The more than 1,800 UNESCO designated sites around the world – World Heritage sites, biosphere reserves and UNESCO Global Geoparks – are impacted by climate change, and can play a significant role in understanding, adapting to and mitigating these impacts.
These were the key messages from the opening day of the 2nd Huangshan Dialogue, a global forum on UNESCO-designated sites and sustainable development, organized by the HIST Category 2 centre under the auspices of UNESCO and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and supported by the Mount Huangshan Administrative Committee. In a video message addressed to the Dialogue, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova stressed the importance of the event as a contribution towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as towards the development of UNESCO’s new updated Strategy for Action on Climate Change.
The first day of the dialogue included statements and presentations, panel discussions and video demonstrations from participating experts, representatives of UNESCO’s secretariat and field office network. Discussions focused on how the impacts of climate change on UNESCO sites interact with other factors, and on the use of space-based technologies and other approaches to understand the related dynamics.
Over four days, culminating in a field visit to the world famous Mount Huangshan World Heritage site and UNESCO Global Geopark on 15 September, more than 150 participants – including 46 experts from countries around the world - will discuss exchange, cooperation and new initiatives that link UNESCO-designated sites to strengthen the global understanding of climate change.