|ECHO Heritage Consultancy - Specialist consultants in archaeological and environmental impact assessments and heritage management|
ECHO Heritage Consultants are specialists in managing cultural heritage from the smallest of artefacts to the largest of monuments. ECHO consultancy is an autonomous arm of ECHO that offers a range of conservation procedures for any element of cultural heritage, but will also develop a whole site management plan from Palaeolithic camping sites to large cities. ECHO consultancy offers advice on visitor flow management, infrastructure design, visitor centre design and installation of other amenities as well as protective measures to prevent damage to the cultural heritage. Economic and marketing advice can also be provided.
ECHO Heritage Consultancy offer various strategies to deal with various threats to cultural heritage, these threats can take the form of modern development (building and infrastructure projects), environmental (rising water levels and other natural disasters), vandalism (wilful destruction of cultural heritage), pollution, and modern agricultural practices. One of the most common threats is modern development and general urban sprawl. However, if heritage managers as well as other environmental specialists are engaged in a constructive dialogue at the conceptual stage many of the potential problems can be avoided. ECHO heritage managers using innovative thinking will create a management strategy that allows the cultural heritage to tell its stories while allowing the development to progress unhindered. ECHO heritage managers will provide support and expertise in all aspects of archaeological care, interpretation and presentation of the landscapes, historic places and buildings. They will pinpoint new business opportunities and advise on the planning and delivery of new projects, making sure that cultural heritage properties and visitors are at the heart of all developmental projects. Inspirational people management is key, with ECHO heritage managers and a team of multi-disciplinary consultants and parishioners working closely with their clients.
As the planet becomes more crowded and more affected by its human population, we also have to think about the affect of land use development on other people and on our collective surroundings. In other words, we have to assess the impact of development on the environment. The technical term for this procedure is environmental impact assessment. Some of the impacts (e.g. noise, smoke and water pollution) are easy to recognise, this is because scientists know how to measure some impacts (e.g. air pollution) and how to mitigate them (by installing air filters). Other impacts (e.g. on cultural heritage, scenery, fauna, flora and recreation) are less easily measured, but just as important. In many countries around the world environmental impact assessments (EIAs) are a legal requirement and an integral part of the development process.
Environmental impact assessments (EIAs) of projects are important in securing long-term positive benefits to the projects concerned. For an EIA to be of value, the assessment should be undertaken on relevant aspects of the project, and early in the planning stages. Environmental impact assessments should rely on conclusions derived from data analysis of primary field data and secondary data sources. The EIA process comprises:
Screening - to decide if and at what level an EIA should be applied
Scoping - to identify the important issues and prepare terms of reference
Baseline Studies to establish the pre-development condition for each aspect of the environment
Impact analysis - to predict the effects of a proposal and evaluate their significance
Mitigation - to establish measures to prevent, reduce or compensate for impacts
Public involvement - to inform and consult with stakeholders
Reporting - to prepare the information necessary for decision-making
Review - to check the quality of the EIA report
Decision-making - to approve or reject the proposal and set conditions
Implementation conducting the proposals made within the report
Follow up - to monitor, manage and audit impacts of project implementation
The environmental components used can be considered as four primary elements, which are defined as follows: physical/chemical, biological/ecological, sociological/cultural and economic/operational. The use of these four primary elements is in itself a competent tool, particularly if set against the detailed activities of project engineering, from pre- to post-project implementation, and including the construction phases.
