three men in green military uniforms and a woman in a purple tp stand looking over a map on a table

Dr Emma Cunliffe attends ARRCADE Globe 2019 at Sennelager, Germany, July 2019 ©Reproduced with kind permission from ARRC Public Affairs Office

BSI was delighted to visit NATO exercise ARRCADE GLOBE – a specialist cartographic training exercise for NATO’s military map makers in Sennelager. The event was organised by the UK-based NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC). Specialist troops from 16 different nations came together for the week-long exercise, to share their technical expertise in creating bespoke mapping products. The training was designed to develop the planning and analytical skills of the geospatial personnel, and help them learn to create digital and paper maps that are useful to military commanders.

BSI was invited to visit to gain greater understanding of NATOs geospatial support, and to develop understanding of the place of cultural property and cultural property data. BSI was also offered the chance to participate in its capacity as an NGO if the opportunity arose, bringing cultural property protection subject matter expertise alongside armed forces specialists to support the cartographers.

NATO aspires to develop cultural property protection best practice on operations: 28 of the 29 NATO member states have signed the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. This important law obliges states parties to (amongst other things) take safeguarding measures in the event of armed conflict, including the identification of cultural property to be protected.  Important cultural locations can be mapped – this aids planning for targeting, logistics, and influences wider operational strategies. Recognising this, BSI was pleased to support the training audience in understanding cultural property protection challenges in the exercise scenarios each day, including data collection, mapping, and analysis.

This opportunity was particularly valuable in supporting BSIs continued activity in encouraging the provision of cultural property data to NATO, and as part of its wider work developing best practice for heritage inventories in armed conflict.

Visit the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) website

Read the ARRC news article, featuring BSI

Learn more about heritage inventories in armed conflict in this Getty article (War and Heritage: Using Inventories to Protect Cultural Property) by Prof Peter Stone, VP of BSI