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An Ecolabel for the World Heritage Brand? Developing a Climate Communication Recognition Scheme for Heritage Sites

Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
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Climate 2020, 8(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030038
Received: 30 January 2020 / Revised: 25 February 2020 / Accepted: 3 March 2020 / Published: 5 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation)
This study develops a climate communication recognition scheme (CCRS) for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites (WHS), in order to explore the communicative power of heritage to mobilize stakeholders around climate change. We present this scheme with the aim to influence site management and tourist decision-making by increasing climate awareness at heritage sites and among visitors and encouraging the incorporation of carbon management into heritage site management. Given the deficits and dysfunction in international governance for climate mitigation and inspired by transnational environmental governance tools such as ecolabels and environmental product information schemes, we offer “climate communication recognition schemes” as a corollary tool for transnational climate governance and communication. We assess and develop four dimensions for the CCRS, featuring 50 WHS: carbon footprint analysis, narrative potential, sustainability practices, and the impacts of climate change on heritage resources. In our development of a CCRS, this study builds on the “branding” value and recognition of UNESCO World Heritage, set against the backdrop of increasing tourism—including the projected doubling of international air travel in the next 15–20 years—and the implications of this growth for climate change. The CCRS, titled Climate Footprints of Heritage Tourism, is available online as an ArcGIS StoryMap. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; climate communication; mitigation; adaptation; World Heritage; heritage tourism; carbon footprint; carbon management; ecolabel; environmental product information scheme; transnational governance climate change; climate communication; mitigation; adaptation; World Heritage; heritage tourism; carbon footprint; carbon management; ecolabel; environmental product information scheme; transnational governance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lafrenz Samuels, K.; Platts, E.J. An Ecolabel for the World Heritage Brand? Developing a Climate Communication Recognition Scheme for Heritage Sites. Climate 2020, 8, 38. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030038

AMA Style

Lafrenz Samuels K, Platts EJ. An Ecolabel for the World Heritage Brand? Developing a Climate Communication Recognition Scheme for Heritage Sites. Climate. 2020; 8(3):38. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030038

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lafrenz Samuels, Kathryn; Platts, Ellen J. 2020. "An Ecolabel for the World Heritage Brand? Developing a Climate Communication Recognition Scheme for Heritage Sites" Climate 8, no. 3: 38. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030038

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