Speaker focus for WHUK’s Annual Conference “World Heritage & Climate Change”

September 13, 2021 Published by Alex McCoskrie

Here are just a handful of this year’s speakers, and some details on what they will be speaking on at 2021’s World Heritage UK Conference “Climate Change and World Heritage“.

Ali Webb – Change the Climate

Ali Webb from Change the Climate.

Ali Webb is a climate change communicator and filmmaker. He founded and runs Change the Climate, a non-profit that educates and inspires citizens to take climate action through talks, workshops and events. Ali is a trained Climate Reality Leader and in July 2021 attended the Mind & Life Summer Research Institute as an emerging leader. He runs Webb Street Studios, a video production company that is passionate about creating experiences that connect people to one another and the world around them. When not presenting or filming, Ali can be found befriending trees or singing Elton John covers at home on his houseboat.  

His talk will be ‘The Climate Crisis and Its Solutions’ an hour-long, interactive and engaging presentation on the climate crisis and its solutions. Learn what caused the UK’s unprecedented heatwave last August, why the arctic is on fire and it’s snowing in Rome, the difference between sending an email and a cheeseburger, and what soil has to do with solving it all. The talk will cover the science, causes, impacts and solutions of climate change, as well as explore the importance of COP26 and what you can do to make a difference in this crucial year.

Rebecca Jones – Historic Environment Scotland

Rebecca Jones from Historic Environment Scotland.

Dr. Rebecca Jones is Head of Archaeology & World Heritage at Historic Environment Scotland and a Visiting Professor at Heriot-Watt University. A graduate of the Universities of Newcastle and Glasgow, her research focuses on Roman campaigns and she led the team undertaking the mapping of the Antonine Wall for its successful nomination as a World Heritage property in 2008.

She is currently co-Chair of the International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies and on the Frontiers of the Roman Empire WH Inter Governmental Committee and Bratislava advisory group. She sits on the Steering Groups for WH properties in Scotland. Together with colleagues in Scotland and Australia, she co-authored the Climate Vulnerability Index report for the Heart of Neolithic Orkney WH property.

Rebecca’s presentation is on the ‘Climate Vulnerability Index’, which is a relatively new tool for assessing Climate Change for World Heritage (and other heritage) properties. First piloted at the Natural WH property of Shark Bay, Western Australia in 2018, its first application to a Cultural WH property took place in April 2019 at the Heart of Neolithic Orkney.

The CVI methodology was developed as a tool to assess climate risks that is applicable to all types of WH properties around the world. It is intended to be rapid, systematic, repeatable and flexible – and therefore adaptable to the wide array of properties. There has been significant interest in the CVI for both WH and other heritage properties. One key feature of the CVI is the assessment of the community associated with the site, thereby giving an assessment both of the vulnerability of the recognised site values to climate change and also the economic, social and cultural impacts.

The CVI process and Orkney results were presented by the ICOMOS Climate Change and Heritage Working Group to the World Heritage Committee in Azerbaijan in July 2019. With applications now developing globally (see www.cvi-heritage.org), HES was successful in getting grant funding from the Royal Society of Edinburgh to develop more CVI applications for Scottish WH properties, starting with Edinburgh in May-June 2021.

Peter Shadie – International Union for Conservation of Nature

Peter Shadie from IUCN.

Peter Shadie is IUCN’s Senior Adviser on World Heritage, based in IUCN headquarters in Gland, Switzerland. He served as Ad-Interim Director of the IUCN World Heritage Programme for two years in 2019-2020. Through the period 2000 to 2017, he was a member of the IUCN World Heritage Panel, which reviews World Heritage nominations and provides technical advice to IUCN.

Peter has more than 35 years’ experience working in conservation. He began his career as a park ranger with Australia’s New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service before joining IUCN’s Global Protected Areas Programme in 1999 where he was Executive Director for the 2003 IUCN World Parks Congress. From 2006 to 2010 he led IUCN’s work on protected areas across 23 countries as Head of its Protected Areas Programme in Asia. He then returned to his homeland Australia, working as a freelance consultant. Peter is also a former CEO and Director of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute and a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.

Peter’s talk will be on ‘The outlook for natural World Heritage in the face of climate change: IUCN perspectives’.  His presentation will summarize IUCN’s work and position on the interlinked global imperatives of biodiversity decline, habitat loss, species extinctions and the climate emergency with emphasis on the pivotal role of nature-based solutions.  Special focus will be on IUCN’s work on World Heritage benefits related to climate and the findings of IUCN’s World Heritage Outlook on the climate change threat to natural World Heritage sites. The presentation will look ahead to the types of actions needed to address these challenges at all scales.

Kate Pugh – UK National Commission for UNESCO

Kate Pugh from UKNC.

Kate Pugh is a heritage and cultural specialist with extensive experience in national and international heritage. She was appointed as a Non-Executive Director for Culture at the UK National Commission for UNESCO in 2021 where her remit focuses on the UK World Heritage Sites. Kate is also Chairman of the Advisory Group of the UK Cultural Protection Fund, managed by the British Council in partnership with DCMS. She is a trustee and the honorary secretary of Europa Nostra UK and of The Afghanistan Society. Previously she was Chief Executive of The Heritage Alliance. Mrs. Pugh was awarded an OBE for services to heritage in 2015. 

Kate’s talk will be ‘UNESCO Policies and Guidance’ relating to climate change, in which Kate will situate World Heritage Sites in the broader UN framework for Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals. She will also give an overview of how the UK WHSs are experimenting with and managing mitigation and adaptation and finish with a look ahead to the third cycle of Periodic Monitoring in the Europe and North America Region which will be implemented between 2022 and 2023.

Lila Angelaka – Historic Environment Scotland

Lila Angelaka from Historic Environment Scotland.

Lila Angelaka is a Senior Technical Officer in Historic Environment Scotland’s Technical Research Team. Her background is in architecture and conservation, and she worked in various architectural practices and heritage organisations, before joining HES in 2013, as a Historic Buildings Adviser Officer in Heritage. In her current role, she provides technical conservation advice, both internally and externally, and she is involved in various energy efficiency retrofit pilot projects. She is also responsible for the writing and editing of a number of HES’s technical publications, such as the Technical Papers and Refurbishment Case Studies. Recently, she has also been part of delivering livestreamed Q&A events about maintaining and retrofitting older buildings, called ‘Inform Fridays’.

To book at ticket, please go to Annual Conference – ‘Climate Change and World Heritage’ 21-23 September 2021 | World Heritage UK

Conference sponsor: Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service.

CADW - Wales' historic environment service.