Climate change is one of the most significant challenges of our time: global warming is causing the rise of extreme weather events and natural disasters, declining diversity of life on earth, increased disease and threats to health, loss of lives, mass displacement, and major impacts on livelihoods and human rights. However, the impact of climate change on cultural heritage (tangible and intangible) is often overlooked, as is the role that cultural heritage can play in adaptation and mitigation to climate change.
This webinar, co-organised in collaboration with PRAXIS, a research project at the University of Leeds funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the UK National Commission for UNESCO, explored the interconnections between cultural heritage and climate change. On the one hand, it presented the international framework on this topic defined through a series of international agreements, such as the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the outcomes of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).
On the other hand, it discussed concrete academic and practical case studies connecting heritage and climate change. It provided examples from the UNESCO Global Geopark Network and key findings from a research project led by the University of Edinburgh, showcasing the potential of long-term archaeological and heritage datasets to inform and support human adaptation and contemporary responses to climate change.