Cultural Heritage and Climate Action

10:38 by Cornelius Holtorf

The new document The Future of Our Pasts: Engaging Cultural Heritage in Climate Action by the ICOMOS Climate Change and Heritage Working Group presents a very impressive agenda for future work in our sector. As ICOMOS President Toshiyuki Kono states in his preface:

“It would be foolish to imagine the practice of heritage remaining static while the world goes through the rapid and far-reaching transitions… [connected with climate change]. Responding requires adjustments in the aims and methodologies of heritage practice.”

It is very satisfying that we were able to contribute to this work. In particular, this involves two points. Regarding the role of heritage as an asset for climate change adaptation, we suggested to add

  • Interpretation of cultural heritage as evidence of repeated human adaptation to past change and transformation [4.2.1]

In the discussion of arising opportunities, constraints and challenges, we added in relation to Uncertainty

  • Interpreting cultural heritage in terms of change and transformation [11.2.4]

Both points are related and concern an aspect little discussed to date but of considerable significance for the future and closely related to some of the outcomes of the Heritage Futures research project.

 

Cornelius Holtorf
In 2017, Linnaeus University in Kalmar, Sweden, was awarded a UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures. This is one of eight Chairs in Sweden, and the only one within the cultural sector. Cornelius Holtorf, holder of the UNESCO Chair, alongside Anders Högberg and Sarah May, will continue to generate ideas through this forum.

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