ICCROM'S INVOLVEMENT IN RISK PREPAREDNESS
4 4. THE 1990s: THE BLUE SHIELD MOVEMENT
In the 1990s, ICCROM participated actively in a number of initiatives related to risk and emergency preparedness; in particular in the framework of the Hague Convention review process, and in collaboration with its international partners, UNESCO, ICOMOS, and ICOM. The aim has been to change attitudes so that the values of cultural heritage are taken into account when planning development; and to provide risk prevention and mitigation to the practice of conservation, an important component that has been missing. The answer has been the Blue Shield program, named for the emblem of the UNESCO Hague Convention. The program grew out of a series of roundtables involving nongovernmental organizations, such as ICOMOS and ICOM, intergovernmental organizations such as UNESCO and ICCROM, regional organizations such as the Council of Europe, and newly formed national organizations such as the French Patrimoine sans Frontières.
The result of these roundtables, the Blue Shield program, was conceived as an informal form of collaboration. It primarily provides information on actual or likely damage through networking, raises public awareness about possible damage to cultural heritage, promotes appropriate standards of prevention, provides expertise, and identifies resources for prevention and for assistance in emergency situations. To make the program effective, its nongovernmental organizations formed an interagency task force, consisting of ICOM, ICOMOS, the International Council on Archives (ICA), and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). The program is supported by UNESCO and ICCROM.