World Heritage and the challenge of climate change: a reform agenda

Marsh, Helene, Smith, Anita, and Terrill, Greg (2023) World Heritage and the challenge of climate change: a reform agenda. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 29 (1-2). pp. 39-48.

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The General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention adopted a policy and strategy on climate change in 2007. Many of its actions remain to be delivered. Climate change has highlighted the limits of a system under stress to respond to an immense challenge. The General Assembly is again considering the issue, and a second World Heritage climate change policy is being developed to provide high-level guidance on response measures. The draft second policy emphasises the role of individual States Parties in addressing climate impacts on their World Heritage sites but says less about the responsibilities of the World Heritage Committee, World Heritage Centre or Advisory Bodies to the Convention in meeting the goals of climate action and achieving an equitable, international and shared response. Nor does it tackle issues related to Outstanding Universal Value, the core of any response to climate change. We develop a conceptual framework for substantive reform and propose actions to enable the World Heritage system to effectively respond to climate change and support the resolution of longstanding, systemic issues. Meaningful response to climate change needs to involve strategic as well as operational elements in a staged response with measurable outcomes and outputs.

Item ID: 78543
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1470-3610
Keywords: climate change, heritage policy, reform framework, World heritage
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2023 02:05
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 50%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1901 Adaptation to climate change > 190101 Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem) @ 100%
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