The Jordan Valley is a seismic area hit in the past by destructive earthquakes which may occur again. Israel, Jordan and Palestine are territories exposed to extreme climate related events (flash floods, heavy snow falls, wildfires) that have negative consequences or cause damage to the cultural heritage.
The Mediterranean region is called to face the negative impacts of climate change resulting in droughts, desertification, flash flooding and storms, which in turn lead to food insecurity. Many cities and villages in the region are expected to be increasingly exposed to coastal erosion, sea level rise, storms and flash flooding among other climate related risks. Distribution of hazard, exposure and vulnerability in the three countries show a balanced distribution of risk and probability of disastrous events.
The attention to the cultural heritage is fundamental for the development of tourism, which is one of the most important activities linked to the economic growth of the three countries. Thousands of tourists arrive in the region to visit the main cultural heritage sites every year. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council Data, tourism contribution to the Israel and Jordan’s GDP ranges respectively from 2,5 % to 6,5 %, while reaches around 12% in Palestine, in accordance with The Portland Trust.
Italy, that is the coordinator of PROMEDHE project, has already developed strategies and preparedness measures to cope with CH safeguard in case of disasters.
As of 1997, during the Umbria and Marche earthquakes, Italy has started to work on safeguarding and protecting movable and immovable cultural heritage in danger, by considering specific procedures and actions addressed to cultural assets and properties. These procedures have been improved and perfected in subsequent disasters, particularly during the 2009 Abruzzo earthquake, and during the 2016/2017 Central – Italy earthquake. Starting from 2005, the Italian Civil Protection has introduced the safeguard of cultural heritage in the scenario of both national and EU funded field exercises – i.e., EUROSOT (2005), TEREX (2010), MESIMEX (2006) and TWIST (2013)-. Such experiences helped improve both procedures and expertise for the safeguard of cultural heritage during disasters.