UNESCO Current Affairs - 2019

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NDRF: New unit to save heritage structures

The National Disaster Response Force is to establish a specialized unit for heritage structures.

Highlights

  • The specialized unit is to be established in every battalion of the NDRF.
  • It will help preserve monuments and heritage structures that are damaged and battered by natural disasters.
  • It will also hold the responsibility of rescue and restoration of the structure.

About the Unit

The plan is to form set of personnel in each battalion of NDRF. They will become trained professionals on preserving heritage structures in pre and post disaster scenario.

Strategies of UNESCO: To preserve disaster prone Heritages

UNESCO believes that the Earthquake that occurred in Kathmandu in 2015 and the fire at the Royal Palaces of Abomey, Benin are best examples of vulnerability of cultural heritages. In order to preserve them from disasters, the following initiatives were taken by UNESCO

  • In 2002, the Budapest Declaration was signed on World Heritage. According to the Declaration it is the responsibility of the “World Heritage Committee” to make sure the properties under World Heritage List are passed on to generations of the future as their rightful inheritance
  • The United Nations General Assembly adopted the “Strategy for Risk Reduction at World Heritage Properties” in 2007. It is being implemented by the World Heritage Committee
  • The “Sendai Framework” includes several references to culture and heritage under its “Disaster Risk Reduction” framework

UNESCO’s World Heritage Week

World Heritage Week is celebrated by UNESCO between November 19, 2019 and November 25, 2019. The Objective of celebrating World Heritage Week is to increase awareness among people about safety and preservation of cultural heritages and monuments.

UNESCO Heritage sites in India

There are 37 UNSECO World Heritage sites in India. It includes 29 cultural site, 7 natural sites and 1 mixed site.

India’s plans

Several schools and colleges are celebrating World Heritage Week in India by organizing quiz and painting competitions. The Archaeological Survey of India and several other museums are organizing heritage programs highlighting the significance of the ancient monuments and their preservation

The heritage sites celebrating the week includes Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Delhi Red Fort, Delhi Darwaza, Bhadra Gate, etc.

Significance

A great effort was made by the National Research Laboratory for Conservation, Lucknow to save the stone structure of Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. It was built by the Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar in 1777.

It is important to respect and protect such heritages of the country. The week celebration instills sense of safety and preservation of the monuments across the country.