How Climate Change Impacts The World Heritage

Climate change destroying heritage sites is a cause that concerns this generation's entirety, and working on it is becoming an increasingly important priority all-over.

How Climate Change Impacts The World Heritage
climate change on world heritage sites

How Climate Change Impacts The World Heritage

Climate change is one of the most significant concerns of this world, and its influence on cultural and natural World Heritage is more visible than ever before. Our environment is suffering. Whether you see the wildfires of Australia or the danger to coral reefs worldwide- the degradation of our planet due to abuse by humans is becoming a problem in every corner of the world. The water we drink is more polluted than ever before, and the stats keep getting worse by the day.

For millennia, people have engaged with cultural landscapes, archaeological sites, historic townscapes, buildings, and associated intangible values, allowing for past lessons to be preserved and provide future generations with a sense of belonging. The protection of heritage sites on all levels is globally recognized through prestigious organizations such as UNESCO and its 1972 Convention, which provide an authoritative framework to monitor and manage the properties and landmarks on the World Heritage List.

The protection of Heritage Sites is a matter of prime importance for us, but it is also a matter of concern for future generations to come. Rapid and substantial action must be taken in lesser developed countries and economically weaker demographics and small developing islands. Lately, UNESCO has been working to its best capacity in Africa to preserve the natural and cultural heritage sites.

UNESCO has been at the forefront of exploring and managing the impacts of climate change on World Heritage. In 2006, under the guidance of the World Heritage Committee, it prepared a report on Predicting and Managing the Effects of Climate Change on World Heritage (2007), followed by a compilation of Case Studies on Climate Change and World Heritage, and a Policy Document on the Impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage Properties in 2008. 

Other efforts are also being made globally with sustainable development conferences at SDG 13 and SDG 11. 

Open invitation by GEO Member Greece in collaboration with UNESCO

The Group on Earth Observations is announcing an initial, open invitation to gauge the GEO community's interest and support to propose a Community Activity, incorporating urban cultural heritage aspects into the 2020-2022 Work Programme, in cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Climate change destroying heritage sites is a cause that concerns this generation's entirety, and working on it is becoming an increasingly important priority all-over. Our heritage sites are the representation of how we have grown as a species. They also help us gain a deeper understanding of humankind, but we might lose these marvels forever with the effects of climate change.

The loss of cultural and natural heritage sites might become the most substantial loss that we have ever faced because it will hinder future generations' growth. If we do not understand the gravity of the situation and perceive its implications, it might be too late for us to protect our heritage.