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Bridging Heritage and Climate Action: New Workshop creates a generation of ambassadors

We are happy to announce the completion of our very first Interpreting Heritage and Engaging Communities for Climate Change workshop, an important milestone in the sector’s efforts to address this pressing issue. 

During this exciting inaugural 3-day online workshop (1st– 3rd December) HERITΛGE bought together 13 Heritage Managers from Africa (Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan, Zimbabwe, The Gambia), Europe and Asia (France, Turkey) that are now trained to fulfil the role of heritage and climate action ambassadors. 

 The sessions aimed to equip the participants with the necessary tools and expertise to actively involve local communities in climate action. It was a pleasure to see participants share their personal experiences, lead lively discussions, and actively engage in various exercises throughout a series of thought-provoking lectures by our instructors. 

Key Learnings:

  1. Understanding Climate Change: as both a global phenomenon and its specific effects on local communities. 
  2. Impacts on Cultural Heritage Sites: the focal point of the workshop was the exploration of the intersection between climate and heritage issues. 
  3. Community Engagement: learning effective strategies to communicate the impact of climate change to diverse audiences, with a strong focus on fostering sustainability and resilience in heritage sights. 

Much of the success of the workshop was down to the guidance of our four instructors. Valya Stergitoti acted as our interpretative trainer and planner. She has over twenty years’ experience in organising heritage workshops, maintains a high level of personability and individual focus in each project she curates, and we benefited enormously from her guidance and skills. Dr Aris Anagnostopoulos, who is currently engaged in research about archaeological ethnography (PhD University of Kent) and serves as HERITΛGE’S Community Engagement Programs’ Manager, brought vital insights to the community engagement side of the workshop. Dr. Lena Stefanou, whose expertise lies in archaeology and museum and heritage studies, suggested a diverse perspective to the workshop. Her work incorporates museum planning, educational design and community archaeology and she provided fascinating insights into all these matters and how climate issues might impact them. 

Finally, our director Dr. Evangelos Kyriakidis took the stage as the keynote speaker in a lecture which emphasised the urgent need for local ambassadors of climate mitigation in our world today. 

By the end of the workshop, the participant Heritage Managers came out with a deeper awareness of how interpretation can inspire communities to take climate action. Armed with this knowledge and expertise, these ambassadors of heritage and climate action are now better equipped to initiate influential initiatives within their communities, contributing to a more sustainable future. We look forward to seeing how their future work will lead to positive change!



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