The Futures of our Past: Cultural Heritage and the Climate Emergency

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference


Our cultural heritage is at risk from the impacts of climate change. From rising sea levels, increased precipitation and
wildfires, to destruction from climate induced conflict and migration, climate change represents a uniquely challenging
threat. The cultural heritage sector is having to rapidly adapt and develop new ways to respond to this challenge, and
ICOMOS has been at the forefront of these efforts. Central to this response is an understanding that while culture is at risk
from climate change, it is also an asset in our response to it.
This presentation will explore two key themes central to this dynamic. Firstly, it will explore some new and emerging tools
to assess the climate vulnerability of heritage sites, and World Heritage properties in particular. Using examples from the
recent CVI Africa1 project, it will explore and introduce a new values-based, science-driven and community-focused
approach developed by heritage specialists and climate scientists. Secondly, it will explore the power of iconic heritage
sites in climate communication to promote climate action. Using examples from the Heritage on the Edge project2 it will
explore how place-based stories and innovative technologies can communicate the urgency of climate change in a
meaningful and people-centred way.
Period23 Oct 2022
Held atSchool of Natural and Built Environment
Degree of RecognitionNational