An aerial view of the impact of flooding at a Medieval Abbey.
A detail of flooding at Muchelney Abbey, Somerset, taken in 2012. © Historic England
A detail of flooding at Muchelney Abbey, Somerset, taken in 2012. © Historic England

Climate Friday: Climate Change and Cultural Heritage Webinar Series

Join and view Climate Friday webinars. These free weekly webinars, hosted by Historic England’s Environmental Strategy team in collaboration with the Climate Heritage Network, provide delegates with an in-depth look at a range of topics related to climate change and cultural heritage presented by international experts in heritage and climate change research, policy and practice.

For webinars on in-depth technical approaches to specific climate change adaptions, see our Technical Tuesdays page.

The Climate Friday webinar programme

Friday 9 October - Thinking about interrelationships between the climate crisis and heritage

Friday 16 October - Mobilising Arts, Culture and Heritage: An Introduction to the Climate Heritage Network Madrid-to-Glasgow Climate Action Plan

Friday 23 October - Supporting Climate Action by Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples

Friday 30 October - Communicating the Role of Cultural Heritage in Climate Action

Friday 6 November - Mainstreaming Culture and Heritage into Climate Planning

Friday 13 November - Making the Case for Building Reuse through Better Metrics

Friday 20 November - Valuing Traditional Knowledge in Climate Action

Friday 27 November - Using Culture to Promote Climate Resilient Sustainable Development

Friday 4 December- The Historic Environment and Toolkits for Climate Resilience

The Historic Environment and Toolkits for Climate Resilience - 4 December

This webinar will look at two examples of tools that have been developed to support planning for climate resilience with the historic environment in mind.

Historic Watercourses: cultural heritage and climate change in river catchments

Presenter: Dr. Antony Firth, MCIfA, Director, Fjordr Ltd.

This presentation will briefly introduce a methodology developed by Fjordr Ltd. on behalf of Historic England to mobilise information about the historic environment to deal with flood, drought and other climate-driven issues in river catchments. This work includes the creation of new data layers but also public engagement to explore narratives about environmental change. Examples are drawn from the River Stour in Dorset and the River Culm in Devon, UK.

Antony is a marine archaeologist by background, specialising in strategic and policy matters. He also has a long-standing interest in the archaeology of freshwater environments.

The Kassandra project – an integrated decision support tool for resilient cities

Presenter: Mark Cannata MA, ARB, RIBA Founder and CEO Kassandra srls

Kassandra was borne out of our experience with historic environments and a recognition that the transformations required to create long-term resilience – whether in the face of COVID-19, climate change or other emergencies – require bringing together strategic understanding of complex multi-layered data and detail knowledge of the physical environment they derive from. Cities, new or old, must face the inevitability of change, perhaps even audacious change. Meaningful decisions must interpret meaningful data and inventive and inspired design is the way of ‘managing change’. We believe this approach can turn the risk posed by climate change into an opportunity to engender a new sustainable urban design approach and renewed architectural aesthetic. Cities can, with the right decisions and a renewed sustainable partnership with Nature, continue their dialogue with time, purpose and aspiration. They are marks of life and place. And they can still have great possibilities.

Mark Cannata established his architectural practice, Zero Zero, in 2013 with Francis Scott in New Zealand and opened the Italian office in 2015. Mark has previously worked as Head of Culture and Heritage for Europe, Middle East and Africa at HOK in London, led the Historic Buildings Unit at John McAslan + Partners and worked for a number of Conservation practices in the UK and design practices in Italy.

Using culture to promote climate resilient sustainable development - 27 November

Cultural policies do not (yet) explicitly recognize the connections between culture and environmental sustainability, climate change, resilience and the sustainable use of the world’s resources. In the next years, cultural actors, institutions and organisations will have to integrate climate change measures into their strategies, strengthen their resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters, and improve education, awareness-raising and capacity in these fields.

This webinar by Climate Heritage Network Working Group 5 (WG5), in partnership with Historic England, will explore their work towards 'Contributing a climate change dimension to the work of the global campaign of cultural networks on culture in sustainable development'.


