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Icon Urges Wales To Employ Conservators in Climate Change Action

Icon has responded to the Welsh Government’s consultation on the Draft Climate Change Adaptation Delivery Plan.

Icon’s submission supported the government’s ambitions to create a resilient Wales by preparing for the impacts of climate change but highlighted the plan’s limited definition of cultural heritage. The draft discusses the risk of climate change to heritage exclusively in the sense of built heritage or the historic environment. This ignores the risk that a changing climate poses on moveable heritage and misses an opportunity to use collections and their conservators to help communities to adapt to climate change.

While built heritage is inherently more exposed to climatic changes, collections and objects housed indoors – in museums, archives, libraries, historic houses, etc. – are also vulnerable. Extremes and fluctuations in temperature and humidity, increased rain, drought and flood risk, stronger levels of light and pollutants, new pests and physical forces can risk heritage assets by impacting the interiors in which they are stored or displayed.

Icon’s response outlined the potential role that conservation could play in climate change adaptation action, highlighting the sector’s traditional skills that can build resilient infrastructure and craft skills that can create durable and low-carbon footprint products. Conservation is inherently based on a logic that discourages throw-away culture and can support a society that cares for, rather than replaces, its material assets, we argued.  

Icon consequently recommended a holistic approach to climate change adaptation that draws on the conservation sector’s expertise and experience and considers the risk of a changing climate to all types of heritage.

Icon’s response was written with the Policy Advisory Panel.

Read the full response here.


Image: Creative Commons


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