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Heritage at Risk

What is the Heritage at Risk Program?

The Heritage at Risk Programme is a way of understanding the overall state of Iraq’s historic sites. In particular, the programme detects those sites that are greatest at risk of being lost due to neglect, decay or inappropriate development.


The vital process of systemically checking the condition of our heritage will be carried out by the Buildings at Risk survey. The method includes historic buildings, other types of historic places (heritage assets) from archaeological sites and conservation areas to registered parks and gardens, registered battlefields and shrines. Every year Iraq Heritage aims to update the Heritage at Risk Register, which is a list of those sites most at risk of being lost, and most in need of safeguarding for the future.

Why is this important

It is often mentioned how much the historic character of where they live, work and play makes a contribution to their lives. As public and private finance remains scarce, it is essential that everyone continues to focus on those heritage assets that are at greatest risk and that offer the best opportunities for positively managed change.

At risk evidence informs communities of the condition of their local area; it gives them ownership and allows them to be actively involved in restoring what close to their heart. In addition it reassures them that any public funding goes to the most needy and urgent cases. The benefits of collecting data on places at risk will become even more important as public spending continues to reduce.


Regularly reviewing and updating our assessments of heritage assets allows us to pinpoint trends and investigate why change is happening and how we can bring about more positive change in the future.

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