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By Alanna Casey and Julianne Fontana, 2016 Graduate Interns, NRF

The Climate and Cultural Heritage Family Grows

COP22 – the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – is now taking place in Marrakech, Morocco (follow the live tweets here.) Last year’s major success was the Paris Agreement, and there’s good reason to pay close attention to the conversation taking place in Marrakech. Although COP has taken place each year since the first meeting in 1995, cultural heritage events have not been on the schedule until very recently. This year’s side events at COP22 are cementing cultural heritage experts as crucial partners in climate change action, and have the ability to shape the international dialogue and policy around these topics.


Use this guide to follow highlighted cultural heritage events at COP22, in particular:

  • “World Heritage & Water After Paris: Cultural Resources, Protected Areas & the 1.5C Imperative,” November 9.
  • “Culture on the Move: Sea Level Rise, Cultural Heritage and Climate Mobility,”                                     November 10  (live stream here at 10 am EST)

The COP22 climate heritage events do not stand alone, but rather build on other conferences and increased attention to climate change impacts on cultural heritage. The discussions from these conferences will inform our climate adaptation decisions for historic sites, as well as adaptation actions for communities.

The most important thing is to stay connected with the growing network of thinkers, do-ers, and organizations focused on this work. Here are some updates from the last year and upcoming events worth keeping an eye on:



  • Building on the momentum of Keeping History Above Water in Newport, Rhode Island, the City of Annapolis, Maryland will be hosting Keeping History Above Water II in November 2017.

And international events include:

  • From Land to Sea” hosted by the Nautical Archaeology Society and Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion in Glasgow, November 5-7, 2016
  • “Water and Heritage for the Future Conference” hosted by the Centre for Global Heritage and Development and ICOMOS Netherlands, November 25 – 26, 2016. Day One will focus on science and Day Two on policy and outreach.
  • Heritages of Migration” hosted by the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy, and the National Museum of Immigration, in Buenos Aires, April 6-10, 2017