Adapting Cultural Heritage to Climate Change Risks: Perspectives of Cultural Heritage Experts in Europe
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionGeosciences. 2018, 8 (8), 305-328. 10.3390/geosciences8080305
Changes in rainfall patterns, humidity, and temperature, as well as greater exposure to severe weather events, has led to the need for adapting cultural heritage to climate change. However, there is limited research accomplished to date on the process of adaptation of cultural heritage to climate change. This paper examines the perceptions of experts involved in the management and preservation of cultural heritage on adaptation to climate change risks. For this purpose, semi-structured interviews were conducted with experts from the UK, Italy, and Norway as well as a participatory workshop with stakeholders. The results indicate that the majority of interviewees believe that adaptation of cultural heritage to climate change is possible. Opportunities for, barriers to, and requirements for adapting cultural heritage to climate change, as perceived by the interviewees, provided a better understanding of what needs to be provided and prioritized for adaptation to take place and in its strategic planning. Knowledge of management methodologies incorporating climate change impacts by the interviewees together with best practice examples in adapting cultural heritage to climate change are also reported. Finally, the interviewees identified the determinant factors for the implementation of climate change adaptation. This paper highlights the need for more research on this topic and the identification and dissemination of practical solutions and tools for the incorporation of climate change adaptation in the preservation and management of cultural heritage.