IIC Report from the Green Zone at COP26 - plus a global update
Nothing is Stable: Conserving Cultural Heritage in a Changing World
The work of conservators brings us into every possible setting - from remote archaeological sites in forests or deserts to museums and iconic buildings in towns and cities. This gives us a unique insight into how the climate emergency is affecting cultural heritage, communities and the wider environment, whether that's through the destabilisation of whole sites, loss of heritage or collections affected by incursions from insects and temperature changes.
As the centrepiece of our stand in Glasgow, and with the help of our members, we brought together this film of conservation work across the world that addresses the climate emergency. It shows conservators working in multiple environments across the world: a visually arresting picture of settings from city museums to remote regions.
A shorter two minute version of this film is also available here.
We received many hours of footage from members and friends, and although it wasn't possible to fit everything in, we plan to make other uses of this material.
Credits and Acknowledgments
A full list of credits and acknowledgments to the film will also be published shortly.
Our Google Arts + Culture story
IIC is one of the leading exhibitor stories on the new COP26 Google Arts and Culture website for the Green Zone, providing a window into the dynamic world of climate action and the important role of conservators globally in responding to the crisis.
The Google Arts and Culture website is showcasing stories from organisations and communities that were present at COP26.
Connecting knowledge : COP26 Edit-a-Thon (live and online)
We organised a 24-hour global edit-a-thon, 10 - 11 November, of the world's largest encyclopedia - Wikipedia, focused on Cultural Heritage Conservation Sustainability and Climate Action themes. Working in partnership with universities and training institutions around the planet, we brought together students and researchers from conservation courses, with each group taking up the baton to add new material in two-hour-long sprints - connecting new and existing knowledge and demonstrating the power of collective intelligence and removing barriers to knowledge by having a resource open to all.
The edit-a-thon launched with live editing from our stand at Glasgow as well as supported by universities, students, IIC Fellows and members around the world completing 2 hour sprints across regions and time zones.
The Edit-a-Thon took place in multiple languages, including translation work which enabled us to spread knowledge across boundaries. Altogether, 50 editors added over 30,000 words to Wikipedia over the day.
A Time for Action in Cultural Heritage Conservation
We have been present live in the Green Zone at COP26 from 10 - 11 November 2021, talking to both delegates and the public about the work of conservators, and the intersect between cultural and natural heritage.
Joint Commitment for Climate Action
Presenting at COP26 has offered a number of opportunities, icnluding promoting the work of conservators to a wide audience, describing what we do and why it is even more important in the light of the climate emergency. We have been able to show how far the profession has already come in lowering its own carbon footprint, and protecting threatened collections and sites.
But COP26 has also been an inflection point for ourselves - to gather resources through our edit-a-thon for future action, and to consider the huge task we have in the next ten years, when we will need to transform our practice, doing our part to protect heritage and keep the world from warming beyond 1.5 degrees.
We organised a post exhibition ‘open door’ online networking event for our members, supported by partner organising committees where we also discussed the Joint Commitment for Climate Actionwith ICCROM and ICOM-CC, and how you can show your support.