How can our cultural heritage help to tackle climate change?

Whilst climate change poses an existential threat to cultural heritage, cultural heritage also offers enormous potential for helping communities address climate change.  Our cultural heritage plays an important role on our ecosystems, as indigenous knowledge of sustainable land use can play a part in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and working towards a net zero carbon future.

Our cultural heritage could also play a vital role in how we adapt to our changing climates, which is already resulting in loss and destruction of cultural sites and values.     How do we prepare for loss?  How do we safeguard cultural heritage when millions of people face displacement?  Can we use heritage as a tool for social integration to prevent our loss of culture?

This week in Edinburgh, (HES) Historic Environment Scotland will be hosting The Climate Heritage Network Launch.   A two-day event devoted to urgently mobilizing the cultural heritage sector for climate action in Europe and across the globe.    The program will bring together heritage and climate leaders on the eve of the UN Climate Change Summit (COP25) and is expected to be the springboard for climate change and cultural heritage programming at COP25.

Speakers are from diverse heritage disciplines but also the fields of climate science and climate action.  The event is aimed at numerous heritage disciplines including architects, archaeologists, anthropologists, historians, conservators and other heritage professionals.   All of which could have a vital role to play in how we adapt and protect our cultural heritage through a climate emergency.

Heritage sites, and we have plenty in Scotland, are also valuable observatories of climate processes and heritage sciences tell us how to use this information to establish and understand shifting baselines.

The Refillery are proud to be an endorsing sponsor of this important event and we will be posting our summary of the key outtakes early next week.

For more information search the hashtags #ClimateHeritageLaunch #ClimateHeritage on social media.

Information from Historic Environment Scotland 

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