Securing the Future of Cultural Heritage by Identifying Barriers to and Strategizing Solutions for Preservation under Changing Climate Conditions

Climate change challenges cultural heritage management and preservation. Understanding the barriers that can impede preservation is of paramount importance, as is developing solutions that facilitate the planning and management of vulnerable cultural resources. Using online survey research, we elicited the opinions of diverse experts across southeastern United States, a region with cultural resources that are particularly vulnerable to flooding and erosion from storms and sea level rise. We asked experts to identify the greatest challenges facing cultural heritage policy and practice from coastal climate change threats, and to identify strategies and information needs to overcome those challenges. Using content analysis, we identified institutional, technical and financial barriers and needs. Findings revealed that the most salient barriers included the lack of processes and preservation guidelines for planning and implementing climate adaptation actions, as well as inadequate funding and limited knowledge about the intersection of climate change and cultural heritage. Experts perceived that principal needs to overcome identified barriers included increased research on climate adaptation strategies and impacts to cultural heritage characteristics from adaptation, as well as collaboration among diverse multi-level actors. This study can be used to set cultural heritage policy and research agendas at local, state, regional and national scales.

Lessons Learned from the Peace Centers for Climate and Social Resilience

In recent decades, as droughts have become more frequent and severe across arid and semi-arid areas of the Horn of Africa, outbreaks of conflict among pastoralist groups have also been on the rise. This report shares lessons learned from a pilot project in three districts of Oromia State, Ethiopia, which focuses on this intersection of climate and conflict.Funded by USAID and implemented by the College of Law of Haramaya University, the Peace Centers for Climate and Social Resilience (PCCSR) project seeks to address community vulnerabilities to climate change and improve communities’ capacity for conflict prevention, mitigation and resolution. Its aim is to mitigate underlying climate and nonclimate drivers that squeeze natural resources and foster conflict. The report, which draws on the USAID Conflict Assessment Framework, analyzes climate and conflict dynamics of the project areas, PCCSR project activities and results, and effects on conflict and climate resilience. It also describes lessons from project implementation and recommendations for the future. Among the key findings are focus group results that suggest conflict in the project areas declined from 2015–2017 and that local peace committees are becoming more effective in helping manage conflict. The preliminary results also suggest that declines in conflict may create conditions that encourage pastoralists to more readily deploy strategies to cope with climate shocks.

Climate-Informed Watershed Restoration on the Elizabeth River

Location

23704 Portsmouth , VA
United States
36° 49' 38.9136" N, 76° 18' 41.8464" W
Virginia US
Summary: 

The Elizabeth River Project is practicing climate-informed restoration of the Elizabeth River and adjacent watersheds in Virginia. By taking sea level rise into consideration in its collaboratively developed Watershed Action Plan and restoration projects, as well as engaging significant stakeholders through community outreach and education, the project is improving the environmental health of the Elizabeth River.

Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative: Collaborative Land Protection to Maintain Water Quality

Location

Raleigh , NC
United States
35° 46' 46.524" N, 78° 38' 17.4444" W
North Carolina US
Summary: 

The Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative (UNCWI) is a collaborative effort between regional land trusts, nonprofit entities, and several local municipalities and counties to protect drinking water supplies and quality in the Upper Neuse River Basin through land acquisition and/or conservation easements. A collaboratively developed Conservation Plan guides land acquisition by prioritizing land parcels according to their importance to water quality and their ability to provide other conservation benefits for the basin.

Resilient Water Supply Planning at Orange Water and Sewer Authority, North Carolina

Location

Carrboro , NC
United States
35° 54' 36.5184" N, 79° 4' 31.044" W
North Carolina US
Summary: 

The Carrboro-Chapel Hill region of North Carolina has experienced several severe droughts, is experiencing steady population and economic growth, and may also experience increased flooding and more severe droughts as a result of climate change. As a critical water, wastewater, and reclaimed water services provider for this area, Orange Water and Sewer Authority is preparing for an uncertain water supply future through a variety of methods.

Enhancing Flood Resilience with the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan

Location

New Orleans , LA
United States
29° 57' 55.4436" N, 90° 5' 8.9916" W
Louisiana US
Summary: 

The Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan is a 50-year plan that proposes to use water system upgrades and urban design projects to reduce flood risk and improve stormwater, surface water, and groundwater management in New Orleans, Louisiana. By creating an integrated living water system, the plan will enhance the quality of life for New Orleans residents, help create viable wildlife habitat, and enhance the resilience of the city in the face of climate change. The plan was developed by a diverse project team, and incorporates ideas from Dutch frameworks for water management.

Implementing green infrastructure to enhance stormwater management in Louisville, Kentucky

Location

Louisville , KY
United States
38° 15' 9.594" N, 85° 45' 30.4416" W
Kentucky US
Summary: 

In response to combined sewer overflows, stormwater quality issues, and regional flooding in Louisville, Kentucky, the Louisville and Jefferson County Municipal Sewer District (MSD) has implemented a variety of green infrastructure projects to help capture and infiltrate stormwater. Projects include 19 green infrastructure demonstration projects, two combined sewer overflow drainage area projects, and a green infrastructure financial incentives program.

Planning for Change in Chatham County, Georgia

Location

GA
United States
32° 5' 24.0684" N, 81° 6' 11.2824" W
Georgia US
Summary: 

Chatham County is vulnerable to sea level rise, flooding, and erosion. Increasing the ability of the county to adequately prepare for and recover from the impacts of climate change are important goals of the Chatham County – Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission. These goals have expanded into ensuring that all areas of the county are preparing for climate change, including public works, fire departments, hospitals, board of educators, and county engineers.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Water Resources Management: Southeastern United States and U.S. Caribbean

The intent of this report is to provide a brief overview of key climate change impacts and a review of the prevalent work occurring on climate change adaptation in the Southeastern United States and U.S. Caribbean, especially focusing on activities as they relate to water resources. The Southeastern United States includes Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, and Florida. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) comprise the U.S. Caribbean region. This report presents the results of EcoAdapt’s efforts to survey, inventory, and, where possible, assess climate-informed water resources action in the region.

The synthesis includes:

  • A summary of key regional climate change impacts and discussion on how the aforementioned issues combine to influence water supply, demand and use, quality, and delivery;
  • The results of a survey sent to federal, tribal, state, and other practitioners to identify challenges, needs, and opportunities for climate-informed water resources management;
  • Examples of adaptation initiatives from the region, focusing on activities in the natural and built environments as they relate to water resources;
  • Eighteen full-length case studies, detailing how adaptation is taking shape; and
  • A guide to the current suite of tools available to support adaptation action in water resources management, planning, and conservation.

Sierra Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership (Sierra CAMP)

Location

Sierra Nevada
United States
37° 5' 1.2912" N, 119° 7' 1.5924" W
US
Organization: 
Sierra Business Council, Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation
Summary: 

Sierra CAMP is a public-private, cross-sector partnership working to promote climate adaptation and mitigation strategies across the Sierra Nevada region.