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Climate Change as a Threat to Peace

Impacts on Cultural Heritage and Cultural Diversity


Edited By Sabine von Schorlemer and Sylvia Maus

This volume takes a fresh look at climate change as a threat to peace and its impacts on cultural heritage and cultural diversity. It proceeds under the assumption that the impacts of climate change on cultural heritage and cultural diversity may challenge sustainable global peace. As innovative feature, the interdisciplinary nexus between cultural heritage and peace is explicitly taken account of. Accordingly, corresponding threats on climate change and conflict on the one hand, and protection of cultural property and climate change on the other, are pulled together into one conceptual triangle. While the importance of the protection of cultural heritage in armed conflicts tends to become more and more recognized, the crucial role of cultural policy as a reconciliatory, proactive element of building and securing of sustainable peace has so far been largely underestimated. This volume brings together opinions of renowned experts in the fields of international law as well as natural sciences, engineering, humanities and social sciences. The focus lays on the legal and institutional challenges faced by national and international stakeholders, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in particular. Moreover, it alludes to broader issues of mitigation, adaptation and resilience.
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Reflections on Climate Change, Heritage and Peace (Sabine von Schorlemer & Sylvia Maus)


Sabine von Schorlemer & Sylvia Maus∗ Reflections on Climate Change, Heritage and Peace I Climate Change as a Threat to Peace “Does Climate Change Kill People in Darfur?”1 – The question is striking, but the title of a 2011 journal article captures the quintessence of a vivid and topical debate over the impacts of man-made climate change on international peace and security. Influential voices such as the UN Secretary-General2 and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)3 have established a direct link be- tween the armed conflict and climate change, notably for the conflict in Darfur.4 A commentary of the International Institute for Strategic Studies partly attrib- utes the Arab Spring to climate change.5 And the well-known Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change purports that “climate-related shocks have sparked violent conflict in the past”.6 ∗ Prof. Dr. jur. habil. Dr. rer. pol. habil. Sabine von Schorlemer is chair holder of the UNESCO Chair in International Relations at the Faculty of Law at the Technische Universität Dresden. On 30 September 2009, she was appointed as Saxon State Min- ister for Higher Education, Research and the Fine Arts. Sylvia Maus, LL.M. (Nottingham) is a PhD candidate and scientific co-ordinator at the UNESCO Chair in International Relations. 1 Lyal S Sunga, ‘Does Climate Change Kill People in Darfur?’ (2011) 2(1) Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 64. See also Julie Flint and Alex de Waal, Darfur: A Short History of a Long War (Zed Books 2005). 2 Report...

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