Protecting World Heritage Sites in the Face of Climate Change: A Call to Action

Dear Colleagues,

The recent report from the United Nations (https://www.cbd.int/gbo5) demonstrates the sorry state of global biodiversity. This is despite efforts to increase protected areas, both on land and at sea. The highest acknowledgement of the importance of a protected area for biodiversity is World Heritage (WH) listing. This listing includes global biodiversity icons such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon. Many of these places have been listed for more than 30 years, and the basis of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) for which they were originally listed is likely to have changed. This is because of a range of pressures, but often climate change is directly or indirectly affecting these OUVs. This leaves researchers, managers, and policy-makers with the challenge as to how best to address these climate change impacts. What are the responses to the shifting baselines of OUVs? What planning mechanisms are there to assess the vulnerability of these sites in the face of climate change? How do we manage these WH sites in the face of climate change? These questions, and more, are now being asked by policy-makers and managers, and the research community is responding to the call. In this Special Issue, we will take the lessons learnt from across the WH family and use these findings to chart a way forward in supporting the increased resilience of WH sites to the challenges that have, and will, come with climate change.

Prof. Dr. Iain J. Gordon
Prof. Dr. Jim Perry
Topic Editors

Deadline for abstract submissions: 30 April 2022.
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022.

Topic Board

Prof. Dr. Iain J. Gordon
E-Mail Website
Topic Editor-in-Chief
1. Fenner School for Environment and Society, Australian National University, Acton, ACT 2100, Australia
2. Central Queensland University, Townsville, QLD 4810, Australia
3. Land and Water, CSIRO, QLD 4810, Australia
4. James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen AB10 8QH, UK
Interests: conservation; biodiversity; agriculture; food security; climate change
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Jim Perry
E-Mail Website
Topic Associate Editor-in-Chief
Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota System, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
Interests: climate change adaptation; ecosystem management; world heritage; watershed management; decision making
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Keywords

  • World Heritage
  • biodiversity
  • conservation
  • climate change
  • Outstanding Universal Value

Relevant Journals List

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Sustainability
sustainability
3.251 3.9 2009 17.64 Days 2000 CHF Submit
Conservation
conservation
- - 2021 16.22 Days 1000 CHF Submit

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Article
Mitigating Harmful Effects of Climate Warming on Ceiling Paintings by Ceiling Insulation: An Evaluation Using Timed IR Imaging and Numeric Modelling
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010308 - 28 Dec 2021
Abstract
Due to climate change, ceiling paintings in many historic buildings are subjected to increasingly high short-term temperature change, resulting in high thermal tension caused by the construction assembly. This article focuses on the combined use of timed IR imaging and numeric modelling to [...] Read more.
Due to climate change, ceiling paintings in many historic buildings are subjected to increasingly high short-term temperature change, resulting in high thermal tension caused by the construction assembly. This article focuses on the combined use of timed IR imaging and numeric modelling to evaluate insulation measures on the upper side of a ceiling to reduce thermal tensions in the painting layers, overheating in summer as well as cooling down in winter. As a model room, the southern splendour stair hall in the Burgtheater Vienna was chosen. Famous ceiling paintings created from 1886 to 1888 by Gustav Klimt and his brother Ernst Klimt can be found on this ceiling. The results show that timed IR imaging is an adequate tool to study the transient thermal behaviour of ceiling paintings which are not accessible to standard sensor measurements. Moreover, it could be shown that the presented measurement technique is well suited to validate a numeric model. The latter was applied to evaluate the potential insulation on the top of the ceiling. It was shown that cooling loads and energy loss in the room underneath can be reduced and most importantly the thermal stress in painting layers is reduced. The findings are relevant as, due to global warming, the current situation in many buildings is worsening. Considering the great intangible cultural value of many ceiling paintings, the application of the presented evaluation strategy for building physical boundaries on a ceiling with paintings seems to be appropriate. Full article
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