Jerome Silla conducts first fieldwork in Luang Prabang

The fieldwork to conduct a disaster risk assessment of the Town of Luang Prabang World Heritage Site commenced on March 10th (Monday) and was completed on March 29th (Friday). The 15-day fieldwork was led by Jerome Silla who arrived in Luang Prabang International Airport on March 8, 2019, Saturday.

Several objectives were drawn up before the fieldwork was set out. The primary objective of this fieldwork was to inquire, investigate and potentially evaluate Luang Prabang’s historical hazards and disaster events. Together with Uemura (M2) and Ishihara (M1), group tasks related to their individual research and DPL needs were also laid out in the mission objectives.

Introductory presentation about Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) research to DPL staff

On March 13, Tuesday, the research plan about the disaster risk reduction of the Town of Luang Prabang was presented to Luang Prabang World Heritage Office (DPL). DPL’s Director, Mr. Saveuy, and the author of the Town of Luang Prabang’s Safeguarding Plan (PSMV), Mr Michel, were present, along with the section heads of DPL.

Jerome Silla presenting about a disaster risk reduction research proposal for the town of Luang Prabang World Heritage Site


The summary and updates of the three-week fieldwork activities were presented in a workshop to DPL staff, Finance College intern students and Thai intern students. The workshop commenced with a brief presentation of disasters in World Heritage sites around the world that were eventually listed as World Heritage in Danger. This was reflected to the context of Luang Prabang, especially after the dam disaster that occurred in the southern province of Laos in 2018. It was followed by introducing the Lao government’s National Disaster Risk Reduction Plan and how important to implement this in conjunction with the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction. After a brief explanation of the four priorities of the Sendai Framework, the ‘Priority 1: Understanding Disaster Risk’ was tackled more in details. The importance of disaster risk elements (hazard, vulnerability, and exposure) and the interconnection among them were given emphasis. The audience’s interest and eagerness towards the new research plan were expressed through their numerous inquiries regarding the research’s future developments.

Masaaki Ishihara and Jerome Silla at the microphone during the workshop
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