This chapter addresses the main legal, institutional, and operative challenges to the protection of cultural and natural heritage along the temporal phases of a disaster. Recent disasters have demonstrated how cultural and natural heritage can suffer significantly from calamitous events. Despite the frequency and magnitude of disasters, the international legal framework has paid little attention to legal challenges posed by the protection of cultural and natural heritage in disaster settings, a situation compounded by the absence of in-depth scholarly analysis. The chapter then examines how international cultural heritage law (ICHL) has so far addressed this topic, also in light of the increasing cross-fertilization with inputs provided by an emerging branch, namely international disaster law (IDL). It also highlights the so-called ‘cycles of a disaster’, commonly arranged along the phases of mitigation and preparedness, relief and recovery.
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