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. 

Hosted between the 11th and 13th of March, the inauguration event saw the participation of esteemed experts from renowned organizations such as the UNESCO Documentary Heritage Unit, the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean, and the University of the West Indies Museum (see full programme below). Through insightful presentations and discussions, these experts, along with FAN President Rita Tjien Fooh and CARBICA President and elected Programme Commission Member Maximiliaan Scriwanek, and other ICA members based in the region, highlighted key aspects of disaster management and heritage conservation in the Caribbean and encouraged the audience to participate in a mapping workshop to identify risk areas and vulnerable heritage sites. 


The event, which received support and funding from the Programme Commission, showcased a comprehensive program aimed at addressing the pressing need for robust emergency response mechanisms in the region. Given the Caribbean’s vulnerability to extreme weather events and natural hazards such as tropical storms, hurricanes, floods, coastal erosion, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, the establishment of the Regional Hub is a vital step towards safeguarding the rich cultural heritage of the islands. 

Located in Curaçao, the Regional Hub will serve as a focal point for coordinating emergency response efforts, with day-to-day operations overseen by a dedicated Secretariat. Its activities will encompass various aspects of cultural heritage protection, including cities and sites, museums, collections, libraries, and archives, which are integral components of the region’s identity. 

Over the course of a 4-year program, CARBICA/CHEN (Caribbean Cultural Heritage Emergency Network) will spearhead the establishment of the Caribbean Hub and facilitate the safeguarding of documentary heritage by creating 3-4 sub-hubs strategically spread throughout the region (see more details in the info sheet shared below). These sub-hubs will serve as safe havens, storage repositories for response and recovery goods, as well as training and expertise centers for preparedness and mitigation efforts. 

The inaugural phase of this endeavor, consisting of the 3-days meeting hosted last week, lays the foundation for collaborative action towards achieving the Hub’s objectives. This launch marks a significant milestone in the region’s journey towards building resilience and safeguarding its invaluable cultural heritage for future generations. 

Program CER Advocacy Meeting Curacao March 11-13, 2024

Caribbean Cultural Emergency Response Hub

Infosheet Caribbean CER Hub

Caribbean Cultural Emergency Response Hub