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Caribbean Cultural Emergency Response Hub launched

Curacao CER inauguration

Participants at the meeting to inaugurate the Caribbean Cultural Emergency Response Hub in Curacao.


Caribbean Cultural Emergency Response Hub launched

The Caribbean Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (CARBICA) has inaugurated the Caribbean Cultural Emergency Response Hub, marking a significant milestone in enhancing disaster preparedness for cultural heritage in the Caribbean region. The Hub is based in Curacao and was launched at an inauguration event from 11-13 March 2024.

The purpose of the Regional Hub is to enhance emergency response mechanisms for cultural heritage protection in the Caribbean, a region in which all islands, and particularly those that are low-lying, are highly susceptible to extreme weather events and natural hazards including but not limited to tropical storms, hurricanes, floods, coastal erosion, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

The Regional Hub’s activities will focus on cities and sites, museums, collections, libraries and archives, the latter being the most prominent format of material heritage in the region. The initiative is supported by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean, and the International Council on Archives.

In 2018-2019, CARBICA launched the Caribbean Heritage Emergency Network (CHEN) after the devastating 2017 hurricane season, to fortify emergency response mechanisms. To reach its objectives, CHEN partnered up with the CER (formerly part of Prince Claus Funds, Netherlands and in 2022 operates as a separate and independent NGO) and launched the Caribbean Cultural Emergency Response Hub to coordinate these efforts. In developing this Regional Hub, CARBICA / CHEN aims to enhance resource distribution, training and ensure stronger planning on a regional level.

The creation of the Regional Hub includes the establishment of a Secretariat, regional and national advocacy, promoting risk and mapping preparedness, building regional cultural first aid capacity,  developing and delivering a ‘mobile lab’ for emergency deployment and training, and designing a ‘Command Team’ mechanism for emergency deployment.