Photograph taken in Guatemala during an inventory as part of a safeguarding project
© Eduardo Andrino/INDIGO, UNESCO Guatemala
2 May 2022

Living heritage throughout the world is increasingly affected by emergencies, including conflicts and disasters. On the one hand, emergencies directly threaten the practice and transmission of intangible cultural heritage, which provides a foundation to people’s identity and wellbeing. On the other hand, living heritage is a valuable resource that communities may draw on to strengthen their resilience and ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from various types of emergencies.

UNESCO has published a new brochure titled ‘Living Heritage and Emergencies’, in English|French|Spanish. It covers UNESCO’s approach to emergencies that is guided by the Operational principles and modalities for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in emergencies, and it introduces several forms of support that are available for countries affected by emergencies, such as the International Assistance mechanism, the Heritage Emergency Fund and the capacity-building programme. It also shows the importance of the inscription of elements on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding as it mobilizes international cooperation and assistance for stakeholders. Furthermore, there are elements inscribed on the Representative List that may play a role in disaster risk reduction, conflict resolution or peacebuilding, such as the Manden Charter in Mali.

This digital brochure follows UNESCO’s commitment to deliver accessible and practical materials.

Visit the thematic webpage to find resources on living heritage and emergencies.

Related themes

  • post-disaster post-conflict

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