Rapid emergency documentation (RED) at the World Heritage Site of Bagerhat and Paharpur
Bagerhat and Paharpur, Bangladesh
The impact of climate change has endangered the historic mosque city of Bagerhat and the Ruins of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur, two of the country’s most recognizable Muslim and Buddhist monuments respectively. In Bagerhat, many buildings are now used as shelters during severe weather events as the local population seeks refuge in the sturdy brick buildings during cyclones. When people are displaced by climate disasters or conflict, sites like Bagerhat can become overrun, causing potential damage to the site. Paharpur is an important Buddhist site in a country where less than 1% of the population is Buddhist and is potentially at risk of increasing social tensions linked to the effects of climate change.
The RED program showcases the potential of 3D digital documentation for bolstering disaster resilience in regions threatened by climate change, and the important role that heritage professionals can play to quickly document sites in the event of catastrophes or natural disasters. The project created baseline documentation of priority structures within both sites and has trained 18 local heritage professionals from two Bangladeshi universities – Jahangirnagar University and Khulna University – in these techniques.
“As a vulnerable country susceptible to climate change, it is very important to conserve this documentation rapidly and efficiently for our future generations.” – Shahnaz Parvin Eva, Student, Khulna University.