EGU Topical Conference Series
8th Alexander von Humboldt International Conference
Natural Disasters, Global Change, and the Preservation of World Heritage Sites
Cusco | Peru | 12 – 16 November 2012


The World Heritage Operational Guidelines of the United Nations Scientific, Educational, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) states that "The cultural heritage and the natural heritage are among the priceless and irreplaceable possessions, not only of each nation, but of mankind as a whole. The loss, through deterioration or disappearance, of any of these most prized possessions constitutes an impoverishment of the heritage of all the peoples in the world. Parts of that heritage, because of their exceptional qualities, can be considered to be of outstanding universal value and as such worthy of special protection against the dangers which increasingly threaten them."

However, throughout human history, natural disasters, such as earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, flooding, etc., have damaged or destroyed several historical sites around the world.Global changes due to human activities add a new dimension.

In the last decades, thanks to the technological development of instruments, software, and data acquisition systems, fields such as geo-environmental engineering, along with geophysical/geotechnical investigations, are providing better tools for disaster prevention of manmade buildings, which are of great importance also for historical sites.

Thus, the aim of this conference is to bring together geoscientists, engineers, seismologists, geologists, architects, and other specialists, to discuss natural disasters and their prevention, with particular emphasis on World Heritage sites. A special session will be devoted to Inca ruins, in particular those of Macchu Picchu (celebrating the 100 years anniversary of their rediscovery in 1911).