By 2040, exposure to damaging flooding is expected to increase from 2.2 billion to 3.6 billion people, trending towards half the world’s population. Climate variability and change are increasing the frequency and intensity of floods. Along the coasts, the flood risk is increased due to storm surges and rising sea levels. Inland, the risk of flooding has increased due to high precipitation, soil degradation, impervious surfaces, inadequate flood defenses and several other factors.

Changes in land cover, such as the removal of vegetation coupled with the impacts of climate change, contribute to an elevated risk of flooding. Intense precipitation, prolonged duration, frequent repetition of precipitation events, or a combination thereof can trigger extreme floods.

Flood-related impacts represent one of the most frequent, serious and damaging threats to cultural heritage. Rising sea levels may cause the disappearance of the world’s most iconic historic sites and cities. The consequences of flooding for culture and heritage are often amplified by existing vulnerabilities, such as lack of coordinated flood risk management plans for heritage sites, poor maintenance, massive urbanization and improper drainage.

What will you learn?

This course focuses on developing solutions for flood risk mitigation by involving diverse heritage professionals, flood risk management specialists, hydrologists, climate scientists, and emergency response agencies. Participants will enhance their knowledge and skills for understanding how climate change and other risk drivers influence the flood risk to human settlements and heritage. Simultaneously, they will be able to identify flood risk mitigation strategies for different forms of heritage.

Through interactive discussions, group work and simulations – with the World Heritage City of Trogirits and its memory institutions serving as a central case study – participants will be encouraged to identify risk management strategies for their heritage sites. A specific module of the course will also highlight ways we can tap into traditional and indigenous knowledge for managing flood risks.

After the in-person training, participants will conduct comprehensive risk assessments at their respective heritage sites and implement at least two to three risk management strategies. The outcomes of their projects will be disseminated during an online meeting and compiled in a publication.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify and assess flood risks and develop risk scenarios, factoring in the influence of climate change and other risk drivers.
  2. Communicate with key stakeholders, such as flood risk mitigation specialists, hydrologists, civil protection personnel, urban planners, first responders, and climate scientists in their respective local contexts, in coordination with professionals from the cultural heritage sector.
  3. Mitigate flood risk and enhance preparedness through cost-effective measures at the participants’ heritage sites.
  4. Provide coordinated, time-sensitive and context-specific emergency response to secure heritage in the event of a major flood.
  5. Engage communities in mapping flood risks and identifying their traditional knowledge of flood management.

Who can participate?

This course offers a unique collaborative learning opportunity for mid-career professionals, including but not limited to site managers, architects, librarians, museologists, engineers, archivists, curators, conservators, hydrologists, and experts from disaster risk management, humanitarian aid, urban planning, civil protection, climate science, etc.

To apply, please fill out the visit the website of ICCROM.