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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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Interdiscipinary Approaches of Linking Climate Change with Politics and Law of Cultural Heritage


Bernd von Droste zu Hülshoff ∗ Man-made Climate Change: A Major Challenge for World Heritage Conservation No issue is more international than global warming: all people on the planet share the same atmosphere. The world is currently engaged in a grand experi- ment, studying what happens when you release carbon dioxide into the atmos- phere in greater and greater amounts. The scientific community is fairly sure of the result, a reality that is already occurring: glaciers and the polar ice cap will melt, ocean currents will change, and ocean levels will rise. Unlike other prob- lems associated with globalization; however, global environmental problems affect developed and developing countries alike. Climate change will have an impact on social and cultural aspects, with communities changing the way they live, work, worship, and socialise in buildings, sites, and landscapes. Whole com- munities may be forced to migrate and abandon their built heritage. I Natural Heritage Many World Heritage sites already exhibit serious effects due to global warming. In particular, some of the world’s most magnificent glaciers – the Jungfrau, Eiger, and Moench range in Switzerland and the magnificent glacier of Saint Elias in Alaska – that are on the World Heritage List. There is also alarming news about the disappearance of corral reefs and their bleaching – for instance at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Moon Reef in Belize, and the Galapagos Islands. Lastly, terrestrial biodiversity, which is the foundation of many natural World Heritage sites, may also be affected through species shifting ranges,...

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