Heritage on the Edge

Activity: Talk / Presentation / Podcast / WebinarInvited talk


Recent years have seen a robust response from the cultural heritage sector to the threat of climate change. From developing sectoral adaptation plans for heritage assets to ensuring built structures are carbon efficient, the sector has a unique role to play in the climate emergency. The complex intersections between heritage and climate change were recently explored in detail by the ICOMOS Working Group on Climate Change and Heritage. Their report - Future of Our Pasts: Engaging Cultural Heritage in Climate Action – was released by ICOMOS at the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan in July 2019. Both Downes and Megarry were lead authors of this report which included four key divisions: High Ambition and Communication, Adaptation, Mitigation, and Loss and Damage. This presentation will explore the first theme. Specifically, it will explore how iconic heritage sites can be utilised to stress urgency about climate change and raise global ambition to respond.
Period6 Oct 2020
Held atICOMOS, France
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • climate change
  • heritage
  • Easter Island
  • Rapa Nui
  • archaeology