  • Ege Yildirim, Heritage Planner/ ICOMOS Focal Point for the SDGs.
  • Tawanda Gatsi, Archaeologist and Community Development Coordinator at Heritage Innovation Trust
  • Sofia Fonseca, Archaeologist, Founder and CEO of "Teiduma, Consultancy on Heritage and Culture"; Member of ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC). Member of Stop Food Waste Ireland
  • Olufemi Adetunji, University of Newcastle, Australia and ICOMOS Nigeria
  • Yunus Arikan, Director of Global Advocacy, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability World Secretariat
  •  Ruth Jakobi, Secretary General, European Music Council
  • Stephen Wyber, Manager, Policy and Advocacy, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions – IFLA


  • Hannah Fluck, Historic England
  • Jordi Pascual, UCLG Culture Committee

Valuing traditional knowledge in climate action - Friday 20 November

This webinar will present cases from Hawaiʻi, Puerto Rico, and India, focusing on how each community is affected by climate change and how they are using traditional knowledge to increase resilience of their communities.

Our speakers

  • Luka Kanakaole is a native Hawaiian. His family is strongly rooted in native Hawaiian practice and values, and raised him to recognize and care for natural cycles in the environment. He graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a Bachelors of Science in Natural Resource and Environmental Management. Through his experience in working with the Lokoi’a o Hale-o-lono (traditional Hawaiian fishpond aquaculture), he has come to understand what it takes to manage a small and delicate fishery resource. He also has experience in working with native Hawaiian forests. He currently works with the Edith Kanakaole Foundation and as a researcher and presenter for the Papaku Makawalu Program which is a research group that exemplifies traditional Hawaiian knowledge to be implemented, to inform and be utilized for modern natural resource management and other modern environmental practices.
  • Federico Cintrón Moscoso is a Puerto Rican anthropologist, educator and environmental and social justice activist. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Anthropology form the University of South Florida, in the U.S., and an M.A. in Archaeology from the University of Southampton, in the U.K. He is currently the Program Director at Enlace Latino de Acción Climática, a program of El Puente that brings together a network of environmental justice leaders working to mobilize and educate around issues of climate change mitigation, adaptation and resiliency. For the past 18 years he has been involved in community development and research projects that combine arts, science and culture in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. He is a member of UNESCO’s Chair in Education for Peace.
  • Jadav 'Molai' Payeng is an environmental activist and forestry worker from Majuli, popularly known as the Forest Man of India. “Plant trees that are easy to grow”, practical advice from Jadav Payeng, an unassuming Padma Shree awardee, who has afforested over 550 hectares of a barren sandbank on an island in the Brahmaputra, India.
    Payeng has spent nearly 40 of his 55 years sowing and raising a forest that has now become a habitat for an entire food chain of creatures–from deer to vultures, with rhinos and elephants, with tigers thrown in for good measure!

Making the case for building reuse through better metrics for avoided, operational & embodied carbon- November 13

Decarbonizing existing and historic buildings provides one of the best opportunities to meet Paris Agreement Climate targets, because they represent about 40% of global GHG emissions.…and up to 70% in large cities. We know that reusing buildings is a powerful climate action also because of the opportunities to avoid both embodied and operational carbon emissions; we know that the optimal time to provide a decarbonizing retrofit/rehabilitation for old buildings is when they are at a lifecycle age for regeneration. However, we do not have widespread comprehension and action on best practices and policies for maximizing the climate action potential of the existing built environment, nor does the average person understand its importance. To resolve that, a better case for building reuse is needed. We must generate both data and tools to help calculate and design for optimal building decarbonization and communicate these facts effectively.

Enter CHN WG3: This working group has formed three subgroups to help accelerate development of data, tools and the optimal communication for making the building reuse case more accepted as a key need globally, in the fight against climate change. This webinar will feature a representative from each of these sub-groups, who will each take you on the journey that they have started and relate what their plans are for moving forward. They will inform about the work of the next year, leading to COP 26 in Glasgow.

