Towards a Climate-Smart Cultural Heritage Management
Globally, cultural heritage is on the front line of anthropogenic climate change. Therefore, it could be argued that climate change should now be a primary lens through which cultural heritage conservation and management are viewed.
We argue that addressing the growing and compounding risks and impacts of climate change requires a fundamental rethink and transformation of cultural heritage management and policy.
In this article, we propose a climate-smart cultural heritage (CSCH) approach that captures the notion that climate adaptation can be developed and implemented within the heritage sector to simultaneously reduce the impacts of changing climate and variability on tangible and intangible cultural heritage and provide co-benefits for climate change mitigation while also enhancing human security at different spatial scales. The CSCH is an integrated approach to implementing forward-looking and transformative cultural heritage management and policy and is not a new set of practices to be advocated to cultural heritage stakeholders and decision-makers.
Findings also demonstrate that institutional mechanisms such as multi-stakeholder planning, increased awareness of the economic, social, and environmental benefits of diverse cultural heritage, improved cross-sectoral coordination and communication, strong political will for transformative approaches, and investments in CSCH are necessary for implementation of CSCH.