The ECHO Consultancy can offer a wide range of various services, including:
1. Archaeological Assessments
Preparation of data for Environmental Impact Assessments and Expert Witness
Development of mitigation strategies
Advice on statutory obligations and planning consent
Preparation and implementation of detailed project designs and method statements
Historic landscape characterisation
Archaeological and cultural heritage input to Environmental Statements
Monitoring of fieldwork and report production
Selection and recruitment of specialist staff & services
Survey, evaluation, excavation and conservation work to international statutory standards (UNESCO, ICOMOS)
Satellite survey, aerial photography and pedestrian surveying
Development of a GIS based map of sites present in the area to be developed
Digitising of maps and plans
Provision of advice to other specialists for fully integrated projects
Site management that integrates sites into the natural and developed landscape
2. Environmental Management and Monitoring
Environmental Policies and Management Systems tailor made packages to suit individual needs
Environmental Aspects Evaluation identify the significant environmental risks
Environmental Key Performance Indicators set targets to improve performance
Supply Chain Management green your supply chain
Producer Responsibility Obligations identify your packaging waste reduction obligations
Duty of Care develop waste management and waste hierarchy scenarios
Total Particulate Matter
Combustion gases from all types of combustion and incineration processes including Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Oxygen (O2), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Oxides (NOX)
Continuous and individual species monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from surface coating application and printing processes
Testing of abatement efficiency of scrubber and oxidiser plants
Munitions detection and disposal
Measurements of individual process pollutant species including acid gases, isocyanates, amines, amides, Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S), Ammonia (NH3), heavy metals and formaldehyde
3. Coastal Management
Specialist coastal engineers - to design deliverable durable solutions
Geomorphologists to understand and predict the physical behaviour of the coast
Ecologists to play a central role in developing strategies that will safeguard and preferably enhance the nature of the coast.
Environmental scientists who understand and help mitigate any impact on aspects such as archaeology, fishing, recreation and, of course, society.
Geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists who understand the physical nature of the coast and the soils that make it up
Numerical modellers to model the sometimes extremely complex hydrodynamic and sediment transport processes at work at the coast.
GIS specialists to facilitate the analysis and presentation of our findings.
Economists to quantify the financial and economic impact of coastal management initiatives
Planners to play a leading role in ensuring that our work contributes positively to local and national planning initiatives.
Modelling and determination of coastal and estuarine processes
Development of shoreline management and strategy plans for coastal and estuary areas
Archaeological marine salvage and environmental impact assessment
Feasibility studies including economic and environmental appraisal
Development of innovative, sustainable and cost effect scheme solutions
Design and presentation of schemes to satisfy legislative and government requirements
development of coastal GIS and data base systems
Habitat and protected species surveys and assessments (including mammals, reptiles amphibians, birds, invertebrates and plants)
Biodiversity action planning
Site supervision and monitoring
Liaison with statutory authorities
Training and awareness
Public inquiry representation and expert witness
5. Air Quality Management
Air quality monitoring - point and continuous
QA/QC of monitoring networks and equipment
Local and regional air pollution dispersion modelling and emissions studies
Data Validation and ratification
Action plans and consultation
Advanced regional air quality dispersion modelling
Stack emissions monitoring
If a country or organisation wish to consult ECHO on a range of cultural heritage management matters, or indeed wishes ECHO to devise a whole cultural heritage management programme, then they should either write to ECHO via their e-mail address or to their correspondence address. Individuals may be recommended to work on sites for a set agency fee. Individuals from this group of professionals are available to work in most countries around the world.
Some Past Projects
ECHO Trustees, led by Prof. Fekri Hassan were engaged in the development of an action plan for the management of the World Heritage Site area of the St. Katherine Protectorate. They were also engaged in developing the cultural heritage component of an Explorers visitor center in the Red Sea Governorate, Egypt. Prof. Fekri Hassan was also involved in the development of a cutting-edge website developed by IBM on The Legacy of Egyptian Civilization, and the establishment of a computerised database of Egyptian cultural heritage elements in archaeological sites and museums.
ECHO Trustees were also consultants on the current rescue project taking place in the North-west Faiyum, where Epipalaeolithic to Early Islamic remains are currently being surveyed and excavated under the direction of Khaled Saad, Director of Prehistory at the SCA. These remains are threatened by proposed building of hotels and related infrastructure, as well as land-reclamation projects. This project is designed ascertain where archaeological remains are located, and excavate or protect those most at risk from the planned development.