December 10, 2023

Cultural treasures will be lost if we do not tackle the climate crisis

Cultural treasures will be lost if we do not tackle the climate crisis

Many of the world’s cultural treasures are threatened. Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini recently declared at the G20 Culture Ministers meeting that “Protecting the heritage of humanity means protecting humanity itself, history, art and beauty.”

Italy alone “more than a dozen World Heritage sites are at risk of sea level rise” and the risk of flooding threatens 15-20 percent of the country’s cultural assets, which has the second highest density of UNESCO sites.

Here is a selection of List of World Heritage Sites in DangerIt will disappear if humanity fails to control the climate crisis.

What are the treasures threatened by the climate crisis?

UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger includes 52 sites, but for different reasons. Here are some of the places where climate change can be particularly dangerous.

Venice, Italy

Venice is a clear example of how climate change can destroy one of humanity’s jewels. The Italian city is threatened by sea level rise. Mass tourism and cruise ships also contributed to the fact that the lake was more and more eroded.

The frequency of floods increases the erosion of buildings. A massive project, where a giant barrier has been erected, the MOSE system, is trying to save the city before it is flooded. The cost of the project is more than 6 billion euros.

But as sea levels continue to rise due to melting glaciers, projections are that the city will be submerged by 2100. Since 1950, more than 100,000 Venetians have left the city.

Osterinsel, Chile

The colossal stone figures are one of the world’s greatest outdoor attractions, but their legacy is at risk. The sea is the main enemy of the statues that can be found there. The waves hit the island so hard that one would think they were directed against them

The Moise, the ancestors revered by all, is in danger. It’s one of the world’s most incredible cultural testimonies, and climate change seems unstoppable here. structures keep crashing.

All figures date from between 1250 and 1500 AD and are expected to be subject to increasing damage. Four of the top tourist spots – Tongariki, Hanga Roa, Tahai and Anakina – have recently been identified as most at risk of wave damage.

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It has a population of about 5,000, the local economy is dependent on tourism, and about 60,000 tourists visit the island each year.

Stonehenge, United Kingdom

According to UNESCO, Stonehenge may be sensitive to the increase in extreme weather events such as storms and floods. The Stonehenge complex is among the most remarkable remnants of the Stone Age in the world. It is the most architecturally complex stone circle in the world. These sites are 5000 years old and are the best Neolithic settlement in Northern Europe.

In much of the UK, summers get hotter and drier and winters get warmer and wetter. There is more rain and sea levels are rising on the British coast.

Stonehenge’s primary concern is increased precipitation, increased extreme precipitation events, and the risk of frequent flooding. Flash floods can cause damage from sinking canyons. Thirty kilometers away, a torrential rain recently overflowed the Kennett River, causing flooding in Avebury and Silbury Hill.

Chan Chan, Peru

Chan Chan is the ancient capital of the Chimu Kingdom in Peru with an area of ​​14 square kilometers. It was the largest adobe city in America before Columbus. Until its decline in the 15th century, 40,000 people lived here. Since it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1986, more than 100,000 tourists have visited the site each year.

Because of its fragility, the Chan Chan ruins are very vulnerable to extreme weather events associated with increased rainfall, which leads to the destruction of the mud architecture, and the rising water levels in the area.

In February 2010, heavy rain washed away the Peruvian coast and affected several five-hundred-year-old inscriptions. In addition, the entire infrastructure suffers from problems related to inappropriate development projects and looting. Illegal settlements also cause problems.

Biro tried to solve the problem by putting protective roof covers in place and making sure the old drain systems weren’t clogged with debris. Weather monitoring stations have also been set up all over the region.

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Bagerhat, Bangladesh

With an area of ​​more than 50 square kilometers and 360 buildings, the city was added to the World Heritage List in 1985. It is one of the most important places of worship in Bangladesh and includes mosques, bridges, streets and shrines inside. However, the rising water level has increased the salinity of the soil.

The lack of safe water also affects vulnerable communities on the islands and in coastal areas of Bangladesh. Through the process of flowering, the salts are displaced to the surface of the porous material and a layer is formed. In general, flowering in Bagerhat appears to have increased, but the exact extent of this dynamic is not well documented.

Bangladesh has sought to mitigate the impact through cost-effective measures by implementing a national adaptation plan, establishing climate change trust funds, and implementing innovative community adaptation strategies.

The country is still researching the causes of the decay of monuments in order to better understand how climate change is contributing to erosion.

The ancient palaces of Oueddan, Mauritania

The medieval caravanserai of the Mauritanian desert were important economic and cultural centers for more than seven centuries. Training courses in Mauritania, once centers of the nomadic and Islamic culture of North Africa, are now threatened by the spread of the Sahara. The streets and squares of Chinguetti, known for its ancient libraries of Islamic books and manuscripts, are filled with sand as the dunes roll towards the city.

Extreme heat and heavy rain threaten soil structure and exacerbate soil erosion problems. Desertification in the African Sahel exacerbates the problem and the causes are complex, including land use issues such as overgrazing and deforestation.

Continuing drought and increasing rainfall are exacerbating resource conflicts.

Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, USA

Standing on Liberty Island at the entrance to New York Harbor, it has welcomed millions of immigrants and tourists from all over the world.

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The World Heritage site is at significant risk from some of the effects of climate change, particularly sea level rise, powerful storms and storm surge. In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy inundated 75 percent of Liberty Island, and although the statue and its base were not damaged or inundated with floods, there was extensive damage to facilities and infrastructure.

Hurricane Sandy kept Liberty Island off the field for nearly nine months. The storm destroyed or destroyed much of the island’s infrastructure, including electricity, water, sewage, security and telephone systems.

2015 from US National Park Service A vulnerability analysis of its coastal properties concluded that 100 percent of the monument is “at risk” from sea level rise as the island is very low and storm-prone.

Cartagena de Indias, Colombian

The Colombian port city has long been an important commercial center in the region and has received more and more tourists in recent years. However, the rapid rise in sea levels and the inundation of coastlines threaten their development.

Due to its location near the coast, it is one of the Caribbean coastal cities most affected by sea level rise. Between 1993 and 2010, sea level rose by 2.5 mm per year, which is in line with the global trend. However, the increase in Cartagena was more than twice the Caribbean average, due to factors such as land subsidence, which is likely caused by extensive urbanization. As a result, the average water level rose by 5.3 mm annually during the same period, as indicated by UNESCO in its 2014 report.

In addition, the intensity of storms and inadequate sanitation and rainwater systems in urban areas increase the risks of climate change.

Climate models indicate that a 2°C rise in temperature by 2040 will lead to another sea level rise of up to 60 cm. 25% of the city’s residential properties will be affected by flooding in the event of a flood.