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n°37 - May 2014
Climate Change Adaptation for Natural World Heritage Sites – A Practical Guide

There is an increasing concern worldwide over the threats posed by climate change to World Heritage properties, with negative consequences for human well-being. As the impacts of climate change unfold, understanding the vulnerability of the World Heritage to climate change will become an integral part of conservation work.

Climate change has become more prominent as a management concern. The World Heritage Centre has developed this practical guide to assist those responsible for the management of natural World Heritage sites to better understand how climate change may affect those features of the site that contribute to its Outstanding Universal Value and offer ideas for identifying options for adapting to climate change with tailored management responses. The purpose is to ensure the World Heritage site’s resilience in the face of climate change, and therefore to sustain its Outstanding Universal Value.

The field guide was tested in real case situations in 4 World Heritage sites in Kenya and India. Feedback from this exercise was integrated into a final version of the guide, ensuring its relevance and suitability for site managers. The guide uses a step-by-step approach and includes eleven worksheets to help structure the planning process. Theoretical examples and real-life case studies illustrate ideas in a simple way that avoids the complexities associated with many sites and climate change.

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