Queen’s expert co-chairs global meeting to strengthen culture and climate change science

  • Dr Will Megarry from Queen’s University’s School of Natural and Built Environment is co-chairing a global meeting to strengthen synergies between culture and climate science in the fight against climate change.

    The virtual International Co-sponsored Meeting on Culture, Heritage and Climate Change meeting, which runs until 10 December, is the first of its kind to be jointly organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

    It brings together scientists and experts to explore links between culture and heritage, climate science and climate action. The objective is to advance heritage and culture-based actions for climate change adaptation and carbon mitigation. 

    RELATED: New Northern Ireland air pollution dashboard launched online

    Dr William Megarry who is also a member of the International Council for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Focal Point for Climate Change and Cultural Heritage, commented: “Climate change represents one of the greatest threats to culture and heritage today, from fires, floods, and droughts, to the loss of living heritage practices and traditions. At the same time, culture has the potential to provide creative solutions and mitigation to these mounting challenges. Traditional, pre-carbon land- and water-management practices can provide a roadmap to post-carbon futures, while cultural practices and heritage places serve as psychological and physical refuges for communities during and after emergencies. Yet, culture and heritage have received limited attention in global climate science and responses thus far. I look forward to exploring this further during this week’s meeting.”

    Jyoti Hosagrahar, Deputy Director World Heritage Centre, UNESCO, also added: “Culture and heritage are invaluable resources that provide solutions and must be fully recognised and engaged in effective climate action. UNESCO is delighted to join hands with other institutions to further this important goal.”

    The meeting will bring together over one hundred, gender-balanced experts from 45 countries across all regions and will bring research, expertise, and insights from wide disciplines.

    It aims to establish a scientific merit to integrate cultural dimensions in climate action through three key areas: (1) vulnerability and understanding risks, (2) intangible cultural heritage, diverse knowledge systems and climate change, and (3) the role of cultural and natural heritage for climate action.

    RELATED: Researchers from Queen’s WTECH Centre travel to COP26

    In preparation for the event, three white papers have been commissioned to explore these axes and will act as conversation starters for the event. Participants will also have the opportunity to present their own research at the meeting. It will include public-facing events on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, details are available on the project website https://www.cultureclimatemeeting.org/.

    Assessing the links between culture, heritage and climate change responses will also serve as a catalyst for new research, projects, and publications on culture, heritage, and climate action in advance of the IPCC’s upcoming 7th Assessment cycle, and beyond.

    Project partners include the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI). The International Conference is primarily funded by The German Environmental Foundation with additional support from the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and The National Cultural Heritage Administration of China.

    Source: Written from press release. 

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

    Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Sync NI? Email the editorial team for our consideration.

    Sign up now for a FREE weekly newsletter showcasing the latest news, jobs and events in NI’s tech sector.

Share this story