#8 Protect: preparation & adaptation

Your pathway to action might focus on helping ecosystems, human places and systems to adapt to, or be resilient as an organisation to the impacts of climate and ecological breakdown.

Mitigation, or stopping the harm, is of course a priority, but damaged ecosystems and extreme weather are already widespread and ‘baked in’, making efforts at adaptation essential and urgent. This pathway includes anticipating risks, and protecting culture and heritage itself from the impacts of global heating and environmental harm.

Different strategies

  • What can you do to protect heritage from impacts of climate change and ecocidal damage, through trying different strategies?
  • This might be heritage that your organisation is duty-bound to care for, or the heritage of local or threatened places or peoples that you can reach out to.
  • You might work with creatives, technical experts and indigenous people to experiment with and promote these strategies, in ways that include people and generate ingenious solutions.

Protect biodiverse heritage

  • How could you draw on your creativity and influence to protect biodiverse heritage?
  • Can this include supporting indigenous and community stewardship?
  • Can you promote the campaign for an Ecocide Law?

Use technology

  • Can you use technology to virtually recreate threatened or lost places? For example, could you work with local communities to pool their knowledge of a site that’s at risk of loss to flooding?
  • How can you help raise awareness of inequality and injustice, or galvanise people to protect places from climate impacts?

Acknowledge emotional and spiritual aspects

  • Can you help to memorialise lost species, cultures & places?
  • How can you give space to spiritual activities and support people’s grief at loss?
  • How much are you considering losses of intangible heritage?

Justice as key to adaptation and repair

  • Take all opportunities to educate your audiences, aiming for justice and care for migrants and climate refugees.
  • Can you plan to offer refuge and support in disaster or crisis situations (e.g. space, equipment and emotional support)?

Inspiration and Resources

Adapting our Culture

This project has asked how cultural organisations can adapt to the impacts of climate change – and how they can thrive in a climate-changed world. The result is an in-depth toolkit, to help you plan adaptation to climate change.

Climate Heritage Network

International, heritage sector including museums & arts galvanising action for mitigation & adaptation with strong link to UN & ICOMOS. Seeded 2018 and launched October 2019 in Edinburgh.

Historic England

Advice on flooding and heritage buildings, and other resources for caring for the built environment in a changing climate.


The Peacebuilding Assessment Tool for Heritage Recovery and Rehabilitation (PATH) provides vital insights into the cultural drivers of a conflict that have the potential to prolong it or make it reoccur due to unresolved grievances. This toolkit helps heritage practitioners, peacebuilders and cultural organisations take key decisions on which heritage gets preserved or rebuilt, where, when and by whom.


Snowchange started in late 2000 to document climate and environmental change in the North and work with local and Indigenous communities of the Northern regions.

Sustainability in Conservation (SiC)

an international NGO aimed at promoting sustainability and environmental awareness in conservation of cultural heritage and related fields. The group was founded in 2016 to support environmental responsibility, highlighting the duality of conserving the planet along with the art and heritage it contains.

What Next?

A movement for the resilience of the arts and culture sector, with regular meetings and local chapters. It was formed in response to austerity cuts and continues to respond to challenges such as Covid-19. There has been a sustainability chapter, run by Julie’s Bicycle.

Explore more

Pathways to action

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