C L I M A T E C H A N G E
Table 1—Goals and objectives identified in the Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Built and Archaeological Heritage.
GOAL 1: IMPROVE UNDERSTANDING OF THE HERITAGE RESOURCE AND ITS VULNERABILITY TO CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS Objective 1 Establish a baseline for heritage resources from which change can be measured
Objective 2 Conduct risk and vulnerability assessments for climate change impacts on heritage
Objective 3 Undertake monitoring of climate change and its impacts
GOAL 2: DEVELOP AND MAINSTREAM SUSTAINABLE POLICIES AND PLANS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION OF BUILT AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE Objective 1 Integrate heritage issues into relevant national and local inter-sectoral policies and plans
Objective 2 Mainstream climate change adaptation into sectoral policy and conservation planning at all levels
Objective 3 Increase and improve disaster risk management for heritage
GOAL 3: MAINTAIN IRELAND’S HERITAGE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS Objective 1 Increase the resilience of heritage resources under current conditions Objective 2 Develop management and conservation approaches for changing environments
Objective 3 Find ways to capture value when loss is inevitable
GOAL 4: COMMUNICATE AND TRANSFER KNOWLEDGE Objective 1 Create a vision for the sector and demonstrate leadership in the response to climate change challenges
Objective 2 Create guidance and disseminate information Objective 3 Enable the collection, archiving and sharing of data, experiences and learning related to heritage and climate change
Objective 4 Develop training
GOAL 5: EXPLOIT THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUILT AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE TO DEMONSTRATE VALUE AND SECURE RESOURCES Objective 1 Explore potential revenue streams and partnerships for the resourcing of goals 1–4
Objective 2 Develop a better understanding of how the historic building stock, and its adaptive reuse, contributes to sustainable communities
Objective 3 Maximise the potential of heritage as an engagement tool for cross-sector research and initiatives, public engagement and education in relation to climate change and adaptation flooding. Risks include structural damage to monuments and historic properties, coastal erosion undermining structures or leading to loss of ground adjacent to the structure, exposure and erosion of archaeological sites, and collapse of unstable masonry elements such as chimneys, roofs and walls untied to the main structure. Additional risks identified are the loss of historic landscape features, impact on building fabric, including increased saturation, mould and fungal growth to interiors and contents, and increased corrosion of metal elements.
The direct impacts of climate change on heritage may be immediate or cumulative. Thus damage from catastrophic events such as floods and storms is likely to increase at the same time as slow-onset environmental deterioration mechanisms. The way these impacts manifest will vary according to the sensitivity of the heritage and its exposure. In addition, there will be indirect impacts related to societal responses to climate change in terms of both adaptation (e.g. land-use changes) and mitigation (e.g. retrofitting of historic buildings to reduce energy consumption). Of the many potential impacts, those identified as priorities for adaptation planning are flooding (inland and coastal), storm damage, coastal erosion, soil movement (landslip or erosion), changing burial preservation conditions, pests and mould, wildfires and maladaptation, i.e. poor examples of adaptation leading to further problems.
The adaptation strategy and accompanying action plan which has been developed aims to: u build adaptive capacity within the sector, u reduce the vulnerability of built and archaeological heritage to climate change, and u capitalise on potential opportunities. The goals within the plan are commensurate with the five-year term of the plan, but also create a long-term strategic vision. While the actions focus on the priority impacts, many capacity-building measures will address a broad range of issues. The plan identifies five goals, each with associated objectives, and 48 actions identified to meet those objectives (see Table 1).
The Adaptation Plan will assist in building resilience to ensure that our unique and irreplaceable built historical environment (including historic structures, designed landscapes, coastal and maritime heritage, archaeological sites and monuments) stands protected against future threats.
Such protection will be assisted by assessment, monitoring and targeted protective maintenance and repair measures so as to guarantee the important social and economic contribution of our historic environment to the well-being of the State. Ensuring the availability of the necessary skills and materials to protect, repair and adapt our heritage will be critical.
In order to achieve these goals, 48 specific actions have been described. A monitoring strategy has been developed to track the implementation of planned actions. Progress will be measured against selected indicators, which will help to identify problems and inform improvements to the adaptation plan. The monitoring mechanisms include both internal and external oversight, and stakeholders are a vital part of the review methodology, building on the participation and sharing of good practice that has been integral to the writing of the plan.
Archaeology Ireland Autumn 2019