World Heritage is undertaking a comprehensive review of its existing climate change policy. The new policy is expected to become the reference for World Heritage action on climate change. Your views are critical to help ensure the result will match the challenge we face.

Updating of the “Policy Document on the Impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage properties”

You can access the online survey here.

Deadline for completing the survey: 20 January 2020

Climate Change has become one of the most significant threats to World Heritage properties, impacting their Outstanding Universal Value, their integrity and the potential for economic and social development at the local level.

The issue of the impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage was brought to the attention of the World Heritage Committee in 2005 by a group of concerned organizations and individuals. Subsequently, UNESCO has been at the forefront of exploring and managing the impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage. In 2006, under the guidance of the World Heritage Committee, and along with the World Heritage Convention’s Advisory Bodies (ICCROM, ICOMOS, IUCN) and a broad working group of experts, prepared a report on ‘Predicting and Managing the effects of climate change on World Heritage’, as well as a ‘Strategy to Assist States Parties to the Convention to Implement Appropriate Management Responses’.  This was followed by a compilation of Case Studies on Climate Change and World Heritage, prepared by UNESCO. This process lead to the adoption in 2007 by the General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention of a Policy Document on the impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage properties (Policy Document).

Since the adoption of the Policy Document, an important number of reports on the state of conservation of World Heritage properties affected by Climate Change have been presented to the World Heritage Committee.  In 2017, the World Heritage Committee reiterated the importance of States Parties undertaking the most ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and by pursuing efforts to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. Aware that knowledge related to adaptation and mitigation to Climate Change has drastically increased over the past 10 years, the World Heritage Committee requested at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016), the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to periodically review and update the Policy Document, to make available the most current knowledge and technology on the subject to guide the decisions and actions of the World Heritage community.

A project has been initiated by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre to update the Policy Document for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020 and ensure its widespread communication and dissemination to all stakeholders concerned. This project is being undertaken by a team comprising Mr. Rohit Jigyasu, addressing cultural, and Mr. Oscar Guevara, addressing natural aspects of the project. The Internet based questionnaire below has been developed to provide an important information input into this project. This questionnaire will be widely circulated to the World Heritage stakeholders, including States Parties, World Heritage Committee members, Advisory Bodies, Site Managers, NGOs, and civil society. 

Original source of the article here.