ICOMOS Climate Change Working Group Launches “Heritage on the Edge”

The ICOMOS Climate Change Working Group (CCHWG) has launched “Heritage on the Edge,” produced in partnership with Google Arts and Culture, CyArk, and local site managers. This project digitally documents and shares the stories of five World Heritage sites around the world experiencing the impacts of climate change: Rapa Nui National Park (Chile), Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Tanzania), Old and New Towns of Edinburgh (Scotland UK), Historic Mosque City of Bagerhat (Bangladesh), and the Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Peru).

“Heritage on the Edge” features more than 50 online exhibitions and interviews, two augmented reality “pocket galleries” and 25 detailed 3D models have been produced. The data was was captured by CyArk through aerial and terrestrial photogrammetry, laser scanning and videography. CyArk is a non-profit organization founded to digitally record, archive and share cultural heritage and an Institutional member of US/ICOMOS.

“Heritage on the Edge” also includes an introductory essay by tireless climate heritage advocate Andrew Potts, current ICOMOS CCHWG coordinator and past US/ICOMOS Executive Director. ICOMOS CCHWG members supplied heritage and climate change expertise, networking and helped conduct local training programs to assess site vulnerabilities and support heritage managers with on-site conservation. Participating CCHWG members were:

  • Dr Will Megarry (ICOMOS Ireland and Queen’s University Belfast)(Kilwa Kisiwani)
  • Prof Jane Downes (ICOMOS-UK and University of Highlands and Islands)(Rapa Nui)
  • Andrew Potts (US/ICOMOS and CCHWG Coordinator)(Bagerhat)
  • Milagros Flores (US/ICOMOS Puerto Rico and former President, ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Fortifications and Military Heritage)(Chan Chan)
  • Peter Cox (ICOMOS Ireland, Managing Director, Carrig Conservation International Limited, and President, ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Energy and Sustainability)(Edinburgh).

CCHWG member Ishanlosen Odiaua (Nigeria) and John Hurd, ICOMOS-UK Climate Change Contact Person, also contributed, as did the ICOMOS International Secretariat. In-country experts and local stakeholders were key. In addition ICOMOS members from Tanzania, ICOMOS Peru, ICOMOS-UK and ICOMOS Chile facilitated the project.

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