Are cultural heritage and resources threatened by climate change? A systematic literature reviewPublished: March 07, 2017 Updated!
World Heritage Site Chichén Itzá, Mexico (S. Fatorić)
Climate change poses serious threats to the protection and preservation of cultural heritage and resources. Despite a high level of scholarly interest in climate change impacts on natural and socio-economic systems, a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of climate change on cultural heritage and resources across various continents and disciplines is notice- ably absent from the literature. To address this gap, we conducted a systematic literature review methodology to identify and characterize the state of knowledge and how the cultural heritage and resources at risk from climate change are being explored globally. Results from 124 reviewed publications show that scholarly interest in the topic is increasing, employs a wide range of research methods, and represents diverse natural and social science disciplines. Despite such increasing and diverse interest in climate change and cultural heritage and resources, the geographic scope of research is limited (predominantly European focused). Additionally, we identified the need for future studies that not only focuses on efficient, sustainable adaptation planning options but also documents if, and how, the implementation of cultural heritage and resources adaptation or preservation is taking place. This systematic literature review can help direct scholarly research in climate change and cultural heritage and resource area. Ultimately, we hope these new directions can influence policy-making for preservation and adaptation of cultural heritage and cultural resources globally.