‘Climate Change and World Heritage’

August 25, 2021 Published by Alex McCoskrie

World Heritage UK Annual Conference

Tuesday 21st to Thursday 23rd September 2021

One of several major international meetings taking place in the coming months addressing the climate change and biodiversity loss crises (including the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille and the Convention on Biological Diversity CoP14 in Kunming), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) CoP26 meeting is looming, urgently, scheduled for this November, in Glasgow. World Heritage UK intends that the voices of the UK’s World Heritage Sites are heard here.

As a contribution to the global ‘big picture’ above, this year’s World Heritage UK annual conference, ‘Climate Change and World Heritage’, is taking place online over 3 days in September, 21st to 23rd, and will host a wide variety of speakers from home and abroad, culminating in a ‘Message to CoP26’ which can be delivered to the UK Heritage Minister to relay to CoP26 delegates.

The keynote speaker has been confirmed as Climate Reality Leader, Ali Webb, from the Climate Reality Project Europe. The Project was set up by former US Vice-President Al Gore following the release of his Academy Award-winning film, The Inconvenient Truth.   Its mission is “to catalyse a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every sector of society”. The urgency of the situation has recently been highlighted by the latest report of the Inter-Governmental Panel on climate Change (IPCC), and Ali’s presentation will demonstrate why we must all take action.

Also confirmed as a lead speaker is Peter Shadie, IUCN’s Senior Adviser on World Heritage, based in IUCN headquarters in Gland, Switzerland. Peter is well placed to give delegates an ‘international perspective’ as he is a former CEO and Director of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute in Australia and a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.

World Heritage UK is also pleased to announce its first conference sponsor: Cadw is the Welsh Government’s historic environment service who have pledged to support some of the event’s organisational costs. Further conference sponsorship opportunities are available

Professional online event organisers NomadIT have been appointed to ensure everything goes according to plan.

To help us all be part of the transformative changes required, now and in the future, themes to be presented and discussed in chaired sessions at the ‘Climate Change and World Heritage’ conference include:

  • International perspectives on the impact of climate change on World Heritage Sites
  • Climate change and UK World Heritage Sites – an overview from government agencies
  • How to integrate climate change into World Heritage Site management plans
  • Climate change mitigation – UK case studies in decarbonisation and transport
  • Climate change adaptation – UK case studies in retrofitting and risk assessment

There will also be an evening session to welcome newly inscribed and nominated UK World Heritage Sites to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Tickets for the conference are now available via the World Heritage UK website at:

World Heritage UK is currently working on its World Heritage UK Climate Change Position Statement which it will share in due course.