Environmental Risk Assessment and Mitigation on Cultural Heritage assets in Central Asia
ERAMCA project aims to mix European experience in Environmental Cultural Heritage risk assessment and reduction actions with the specific constraints for Central Asia region, to offer a possible and feasible interdisciplinary approach, which will grow up in joint actions at national level, thanks to the collaboration of local expert and young researchers that will continue to develop the strategy of ERAMCA project in the future years.
ERAMCA will start by collecting detailed and specific information about the real situation of teaching activities and of the topics of interest for the local stakeholders by means of a Strategy Forum where all the possible interested public and private agencies will be invited to submit their expectations. UNESCO (Uzbekistan) and Ministry of Culture (Uzbekistan) (as Associate Partners) which operate with specific offices in Uzbekistan will play prominent role.
The results of the Strategy Forum will be the basis to develop a Strategic Educational Agenda where all the needs in skill upgrade of local teachers will be underlined in order to allow them to become the future teachers of the ERAMCA Master. European and local teachers with the important contribution of the Associated Partners, will plan both the teacher’s training activities and the detailed contents of the Master to be developed.
The teaching material that will be setup, will cover the interdisciplinary approach to complex problems of environmental risk assessment and mitigation on cultural heritage assets both from a theoretical and practical point of view. The practical contents will be represented by the solution of specific problems used as best practices and by the final projects that the students of the pilot course will develop during the internships that will be played by the students, assisted by the local teachers, inside public or private agencies.
Other aims of ERAMCA is the realisation of specialized Laboratories in each of the Partner higher education institutions equipped by the hardware and software necessary to develop in a professional way the projects and giving to the students a real professional skill that could be used in their future professional activity. At the end of the project a Final Workshop will be organized to show the results of the initiative to the stakeholders involved in the Strategy Forum to check if they have fitted the expectations and to plan possible future developments of the project. The needs of the target groups in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are almost completely overlapped with some local specifications.
Target groups and needs in Uzbekistan, by considering the organisation in the field of cultural heritage are:
governmental institutions devoted to the maintenance and valorisation of cultural heritage under the coordination of various Ministries. Major needs are the possibility to employ technicians able to work in an interdisciplinary approach to cultural heritage policies, and to develop a new concept on Conservation of CH assets as today conceived at international level;
Higher education institutions devoted to develop research and teaching activities for new generation of technicians. Major needs are: the increasing of the skills of the local teachers to develop research activities on cultural heritage assets; the possibility to offer teaching activities to provide their own Countries a new generation of technicians able to work on cultural heritage assets by using the most advanced technologies under the umbrella of the Conservation strategies as today conceived at international level.
The main governmental institutions considered as target groups in Uzbekistan are: the Ministry of innovative development, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Construction of Uzbekistan, design organizations and design firms engaged in cultural heritage conservation, local administrations. Their major needs are: to be provided by a new generation of technicians able to work on cultural heritage in an interdisciplinary approach by using the most advanced technologies under the consideration of the internationally accepted concepts of Conservation; to increase their own skills to propose and develop national and local strategies for the documentation, risk assessment and reduction, and conservation actions on cultural heritage assets.
The main HEIs considered as target groups in Uzbekistan are: Turin Polytechnic University in Tashkent, Tashkent Institute of Architecture and Construction, Samarkand State Architectural and Civil Engineering Institute. The needs are mainly concentrated into the increasing of the skills of local teachers and technicians in the ability to work at interdisciplinary level on the topics of cultural heritage Conservation by considering environmental risks. Both research and teaching activities have to be developed by adopting strong forms of collaboration between the different universities and by expanding those activities with other higher education institutions in Uzbekistan.
At national level the needs of governmental bodies will be satisfied by ensuring that if the involved higher education institutions will activate the ERAMCA Master, a new generation of technicians able to work in their own Countries to support and realize the national policies on cultural heritage assets Conservation strategies could be realized. Those new technicians could be absorbed inside public agencies responsible for cultural heritage conservation and valorisation and could collaborate, as external experts, inside specific projects. The interdisciplinary approach will establish new relationships between higher education institutions in the same Country by sharing their own experiences and by playing innovative roles in interdisciplinary actions. This approach will guarantee the growing up of new research activities and new teaching suggestions. This fact will satisfy the need to increase the skill of local teachers and to drive them toward a more attractive interdisciplinary work and exchange of knowledge.
As far as the needs of the Partner higher educational institutions are concerned, ERAMCA will play an important role to the improvement of the staff of the universities (both teachers and technicians), to give to them the opportunity to build up a specialised Laboratory on the thematic of the project and to offer to the new generation of students the possibility to face “at home” the most up to date approach to the environmental risk assessment and reduction on cultural heritage assets by considering the real situation and constraints of their own Country.
More in detail Uzbekistan Universities involved in the project could establish new forms of collaboration by increasing their specific topics and by adding common experiences. This effort could be used at national level to push also other higher education institutions in Uzbekistan to follow the same strategy also in different fields of application. The presence of engineering and architecture faculties will allow to demonstrate to the students that those two professionals will have the best results only by sharing the knowledge and by working together on specific problems.
By considering the partners from Tajikistan, the presence of the Academy of Sciences will help to share with local higher education institutions the results of specific research and knowledge on the main disciplines involved in the project and to open the Academy of Science to a fruitful collaboration with local higher education institutions by building up a group of local technicians able to adopt the achieved research results.
The ERAMCA objectives (understanding of local needs, design and implementation of a Master in Environmental risk assessment and mitigation for cultural heritage in Central Asia, design and implementation of a digital library with different kind of teaching materials, training of local teachers and technicians to an interdisciplinary approach in complex problem solving) are realistic and feasible due to:
the real interest of the Partner Countries on this topics as demonstrated by recent legislations and official declarations;
the tested interest of the Partner higher education institutions in developing new teaching activities, improving the local teacher’s skills and realizing new Laboratories able to support the teaching activities.