Climate change impacts on cultural heritage: Facing the challenge

home other

Welcome Address
of the President of the Republic Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos

I am particularly glad that Greece, being the repository of a huge wealth of Cultural Heritage, both tangible and intangible, took the initiative to convene, in June 2019, an International Conference on the “Impacts of Climate Change on Cultural Heritage”. The objective of the Conference is to continue the efforts already undertaken by the International Community in order to address this acute global issue.

By the end of the 19th century, and especially during the 20th century, it became clear that climate can change not only due to long-term natural variations but also due to human intervention. Owing to the greenhouse effect, rising levels of carbon dioxide, resulting from human activity, have caused the temperature of our Planet to rise, thus entailing an anthropogenic destabilization of the climate. According to the most reputable scientists, there is no doubt that we are now witnessing an unprecedented increase in the frequency of extreme weather events, including record-high temperatures and forest wildfires, such as those observed last summer in Canada, Portugal, Russia, Sweden the United Kingdom, the United States, and Greece.

Unfortunately, our Cultural Heritage is not spared by these adverse effects of climate change. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) latest reports clearly demonstrate, unless we act immediately to address climate change, the damage on the integrity of world Monuments of an outstanding value may become irreversible.

In view of the forthcoming Climate Summit of September 2019, the participation of Heads of State or Government, International Organizations, distinguished academia and other relevant stakeholders in the Conference of Athens, is designed to send a strong political message and raise public awareness in order to encourage effective global action on this pressing issue. At the same time, the Conference will be an excellent opportunity to elaborate a framework of viable solutions on how to monitor the damage caused and how to protect the world’s cultural heritage, especially through the use of innovative technologies, the exchange of best practices and the promotion of multi-stakeholder projects.

Climate change represents a major global challenge. But there is still time to act. Better sooner than later!

International Conference
“Climate change impacts on cultural heritage: Facing the challenge”


Total World Heritage Sites


Cultural Sites


Natural Sites


World Heritage Sites in Danger