Cultural heritage in the face of climate change: From protection to decolonisation Scientific paper

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Irina Subotić
Višnja Kisić
Dejana Nedučin


The risks climate change poses to cultural heritage have garnered inc­reased attention in recent decades, prompting reactions from organizations such as UNESCO and ICOMOS. While there is a consensus among heritage actors that the climate crisis requires a departure from “business as usual”, there is no unanimity regarding which aspects of heritage protection should remain unchanged and which necessitate transformation, nor what level of action and transformation is required. Such disagreements may not always be immediately apparent, as different approaches are often mentioned within the same policy paper or call for action. They offer different interpretations of the climate crisis impacts, different framings of what is at stake, and different political visions regarding the necessary steps, thus creating tensions. This paper utilizes max­i­mum variation sampling to identify and analyse groups of approaches through which climate change has been addressed within the cultural heritage field, ranging from technical protection to decolonisation. It highlights the signific­ance of grasping their political and eco-social underpinnings, crucial for foster­ing transdisciplinary dialogues that draw upon the expertise of natural and social sciences, engineering and humanities to alleviate tensions, jointly shape future actions and develop sustainable solutions that respect and protect herit­age while fostering regenerative socio-ecological relations.


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I. Subotić, V. Kisić, and D. Nedučin, “Cultural heritage in the face of climate change: From protection to decolonisation: Scientific paper”, J. Serb. Chem. Soc., vol. 89, no. 5, pp. 773–783, May 2024.
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