Cite this as: Jones, R.H., Davies, M.H., Day, J.C. and Heron, S.F. 2022 Developing Climate Risk Assessments for World Heritage: the Climate Vulnerability Index, Internet Archaeology 60. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.60.3
Climate change is recognised by ICOMOS and the IUCN as the fastest growing threat to World Heritage (WH) properties. The Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) was first piloted at the Natural WH property of Shark Bay, Western Australia, in 2018; the first application to a Cultural WH property took place in April 2019 at the Heart of Neolithic Orkney in Scotland. This article outlines the results of the Orkney workshop together with one for Edinburgh conducted in May-June 2021 and looks at the benefits of the CVI assessment process.
Corresponding author: Rebecca H. Jones
Historic Environment Scotland
Mairi H. Davies
Historic Environment Scotland
Figure 1: Aerial view of the Ring of Brodgar, part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage property, taken in 2019 (© Historic Environment Scotland)
Figure 2: Workshop participants discussing climate risks at Skara Brae, Orkney (@ 2019 Frank Bradford Photographer)
Figure 3: Damage to the footpath at the Ring of Brodgar, Orkney, taken in 2019 (© Historic Environment Scotland)
Figure 4: Adam Markham (Union of Concerned Scientists, US) being interviewed by the media at the seawall at Skara Brae on Orkney (@ 2019 Frank Bradford Photographer)
Figure 5: Aerial view of the New Towns of Edinburgh, taken from the north in 2007, looking across to the Castle and Old Town © Historic Environment Scotland
Figure 6: Participants at the online Old and New Towns of Edinburgh workshop
Figure 7: Dr Scott Heron presenting the CVI at the 43rd World Heritage Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan
Figure 8: Aerial view of the Antonine Wall and Roman fort at Rough Castle, looking west along the Wall, taken in 2006 © Historic Environment Scotland
Day, J.C., Heron, S.F., Markham, A., Downes, J., Gibson, J., Hyslop, E., Jones, R. and Lyall, A. 2019 Climate Risk Assessment for Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage property: An application of the Climate Vulnerability Index, Edinburgh: Historic Environment Scotland. https://www.historicenvironment.scot/hono-cvi
Heron, S.F., Day, J.C. and Markham, A. 2019 'From Shark Bay seagrass to Stone Age Scotland, we can now assess climate risks to World Heritage', The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/from-shark-bay-seagrass-to-stone-age-scotland-we-can-now-assess-climate-risks-to-world-heritage-119643
Heron, S.F., Day, J.C., Cowell, C., Scott, P.R., Walker, D. and Shaw, J. 2020a Application of the Climate Vulnerability Index for Shark Bay, Western Australia. Western Australian Marine Science Institution, Perth, Western Australia. https://wamsi.org.au/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/2021/01/HeronEtAl_2020_CVI-SharkBay-report.pdf
Heron, S.F., Day, J.C., Zijlstra, R., Engels, B., Weber, A., Marencic, H. and Busch, J.A. 2020b 'Workshop report: climate risk assessment for Wadden Sea World Heritage property. Application of the Climate Vulnerability Index – Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) Vulnerability', Wilhelmshaven, Germany: Common Wadden Sea Secretariat. https://www.waddensea-worldheritage.org/resources/2020-cvi-report
HES 2018 Climate Change Risk Assessment of the properties in care of Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh, Climate Change Risk Assessment | Historic Environment Scotland
ICOMOS 2017 19th General Assembly of ICOMOS, New Delhi, India 11-15 December 2017. https://www.icomos.org/images/DOCUMENTS/General_Assemblies/19th_Delhi_2017/19th_GA_Outcomes/GA2017_Resolutions_EN_20180206finalcirc.pdf
IUCN 2017 World Heritage Outlook 2, A conservation assessment of all natural World Heritage sites, November 2017. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.CH.2017.17.en
SHA, Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Antonius Pius.
UNESCO UK 2020 National Value of UNESCO to the United Kingdom. National Value – UNESCO UK. https://unesco.org.uk/national-value/
UNESCO UK 2021 'The climate vulnerability of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney' in Bridging the Gaps: Cultural Heritage for Climate Action, Heritage and Our Sustainable Future, Issue 2, June 2021. https://unesco.org.uk/conference/heritage-and-our-sustainable-future/cultural-heritage-for-climate-action-brief-report/
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