Virtual Conference: Promoting Cultural Heritage as a key driver for local Climate Action

Putting Cultural Heritage and local Communities at the heart of our response to Climate Change
Event date: Thu, 14 October 2021 10:00 – 16:30 BST

About this event

This Cultural Heritage, Communities & Climate Crisis conference seeks to highlight how local communities should be at the heart of government/agency climate change strategies while cultural heritage should be a key driver.

We will bring together speakers from cultural agencies and civil society as well as independent research organisations engaged in championing communities’ involvement in climate action through culture. They will explore relationships between agencies and communities in the context of climate change and showcase some exemplar cultural actions initiated by heritage agencies, civil society, local communities and the private sector across the UK.

The introductory/keynote session will set the scene for the day with challenging presentations on the role that communities can and must play in climate action and how there needs to be a greater focus on adaptation beyond the net zero agenda.

The first speaker session will focus on the role of government agencies in involving communities in policy making and research on climate actions through active engagement at national, regional and local levels.

The second speaker session will focus on climate action case studies in different cultural heritage domains/specialisms and will offer examples of good practice in community engagement and action across a number of sectors.

The day will conclude with a round table discussion on a way forward and will involve some of our speakers as well as delegate participation.

Conference Programme

(Please note: this is not the final programme and more information on the speakers and their presentations will be provided closer to the event)


10:00 – 10:05: Welcome
(Clara Arokiasamy , President, ICOMOS-UK)

10:05 -10:15: Video Message
(HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Patron, ICOMOS-UK)

10:15 – 10:35: Keynote Address 1, People & Climate Change
(Laura Sandys, Co-Chair, IPPR Environmental Justice Commission)

10:35 -11:15: Keynote Address 2, The Problem with Net Zero
(James Ritson, UCEM, University College of Estate Management, Reading)

SESSION 1 – Global Crisis: Engaging Communities in delivering policies for Climate Action

Session Chair: Carl Carrington, ICOMOS UK


  • How can national agencies better engage with local communities?
  • How do we translate research and policies into practical community actions?

11:30 – 11:45 Civil Society – Mobilising Communities

(Ian Harvey, Executive Director, Civic Voice)

11:45 -12:00 Engagement with Communities

(Dr Jacqui Cotton, Flood and Coastal Risk Engagement Manager, Environment Agency)

12:00 -12:15 Hard choices: Climate Challenges to Heritage

(Hannah Fluck, Head of Environment Strategy, Historic England)

12:15 -12:30 CHERISH – Cross Border Working

(Dr Toby Driver, Senior Aerial Investigator, CHERISH Project )

12:30 – 12:50 Speaker Panel Q&A


SESSION 2 – Global Crisis: how local communities are using cultural heritage as a driver for Climate Action

Session Chair: Carl Carrington, ICOMOS UK


  • How can local cultural initiatives respond to the climate crisis
  • What are the barriers to community initiatives – and what are the possible solutions

13:30 – 13:45 URBAN Case Study – Taking Account of Diverse Communities in Urban Settings
(Noha Nasser, Director, MELA Social Enterprise)

13:45 -14:00 RURAL Case Study – Climate Friendly Upland Farming
(Viv Lewis, Administrator, Federation of Cumbria Commoners)

14:00 – 14:15 MARINE Case Study – Sussex Kelp Restoration Project
(Sally Ashby, Sussex Kelp Lead, Sussex, Wildlife Trust)

14:15 -14:30 COASTAL Case Study – Battery Project
(Deniz Beck,Deniz Beck Partners& Dr Tarek Teba, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, University of Portsmouth)

14:30 -14:45 Building for Climate Change – Traditional Materials
(Steve Webb, Webb Yates)

14:45 -15:05 Speaker Panel Q&A


Session 3 – Climate Crisis: a Strategy to promote Cultural Heritage as a key driver for local Climate Action

Session Chair: Susan Denyer, ICOMOS UK


  • Development of coherent strategy for community action that uses tangible, intangible and natural heritage as a driver for climate Action
  • Development of tools that allow and encourage communities to take Climate Action initiatives

15:20 -16:20 Round Table Debate/Discussion
(Chair: Susan Denyer, Secretary ICOMOS-UK)

16:20 – 16:30 Closing Comments & Conclusions
(Clara Arokiasamy, President, ICOMOS-UK)

CLOSE 16:30

More info on the speakers and their presentations here. 

Photo: Shanghai, China – Picture by Yusong He on Unsplash

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