Symposium 2022 Climate Change and Cultural Heritage -What’s Happening Now- Held by JCIC-Heritage

Panel discussion

 The Symposium 2022 Climate Change and Cultural Heritage -What’s Happening Now?- was hosted by the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage (JCIC-Heritage), which the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) operates, commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. The symposium was held at Ichijo Hall, Yayoi Auditorium, in the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Tokyo on October 23, 2022, and was co-hosted by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Heritage Disaster Risk Management Center, Japan.

 This Symposium aimed to explore the international collaboration possibilities for the brighter future of cultural heritage by considering climate change from the viewpoint of the historical relationship between climate change and human societies, sharing and discussing the challenges faced by tangible and intangible cultural heritage under ongoing climate change.

 Chairperson of JCIC-Heritage, Dr. AOYAGI Masanori opened the Symposium and emphasized that the first step in tackling the coming challenges to strengthen the international collaboration and cooperation on cultural heritage protection under on-going climate change will be that more people correctly understand the relationship between climate change and the cultural heritage.

 This was followed by three presentations on the relationship between climate change and cultural heritage from different viewpoints: Potential of Cultural Heritages as the Memory of Past Climate Adaptation Inferred from Paleoclimatology by Dr. NAKATSUKA Takeshi, professor, the Nagoya University Graduate School of Environmental Studies, The Futures of our Past: Cultural Heritage and the Climate Emergency by Dr. William Megarry, a Bureau Member of the ICOMOS Climate Action Working Group, and Climate Change and Traditional Knowledge: Case studies from Oceania by ISHIMURA Tomo, Head of the Audio-Visual Documentation Section of the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

 The following panel discussion was conducted by Dr. SONODA Naoko, professor of the National Museum of Ethnology as a moderator, and four panelists including the three aforementioned presenters and TATEISHI Toru, Vice Director of the Cultural Heritage Disaster Risk Management Center. TATEISHI introduced activities and challenges for cultural property disaster risk management, using the Great East Japan Earthquake as a case study. Various opinions were then exchanged among the panelists and participants, including the impact climate change will bring to the activities of cultural heritage protection and the possibility that traditional knowledge forming such heritage can be the key to tackling climate change. KOHDZUMA Yohsei, Director of Cultural Heritage Disaster Risk Management Center made a closing address to confirm the importance to continue tackling these challenges by collecting the “knowledge” from a wide range of people.

 Please visit the JCIC-Heritage website for further details. (Japanese only)

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