Climate Action Working Group - Climate Adaptation Toolkit

Image4Climate Adaptation aims to minimise the adverse consequences of climate change and maximise the opportunities it presents. This toolkit provides an overview of the topic alongside some best-practice examples and suggested actions and activities for ICOMOS National and Scientific Committees. These include increasing knowledge, understanding and capacity, building resilience and preparing for change.




Image2Climate Change Adaptation Guide

This guide has been created by the Climate Action Working Group and is aimed at ICOMOS members, national and international scientific committees. Using case studies provided by the ICOMOS community, it addresses the topic of climate change adaptation under the following headings:
- What is the problem?
- Why does it matter?
- How can ICOMOS address climate change adaptation?
- What can we do now?

It can be downloaded here in Bangla, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.




Climate Change Adaptation: Further Resources

Please note that resources have been included at the recommendation of ICOMOS members and National and International Scientific Committees, and do not necessarily reflect the views of either ICOMOS or the Working Group.

ICOMOS Resources


  • ICOMOS Charter for Cultural Heritage Tourism (2021) (Draft) 

The ICOMOS Charter for Cultural Heritage Tourism (2021) is a new charter from the International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC) developed within the context of Agenda 2030 and the climate emergency. By considering heritage as ‘commons’ of shared concern (and not a ‘property’ or free resource vulnerable to economic exploitation) it contributes a fundamental shift in approach that seeks to improve practice that enhances community resilience. The Charter, presenting 7 principles and among them one specifically addressing climate action,  is of relevance to all ICOMOS members concerned with sustainability.


  • VMAST (UNESCO World Heritage Visitor Management Assessment & Strategy Tool)

VMAST is available through UNESCO World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Programme & Toolkit and applied by site management authorities to support responsive and adaptive visitor management. It is used to create a management baseline and upon prioritized strategic objectives formulate SMART strategy which can be monitored and adapted over time. Developed in the context of the WH Convention it should be a useful resource for ICOMOS members concerned with tourism in nominations, evaluations, and monitoring.


  • World Heritage Catalysis 

A commons-oriented community of practice applying new and innovative technology in transformative tourism and visitor management for heritage protection and community resilience. It specifically supports users of UNESCOs Visitor Management Assessment & Strategy Tool (VMAST) through an online interactive community platform and available resources. It is also the first collaborative initiative dedicated to improving practice based on a non-exploitative commons approach to heritage as set out through ICOMOS Charter for Cultural Heritage Tourism (2021).


  • Adapt Northern Heritage Toolkit: Assessing risks and planning adaptation Guidance on managing the impacts of climate change on northern historic places

Adapt Northern Heritage Toolkit

The Adapt Northern Heritage toolkit consists of five tools to help understand better how climate change will effect northern historic places and explore options for what can be done to respond to this change. The principal tool is a guide for Assessing Risk and Planning Adaption, which is supported by publications on Adaptation Stories, Conservation Factsheets and Information Sources. The guide is for use by both conservation professionals and those involved in caring for a historic place.


  • RISC KIT Website resources

Heritage Sites | Coastal Management Webguide - RISC KIT (

Most of European Coastlines are experiencing rapid change. Coastal erosion is a natural process; therefore also a lot of coastal archaeological sites and historic remains are threatened with destruction. But on the other hand, erosion can lead to the discovery of buried archaeological sites. The project received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research and development and demonstration under grant agreement. The website provides information on coastal features, potential hazards and the measures that can be implemented to prevent damages, protect human populations and infrastructure, as well as mitigate and prepare for potential effects. Some of these measures are ‘hard’ engineering solutions, while other ‘soft’ approaches seek to work with nature, or increase local awareness.


  • Just Transitions: Heritage Education for Climate Adaptation (JTHECA) website resources

Resources - Just Transitions: Heritage Education for Climate Adaptation (

Addressing the question How can we adapt and transition heritage conservation education to address the growing impacts of climate change and the need for more diverse voices to contribute in setting priorities for adaptation? The JTHECA initiative has compiled a list of resources on knowledge areas of heritage education for climate adaptation. For next stages of JTHECA, teaching resources including videos of related online webinars and conferences, and course syllabi and text books are being compiled.


