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

Friday, 05 February 2021

In the context of the international initiative Greece launched in 2019 for the protection of cultural heritage from the impacts of climate change, our country presented the “Addressing climate change impacts on cultural and natural heritage” proposal at the Climate Action Summit 2019. 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 has hosted the Secretariat of the Flexible Mechanism, which was created to monitor the progress of the implementation of the above proposal and 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 the existing channels for protection of global cultural and natural heritage from the impacts of climate change. This mechanism, without establishing a new international body, 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 its creation.

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

On the national level – by Decision of the Prime Minister – Greece has also set up a Coordination Unit to support, among other things, the work of the Flexible Mechanism. The Coordination Unit includes executives from the states/organizations that have supported the Greek proposal as it was submitted to the UN.

The Coordination Unit, which is housed at the Academy of Athens, is headed by Greece’s representative to the Flexible Mechanism, George Kremlis, and is made up of distinguished scientists with expertise in the field of the Greek initiative, including the 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 Culture Ministry’s Working Group on Climate Change and Cultural Heritage, Professor Konstantinos Kartalis; and executive personnel of the co-competent Ministries and international organizations.

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

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