Introductory training in Georgia
Imagine a group of sixteen participants from the Min. of Culture, Min. of Interiors, Min. of Defence, the Civil Protection, Regional and Municipal authorities, the Fire Brigade of Mtskheta, the National Committee of the Blue Shield, the Patriarchate of Georgia, civil society organisations who were joined by a couple of platoons from the Georgian army in ground exercises and a unit from the fire brigade. This was the scenario that characterised a four days of very intense introductory training which ended in Mtskheta on September the 6th with the delivery to participants of training certificates directly from the hands of the Georgian Minister of Culture and Monuments Protection who joined with a surprise visit in this last event organised within War Free World Heritage Listed Cities project. The Minister presence stigmatised the importance attached in Georgia to this EU ENPI CIUDAD project which with this training reached its most ambitious objective to promote Civil Military Cooperation for the protection of the heritage sites listed in the world heritage list under the umbrella of international law.
Experts from several countries contributed to the implementation of this initiative that was conceived as a advanced development of over 40 months War Free World Heritage Listed Cities project which aims to set the conditions necessary for the world heritage sites of Byblos (Lebanon) and Mtskheta (Georgia) to be granted the status of Enhanced Protection according to the 1999 Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of armed conflict (1999HP). A complex combination between protective measures for the protection of movable and immovable heritage were reviewed and partly implemented during the four days introductory training.
Two ground simulations were conducted during the training to introduce the participants to the actual scenario that would eventually be addressed in case of natural disasters or armed conflict in application of art. 10.b of the 1999HP. This introductory training represents the first such activities and more training will follow within more specialised formats all designed for the creation of a core group in Georgia able to operate under severe conditions for the protection of cultural heritage. The Georgian Ministry of Culture and Monuments Protection is currently finalising an inter-agency agreement for the creation of a permanent risk management unit (RMU) that gathers the major responsible institutional stakeholders who with support by CSO will be in charge to implement a risk preparedness and early response plan for the Listed Heritage in the city of Mtskheta. It is expected that a similar scheme will be implemented at a national level once the RPP will be fully experimented.
More details on this and other activities of the project you may enter www.warfreeheritage.net
WFWHLC is work in progress