Maui Business

Tackling Climate Change Impacts on Cultural Heritage

September 11, 2018, 4:02 AM HST
* Updated September 11, 2:34 AM
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Hawaii community leaders will attend a global climate conference Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, at the Cultural Heritage Mobilization component of the Global Climate Action Summit 2018 in San Francisco.  The group will discuss strategies for preserving cultural and historical sites threatened by climate change.

The Global Climate Action Summit will bring together state and local governments, businesses and citizens from around the world to present actions that address climate change and inspire deeper commitments in support of the Paris Agreement.

“Global climate change, especially sea level rise, is perhaps the biggest threat to cultural heritage in Hawai‘i, the Pacific and globally,” said Alan Downer, administrator of DLNR’s State Historic Preservation Division.

Waiʻanae petroglyphs. Photo credit: Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Historic fishponds, petroglyphs, coastal trails and heiau are among the numerous archaeological sites in Hawai‘i which could be affected in coming years.

DLNR is a key player in the State of Hawai‘i’s efforts to address climate change, with the development of the Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report and hosting of meetings of the Hawai‘i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission.

The theme of the summit is: “Cultural Heritage is a Climate action Issue. Climate Action is a Cultural Heritage Issue.”

The conference will examine: the relationship between heritage and carbon mitigation; promoting the reuse of existing buildings and the sensitive retrofitting of older and historic buildings for energy efficiency; and analyze the important role for heritage in enhancing the adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities.

The event will be live streamed at:

For more information, visit:


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