Earthquakes, landslides, floods, heat waves, fires and other natural and man-made disasters all have a direct impact on cultural heritage. They can seriously damage or even completely destroy monuments, historical and archaeological sites or cultural landscapes. In addition to the endangerment of people who visit those places, the degradation of heritage has a negative socioeconomic impact on local communities and involves a loss of identity-generating values and of cultural diversity.
Climate change, which lies behind the increasing frequency and intensity of some natural disasters, is exposing cultural heritage to new threats where few used to exist and increasing the vulnerability of sites already at risk.
The EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement is helping to protect cultural heritage against natural and technological disasters by promoting risk culture and disaster resilience. It co-operates on a crosscutting basis at the Council of Europe with the Faro Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society in order to protect tangible and intangible heritage as a vector for identity and collective memory that can consolidate and revitalise communities, and also with the European Landscape Convention in terms of protecting cultural landscapes.
This publication follows the International Conference on Cultural Heritage and Climate Change, held in Ravello, Italy, on 18 and 19 May 2017. It includes contributions from scientific and governmental experts to address this issue, but also a political recommendation as well as guidelines for governments, other institutional actors, NGOs and experts on on how to better integrate climate change considerations and prevision in the protection and maintenance of cultural heritage.
Recommendation 2009 - 1 on Vulnerability of Cultural Heritage to Climate Change, adopted at the 57th meeting of the Committee of Permanent Correspondents of the EUR-OPA Agreement, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 15-16 October 2009 EN| FR