UK Launch of ICOMOS European Cultural Heritage Green Paper

Putting Europe’s shared heritage at the heart of the European Green Deal

About this event

Join the official UK launch of the European Cultural Heritage Green Paper.

Tackling climate change is this generation’s defining task. In December 2020, the ICOMOS Triennial General Assembly voted to declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency and called upon other culture and heritage organisations to do the same. It also called upon the ICOMOS community to implement heritage responses to climate change that seek to realise the potential of cultural heritage – including both tangible and intangible heritage and local communities’ knowledge and practices – to contribute to transformative change, drive GHG mitigation and climate adaptation, and deliver climate resilient pathways that strengthen sustainable development.

The European Cultural Heritage Green Paper was launched in March 2021 and is designed to outline the role of cultural heritage in achieving the ambitions of the European Green Deal and in supporting transformative climate action for Europe. The Green Paper was produced by Europa Nostra in close cooperation with ICOMOS and the Climate Heritage Network (CHN), with the input of other members of the European Heritage Alliance. It is supported by the European Investment Bank Institute and the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

The Green Paper is based on the framework defined in the 2019 ICOMOS Report ‘The Future of Our Pasts: Engaging Cultural Heritage in Climate Action.’ Prepared by the ICOMOS Climate Change and Heritage Working Group (CCHWG) with input from ICOMOS International Scientific Committees and ICOMOS National Committees (including UK’s national committee) and other experts from the United Kingdom, it was designed to provide a benchmark against which heritage communities may measure their climate action. It is a tool to help climate change policy makers increase their understanding of and engagement with cultural heritage and gives recommendations aimed at both heritage operators and policymakers. ICOMOS’ expert knowledge, can contribute to this endeavour.

The event will be introduced by Teresa Patricio, President of ICOMOS.

Graham Bell will introduce Europa Nostra’s role and collaboration with ICOMOS and Andrew Potts, Coordinator of the CCHWG and lead author of the Green Paper will present the key themes of the paper.

About the speakers

Teresa Patrício, ICOMOS President, is an Architect with a Masters in Heritage Conservation and Doctorate in Engineering. She is a private practitioner based in Brussels and an independent consultant, focusing on the management and conservation of archaeological sites. She holds a professorship at R. Lemaire International Centre for Conservation at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium). Teresa has worked for international institutions including the EU and UNESCO. She was formerly, the President of ICOMOS Belgium and ICOMOS Wallonia-Brussels. She is a member of ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Training (CIF) and a member of the Working Group for the safeguarding of the cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq and a former board member of the Belgian Blue Shield.

Graham Bell is a Board Member of Europa Nostra and representative on its many responsibilities including the New European Bauhaus and missions for 7 Most Endangered sites. He was UK National Co-ordinator for 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage (amidst Brexit…), a member of European Commission advisory panels and currently five European consortia projects on sustainable tourism, traditional skills and digital cultural heritage. Graham established a foundation in Hungary (where he is a member of ICOMOS) and has governance responsibilities for NGOs across Europe, sharing expertise through teaching, conferences and publications. As director of Cultura Trust, a UK-based NGO, he uses its historic properties, including a World Heritage Site, as demonstration projects for UN SDGs.

Andrew Potts coordinates the Secretariat of the Climate Heritage Network on behalf of ICOMOS, which hosts the Secretariat. The Climate Heritage Networks links organisations around the world that share a commitment to the role arts, culture and heritage can play in tackling the climate emergency. Andrew also coordinates the ICOMOS Climate Change and Heritage Working Group (CCHWG). Andrew holds a legal degree from Indiana University in the United States. He previously served as Associate General Counsel of the US National Trust for Historic Preservation and received its National Trust’s John H. Chafee Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy. He also previously served as ICOMOS Focal Point for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

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Picture: Thingvellir National Park, Iceland, Unsplash

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