The Blue Shield Australia (BSA) 2018 Symposium was held at the National Library of Australia in Canberra from 29 to 30 January 2018 with the theme ‘Cultural Heritage, Climate Change and Natural Disasters’. The Symposium was open to the public, bringing together around 100 audiences from Australia, Japan, NZ, Fiji, and Tonga. A large number of audience reflected the strong interest in the Blue Shield and the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of the Cultural Property in the Event of the Armed Conflicts and its two Protocols.
Blue Shield Australia (BSA) established in 2005 is one of around twenty National Committees organized under the mission and objectives of Blue Shield. Blue Shield has its origin in the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (or the Hague Convention), but Blue Shield is also the name of an international NGO established in the 1990s to address Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) of the culture sector. BSA has been actively engaged in the advocacy for DRR of the cultural institutions and heritage primarily against natural disasters such as bush fires, flooding and cyclones in Australia.
In his keynote speech, Dr. Peter Stone, UNESCO Chair in the Culture Property Protection (CPP) and Peace at Newcastle University, UK, Chair of the UK National Committee of the Blue Shield and the Secretary of the Blue Shield, informed the audience of the expanded scope BS’s activities; “The BS is committed to the protection of the world’s cultural property, and is concerned with the protection of cultural and natural heritage, tangible and intangible, in the event of armed conflict, natural- or human-made disaster.”
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