Climate Emergency at the Intersection of Landscapes, Heritage, Communities and Tourism

The Climate emergency threatens our landscapes everywhere. In this session speakers will make short presentations about heritage sites in relationships to climate, landscape, community and tourism addressing issues, opportunities for resilience and tools for management. They will provide a variety of viewpoints, observations, and solutions to the impacts of the climate emergency through a landscape lens including culture and nature. This webinar is organized in the context of the International Day for Monuments and Sites.


Patricia O’Donnell (moderator) is a preservation landscape architect and urban planner who serves as the president of the ICOMOS IFLA ISC on Cultural Landscapes, the board of OurWorldHeritage and an expert member of ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee, the three collaborating groups for this webinar.

Diane Menzies, a Maori and a landscape architect, will provide an update on Tongariro National Park, WH site climate impacts and actions, Pasifika and Samoa high alert risks, emerging Aotearoa climate strategy and policy, and the current work of sharing Indigenous knowledge on cultural landscapes.
Bartomeu Deya Canals lives on Mallorca, Spain and tends a family-owned traditional olive orchard and Olive oil press. Trained as an economist, he is engaged in World Heritage locally and through ISCCL and ICTC, he will speak about climate and the olive heritage, local and tourism values and issues.

Cecilie Smith-Christensen presents the Visitor Management Assessment and Strategy Tool (VMAST) for World Heritage, a new tool made available through the UNESCO World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Programme and Toolkit for site and visitor management to improve protection sites, while localising the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Cecilie focuses on barriers to polycentric governance in stewardship of World Heritage, and how to employ technology to overcome them.

Kheir-eddine Guerrouche, an Algerian architect, is witnessing climate change effects in the periodic catastrophic forest fires in northern Algiers due to rising temperatures, and changing rainfall with 3,000 fires seen each year recently. He will focus on the impacts on the cultural landscape in Kabylie and the approach to fire management.

Rouran Zhang, PhD, will speak to the Implications of Traditional Methods for Climate Change. A Case Study on Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces. This productive landscape forms a forest-village-terraces-water system forming a system of agriculture, forestry and water distribution, and a unique “living” socio-economic and religious system, engaging aspects of climate response.

Gregory Wade De Vries, a landscape architect focusing on historic places, presents a case of transforming the heritage and habitat value of an historic 19th Century urban park, in Chicago. The collaborative work addresses several UN SDGs goals, upgraded a community asset, added climate resilience and welcomed museum visitors into the park.