authentic gravel surfaces, uses resin gravel and satisfies heritage requirements. The paving company utilises natural and locally sourced stone and rock to make sure that their recreation parallels the surface of its environment. This is an important facet of reconstruction — maintaining consistency.
The Call for Disaster Risk Reduction
Preservation through reconstruction is a restorative solution. Maintaining the authenticity of a heritage site is more of a priority, since witnessing and experiencing the real thing is different from a recreation. So, this is where disaster risk reduction comes in.
Heritage sites are vulnerable to a variety of hazards. Preventing natural disasters is nearly impossible, but manmade hazards such as fires and explosions are avoidable. It is important to lower the overall risks threatening heritage sites, especially the decrepit ones. Protecting these structures is also a way of safeguarding a precious asset of a region’s social and economic development. These attract tourism, investments and natural resources, making them viable sources of employment and income.
Policies and plans for management need establishment and implementation for risk reduction to be effective. Passing on the culture and history of World Heritage Sites to the succeeding generation requires disaster risk reduction — the best way to conservation is through protection.