Climate Heritage 2019

Climate Heritage: Climate change and its relation to cultural/natural heritage

14-15 March 2019

Moesgaard Museum, Moesgård Allé 15, 8270 Højbjerg



It is with great pleasure that we invite you to the workshop Climate|Heritage: Climate change and its relation to cultural/natural heritage. The conference will be held March 14th-15th, 2019 at Aarhus University Campus Moesgaard and is hosted by Coast 2 Coast Climate Challenge and Centre for Environmental Humanities (CEH) in collaboration with the department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies at Aarhus University.  


This two-day conference focuses on the complex relationships between heritage and climate change, and the way a changing climate affects our natural and cultural heritage.   

The first day will involve a number of presentations and inspirations from different subject areas and countries. This will be followed by a half-day of working in groups aimed specifically at colleagues from throughout the Central Denmark Region focused on implementation at the municipal or regional level and the potential of using heritage as a catalyst for social action and citizen engagement. 

The second day will be conducted in both Danish and English. 


It is possible to participate in on both days of the workshop, or either Thursday or Friday.


Key Notes:

  • Marcy Rockman, International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Climate Change and Heritage Working Group: "Cultural Heritage as a Source of Creativity for Climate Change"
  • Dolly Jørgensen, Professor of History at University of Stavanger, Norway and co-director of The Greenhouse, an environmental humanities initiative at the University of Stavanger: "Naming Extinction: Cultural Heritage Institutions as Agents of Environmental Citizenship"
  • Morien Rees, Chairman of the Working Group on Sustainability in the International Council of Museums (ICOM): "Locating cultural heritage on pathways to a sustainable future "
  • Pernille Denise Frederiksen, Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces: "Scheduled Danish Monuments at Risk of Coastal Erosion: Mapping and Actions"
  • Gry Hedin, ARKEN Museum of Modern Art: "Can landscape painting influence climate change? Danish painting 1780-1920 and landscapes of the Anthropocene"
  • Mairi Davies, Climate Change Manager, Historic Environment Scotland: "Historic Environment Scotland’s collaborative approach to climate change impacts, risk and adaptation"


Food and drinks will be provided throughout the days.


Participation is free of charge but please register.



Changing climates are affecting – most often negatively – our coupled natural and cultural heritage. Most acutely, entire archaeological sites are eroding into rising seas, historic buildings increasingly decay due to increased precipitation and precious organic materials, once kept safe by frozen grounds, vanish as temperatures rise. All these sites contain unique materials and knowledge – not least about past human-environment interactions. Our current situation has been likened to a burning library and saving these eloquent ‘books’ is a high priority. By the same token, however, natural and cultural heritage constitutes a resource for societal change. Natural and cultural history as well as archaeology are key components of identity-building and of the mobilization of social action and behavioural change in the long run. Here, conservation practitioners, policy-makers and museum professionals play important roles. This workshop, to be held at Aarhus University’s Moesgård Campus, shines the spotlight on this dual relationship between changing climates and natural/cultural heritage: Heritage as victim and heritage as resource for sustainability and catalyst for social action.


Coast 2 Coast Climate Challenge:

The workshop is organised under the auspices of the EU Life-funded project Coast to Coast Climate Challenge (, a 6-year project on climate adaptation taking place in the period from 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2022. The project is led by Central Denmark Region which in close collaboration with the other 31 partners and 19 supportive partners will work to create a climate resilient region by formulating a joint long-term strategy among the local stakeholders, and by implementing the municipal climate adaptation plans targeted, as the necessary analyses and activities are coordinated, and by identifying and improving resources and capacities among citizens and municipalities, utilities and companies in the water trade. Sub-project C24 is particularly concerned with coupling climate history and culture history together and using these within education, exhibition and tourism.