Consultation Launched On Climate Change Adaptation For Heritage

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, is calling for public submissions on a draft climate change adaptation plan to address impacts on built and archaeological heritage.

This complements a biodiversity climate change plan also prepared by the Department in a bid to address the impacts of climate change on Ireland's heritage.

The increased frequency of extreme weather events as well as the rise in sea-levels results in structural damage to monuments and historic buildings. They are also negatively impacted by hotter, drier summers and warmer, wetter winters. Coastal erosion undermines ancient structures and archaeological sites are at risk from exposure and erosion. Historic urban areas also face challenges due to flooding.

The Department's two climate change adaptation plans are being prepared under the National Adaptation Framework (NAF). These aim to identify and assess the key risks and vulnerabilities of heritage to climate change and lead to the implementation of climate resilience actions. They will also enable specific adaptation considerations to be mainstreamed into all local, regional and national policy making.

Thanking all the partners and stakeholders who have assisted the Department over the last year through its Climate Change Advisory Steering Group, Minister Madigan said: "The risks of climate change to our irreplaceable heritage are clear. While our historic buildings and archaeological monuments across the state have stood for many centuries, they are not immune from the impact of increasingly extreme weather events and climate change.

"As part of the Government's overall strategy, our climate change plan aims to safeguard this heritage for generations to come. As we continue to develop our new National Heritage Plan, Heritage Ireland 2030, over coming months, it is critical that the specific risks of climate change are identified and that we can build consensus on measures to mitigate that impact and build resilience."

Minister Madigan added: "The responsibility to identify where damage may be likely, to assist in repair and in building resilience will rest with many stakeholders in the years to come, across local and central government and with communities who cherish their heritage. As my Department meets its obligations to address the impact of the extremes of climate change on our historic heritage, it is important that we get the views of the public and stakeholders on our approach.

"We stand ready, along with our partners in the Office of Public Works to lead in meeting our responsibility to protect and conserve our unique heritage, informed by the opinion of those who care for and cherish it."

The Department will welcome views from the public on the draft plan, to help shape priorities and actions in adapting Ireland's heritage to minimise the impact of climate change on the historic environment.

The deadline for submissions is 14 June 2019.


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