MONDIACULT 2022 | Responding to the climate emergency: new imperatives for cultural policy

Climate Heritage Network 2


Organizer(s): Climate Heritage Network (CHN); Culture 2030 Goal Campaign; United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG); International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA); Instituto Metropolitano de Patrimonio de Quito (IMP); International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS);  City of San Antonio, TX

Date: 29 September 2022, 2 - 3 p.m.

Venue: Los Pinos, Cencalli, second floor 

Focal point: Ms Claire McGuire, IFLA – Research and Policy Officer at IFLA, 

The twin climate change and biodiversity crises are defining challenges of our time. Responding to them requires a comprehensive treatment of climate change in cultural policy and of culture and heritage in climate policy. A growing consensus holds that culture and heritage are at risk from climate impacts but also assets in climate action. And yet there is still little consensus as to what the key goals of culture-climate policy should be or how best to achieve them – especially at scales commensurate with the urgency and scope of the climate crisis. Through this session, Climate Heritage Network seeks to advance understanding of how cultural policies can best help tackle these global challenges, and to build consensus as to priorities. The session will start with the thesis that the aim of culture-climate policy should be empowering people to imagine and realise low-carbon, climate resilient futures. It will emphasise the strong linkages between sustainable development goals like poverty eradication and promoting health and well-being and 1.5 °C climate adaptation and mitigation pathways. It will also address the question of what cultural policy best advances this aim, taking account of the fact that culture is both part of the cause of climate change and part of the response. The session will, hence, explore useful elements of culture-climate policy frameworks in order to aid operators in designing more specific culture-based adaptation, resilience, disaster risk reduction, safeguarding, and mitigation measures.

Agenda and List of Speakers

Welcome: “Empowering People to Imagine and Realise Low Carbon, Just, Climate Resilient Futures Through Culture From Arts to Heritage” - Julianne Polanco, State Historic Preservation Officer, California Office of Historic Preservation; Co-Chair, Race to Resilience: Culture Cabinet (5 min)

Mapping Climate Action: The ICOMOS “Future of Our Pasts Report: Engaging Cultural Heritage in Climate Action” Report -- Mario Santana, Secretary General, ICOMOS (5 min)

Making Cultural Policy Fit for Purpose in the Era of Climate Crisis: Key Points from the Climate Heritage Network ResiliArt Debate (20 min)

  • Overview: Jordi Pascual, Coordinator, UCLG Culture Committee (Speaker and Moderator) (5 min)
  • Differentiating and respectfully sunsetting ‘complicit heritage,’ Gabriel Caballero, ICOMOS Focal Point for the SDGs (5 min)
  • Nourishing Art for Transformative Change, Katharine Turvey, Head of Capacity Building – Museum & Society, ICOM (5 minutes)
  • Strengthening the Cultural Rights Perspective, Mr Pascal (5 minutes)
  • Culture in sustainable development policy, input from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands,
  • Ms Barbara Wolfensberger, Director-General for Culture and Media at the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (5 minutes)


Roundtable:  Actions Items to unlock the potential of culture to empower people to imagine and realise post-carbon, just, climate resilient futures (15 minutes)

  • Claire McGuire, Policy and Research Officer, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (Moderator)
  • Shanon Miller, Director, Office of History Preservation, City of San Antonio, Texas; CHN Co-Chair for North America
  • Prof. Gauri Ivette Garcia Medina, Director of Heritage, Protection and Conservation of Monuments and Historical Sites of the State of Michoacán, Mexico
  • Dr Francesca Giliberto, PRAXIS: Arts and Humanities for Global Development
  • Professor Cornelius Holtorf, UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures, Linnaeus University, Sweden


Wrap Up and Next Steps, Ms Miller (5 minutes)

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