Greek Ministers Outline Proposal on Protecting World Heritage at the UN

Greek ministers outlined on Saturday in New York, the initiative on the protection of cultural and natural heritage from the impact of climate change.

At a pre-summit event of the UN Climate Summit, Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni and Minister of Education Niki Kerameus spoke on the need for the world body to take measures and create mechanisms focusing on protecting cultural heritage.

Mendoni stressed that it is our duty to protect the world’s heritage.  “Governments, international organizations, business, NGO’s, experts and the general public must take action now,” she said.

Policies to address the negative impact of climate change on heritage, including monuments, archaeological sites, historic cities, cultural landscapes and museum collections should be drawn up and implemented at the local level, she noted.

Mendoni called on the UN to develop policies for prevention and monitoring of heritage monuments in order to prevent damage caused by climate change.

Education Minister Kerameus said, “from our point of view, education is a crucial element of the response to climate change, it can and must contribute to the protection of our cultural and natural heritage.”

Education can respond to these challenges by providing information to students and raising awareness on the perils that climate change entails and by underlining the significance and vulnerability of world heritage, she said.

Pictured from left to right: Konstantinos Aravosis, General Secretary of Natural Resources, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Maria Theofili, Permanent Representative of Greece to the UN, Minister for Education Niki Kerameus and Apostolos Papapostolou, Associate Professor at the University of West Attica.

Kerameus also stressed the importance of life-long training of decision-makers, site managers, teachers, and other stakeholders, in order to cultivate sensitivity and capacity to prevent and adapt to natural phenomena and to spread this knowledge to the public opinion.

Finally, she noted that it is “imperative to prepare the new generation to address future challenges and help to reverse the damage. What is most important is to equip the youth with the educational tools necessary, such as cutting-edge technology, scientific culture, skills, and knowledge, in order to adapt to the changing conditions, but also reverse this downward spiral we are on.”

Greece center of education in south-eastern Europe

On Sunday Kerameus is due to give a presentation on the opportunities offered by Greece as a regional hub of education.

The minister will brief reporters and stakeholders at the offices of the Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN.

Her briefing is titled “Greece, center of education in south-eastern Europe.”