Participants to the Experts reflect on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and climate change held on 19 and 20 June 2024, in UNESCO Headquarters, Paris
20 June 2024

A group of experts from all regions of the world are meeting at UNESCO Headquarters from 19 to 20 June September 2024 (Part I) to explore ways to contribute with proposals for States and other relevant stakeholders on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in the context of climate change.

With increasing recognition of the relationship between intangible cultural heritage and climate change, and in line with Decision 18.COM 12 of the Intergovernmental Committee, experts will discuss the roles and risks for living heritage in the climate emergency, integrating policy frameworks on climate change and living heritage, as well as challenges and opportunities for future action.
The experts considered the need to set discussion of climate change and living heritage within a framework of human rights and cultural rights, as well as the importance of established ethical frameworks for engaging with stakeholders and articulating and upholding the values of living heritage bearers. Case studies presented by participants highlighted the importance of clarifying the contribution of climate change among a range of different threats to living heritage, as well as the role of local knowledge relating to climate change and disaster risk reduction in urban settings and Small Island Developing States.

Part II of the meeting (online, 25 to 26 September 2024) will aim to finalize the draft guidance note to be presented to the Intergovernmental Committee at its nineteenth session (2 to 7 December 2024 in Asunción, Paraguay).

Since 2021, the Secretariat has been undertaking efforts in specific thematic areas to contribute to a holistic approach to heritage safeguarding and sustainable development. The other two thematic initiatives under the 2003 Convention concern economic dimensions of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in urban contexts.

Related themes

  • sustainable development

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