  • ICCROM Guide to Risk Management

Guide to Risk Management | ICCROM

This guide is an abridged version of The ABC Method. It explains the ABC Method using many images, basic examples and simple exercises. It has been designed to introduce the risk-based approach to decision makers and to promote its use by heritage professionals and a younger generation of conservators.


  • World Climate Research Programme Co-ordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment

How to access the data – Cordex

Freely available climate change data. The CORDEX vision is to advance and coordinate the science and application of regional climate downscaling through global partnerships.

  1. To better understand relevant regional/local climate phenomena, their variability and changes, through downscaling.
  2. To evaluate and improve regional climate downscaling models and techniques
  3. To produce coordinated sets of regional downscaled projections worldwide
  4. To foster communication and knowledge exchange with users of regional climate information

You can find information on how to access the data following the links on the website under How to access the data. If you can´t find what you are looking for you can contact the Point of Contact listed for your domain at under Domains.


  • The Nature Based Solution Initiative website.

Nature-based Solutions case studies (

Case study platform examples of good NbS from around the world. Not heritage specific but useful resource to understand NbS adaptation.


  • Climate Change Adaptation Sectoral Plan for Built and Archaeological Heritage. Dublin: Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht. 2019

Built & Archaeological Heritage - Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan

Example Adaptation plan for heritage. The process for undertaking a climate change adaptation plan is detailed as are case studies on priority impacts for built and archaeological heritage in Ireland and an action plan for addressing these. This plan is conducted at national level however the same process and most of the actions could apply at region and site level planning.


  • UNDRR Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 | UNDRR

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 outlines seven clear targets and four priorities for action to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risks: (i) Understanding disaster risk; (ii) Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk; (iii) Investing in disaster reduction for resilience and; (iv) Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to "Build Back Better" in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

It aims to achieve the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries over the next 15 years.


  • Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Plan Template Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals

Adaptation - Tribes & Climate Change (

This "toolkit" is a collection of templates and other resources developed by the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) to assist tribes in their climate change adaptation planning process. The materials provided are not "one-size-fits-all" solutions, and users are encouraged to modify the materials to better represent the needs and priorities of their own tribe. The primary users of these materials will be the tribe’s climate change working group.


  • Adapting to Climate Change Guidance for protected area managers and planners Edited by John E. Gross, Stephen Woodley, Leigh A. Welling, and James E.M. Watson

Adapting to Climate Change - Guidance for protected areas managers and planners

IUCN-WCPA’s Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines are the world’s authoritative resource for protected area managers. Involving collaboration among specialist practitioners dedicated to supporting better implementation in the field, they distil learning and advice drawn from across IUCN. Applied in the field, they are building institutional and individual capacity to manage protected area systems effectively, equitably and sustainably, and to cope with the myriad of challenges faced in practice. They also assist national governments, protected area agencies, nongovernmental organisations, communities and private sector partners to meet their commitments and goals, and especially the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Programme of Work on Protected Areas.


  • Climate Change Risk Assessment

Climate Change Risk Assessment | Historic Environment Scotland

Presents the results of an initial baseline assessment of natural hazard risk to inform a Climate Change Risk Assessment of Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES’s) Properties in Care. It uses a number of existing natural hazard datasets, which determine the risk of damage and loss to sites, as indicators of susceptibility to climate change. The report outlines the drivers behind carrying out the study as well as the basic methodology of the assessment itself. This study represents the first step in a comprehensive and ongoing exercise to understand, monitor and manage environmental risk to the HES Estate.


  • Global Research and Action Agenda on Culture, Heritage and Climate Change


  • Intangible Cultural Heritage, Diverse Knowledge Systems and Climate Change


  • Impacts, vulnerability, and understanding risks of climate change for culture and heritage


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