  • Data: 'The Data Challenge: What We Have and What We Need'
    Lori Ferriss will present why there is a dire need for Data in this field. She will explain existing resources, identify the gaps in current data and describe how we are approaching this challenge.
  • Tools: 'Challenges and Ideals in Decarbonization Tools for the Built Environment'
    Michael Netter will present why there is a need for advancing more Tools to assist developments in the Building Reuse field, how we are approaching this challenge and our plan for the next year and beyond.
  • Communication: 'Planning & Executing Effective Communication in Building Reuse and Retrofit'
    Stephanie Phillips will present how a curated communications program for this Building Reuse Data & Tools Development could help to mobilize the public, the ACH sector, industry and the buildings sector to greater action in building decarbonization, a significant weapon in the fight against climate change.

Mainstreaming culture and heritage into climate planning – 6 November

Planning is critical to addressing the causes and impacts of climate change. Human-caused Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions have already warmed the globe one degree centigrade over pre-industrial levels. Adapting to the resulting climate change presents a monumental planning challenge. Cultural heritage offers immense potential to drive climate action and support a transition towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. Yet paradoxically this potential is rarely expressed in climate plans, although there are exceptions including in those of Indigenous People’s organisations.

This webinar will begin with an overview of the results of a recent questionnaire that addressed the inclusion of cultural heritage in climate plans around the world. Positive examples of climate plans that do address cultural heritage will be presented. Olufemi Samson Adetunji will speak on Integrating Culture, Heritage and Climate Change: Perspective from Africa. Andrew Potts and Dr Paloma Guzman will conclude with an overview of the direction of the Heritage in Climate Planning (HiCLIP) project, followed by a questions and answers session with all speakers.

Communicating the role of cultural heritage in climate action – 30 October

This webinar addresses the challenging and critical activity of communicating the role of cultural heritage in climate action, particularly with policymakers and policy advisors. This webinar is offered through a partnership between Historic England and the Climate Heritage Network. We'll provide an introduction to the activities and resources coming out of the Climate Heritage Network's Working Group on Communication, and our guest panel will present their experience and perspectives on the intersection of policy and cultural heritage. We'll examine how to help culture heritage workers and policy makers communicate in ways that advance shared goals.

Supporting Climate Action by local communities and indigenous peoples – 23 October

This webinar addresses the power of Indigenous Peoples Culture and Local Communities in meeting the challenges of climate change, focusing on good practice in action, application and adaptation. The break with traditional knowledge acquired over generations of experience and evolved practice marks the loss of equilibrium in the relationship between humans and nature that has provoked the current compound crisis of environmental degradation and climate change. This webinar is offered through a partnership between Historic England and the Climate Heritage Network.

Mobilising arts, culture and heritage: an introduction to the Climate Heritage Network Madrid-to-Glasgow Climate Action Plan – 16 October

This webinar will lay out some of the rationales for viewing cultural heritage as a missing key ingredient in climate action and will describe how the Madrid-to-Glasgow Action Plan aims to realise that potential. The webinar inaugurates a six-webinar Climate Heritage Mobilisation series within the Historic England Climate Fridays that will explore different facets of the Action Plan and the steps being taken to implement them.

Thinking about interrelationships between the climate crisis and heritage – 09 October

With the narrative of climate change shifting to what has recently been referred to as a climate ‘crisis’ with a call to move toward ‘climate action’, we see the re-emergence of human ecology through the coupled human-environment system (CHANS), recognising the need to move beyond traditional research methods and paradigms to effectively address sustainability concerns including concern over extreme climate variability.

This webinar explores the nuances of addressing heritage studies within climate research, and the wider interrelationships of resilience, adaptation and mitigation more visible with the need for transformation. It explores heritage gaps in our understanding of the climate crisis drawn out from preliminary heritage-related work of IPCC documents, and suggests that heritage studies can provide key insights, as both methodological approaches as well as applicable insights, to a more just and managed transformation.

Previous related webinar: climate change and the historic environment – a call to action! – recorded 2 July 2020

The climate crisis will affect every aspect of our lives, its impacts are already being felt. The historic environment is affected by those changes, and by our response to them, but can also be a powerful agent for change.

This webinar aims to empower historic environment professionals to use their skills and knowledge to support climate action.

In partnership with

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