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Progress of the Greek initiative for protection of Cultural Heritage from the impacts of Climate Change

Friday, 12 February 2021

Greece, in the context of the international initiative launched in 2019 for the protection of cultural heritage from the impacts of climate change, presented at the UN, during the Climate Action Summit, the proposal: “Addressing climate change impacts on cultural and natural heritage”. This proposal received the official support of the UN Secretary-General, UNESCO, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Council of Europe and over 100 UN member-states.

Since the end of last year, Greece is hosting the Secretariat of the Flexible Mechanism, which was created to monitor the progress of the implementation of the above-mentioned proposal. This Secretariat is made up  of representatives of Greece, UNESCO and the WMO. In addition to mapping the initiative’s progress, it also aims to effectively coordinate existing channels for the protection of the world’s cultural and natural heritage from the impacts of climate change. This mechanism, also ensures the implementation of the individual actions set out in the Greek proposal, in the sectors of scientific research, administration/management and education, in collaboration with the countries and International Organizations that supported the Greek proposal.

Greece is represented by Mr George Kremlis, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Environmental Issues, UNESCO by its Director for Cultural Policies and Development, Ms Paola Leoncini Bartoli, and the WMO by its Director of Science and Innovation and Chief Scientist, Professor Jürg Luterbacher.

Greece –by Decision of the Prime Minister – has also set up a Coordination Unit to support, inter alia, the work of the Flexible Mechanism. The  Coordination Unit, located at the Academy of Athens, is headed by Greece’s representative to the Flexible Mechanism, Mr George Kremlis, and is made up of  distinguished scientists with expertise in the field of the Greek initiative.  It includes executives from the states/organizations that have supported the Greek proposal, as well as the Greek State Representative for Climate Change, Professor Christos Zerefos; the Chair of the Greek National Committee on Climate Change, Professor Costas Synolakis; the Chair of the Greek Culture Ministry’s Working Group on Climate Change and Cultural Heritage, Professor Konstantinos Kartalis.

More information on the progress that has been made in the direction of implementing the Greek initiative is available on the initiative’s website (