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23 December 2020

HES sign new partnership on Cultural Heritage and Climate Action with Irish Government

A castle on the side of a cliff beside turquoise sea.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Heritage and Climate Action with the Heritage Division of the Irish Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Climate change is one of the most urgent and significant threats facing cultural heritage globally today, and Ireland and Scotland share similar hazards: both are exposed to more intense storms, coastal erosion and sea-level rise along Atlantic coastlines, while northern climates now experience increased precipitation in winter and increased risk of drought in summer. Additionally, Irish and Scottish archaeological sites, monuments and architectural heritage share many characteristics in their materials and construction methods.

The MOU will see both partners share knowledge, experiences, data and best practices relevant to the intersection of cultural heritage and climate action.

David Mitchell, Head of Conservation at Historic Environment Scotland (HES), said:

Climate change threatens the historic environment in Scotland and Ireland in very similar ways, and it is crucial that we work together to face these shared challenges.

"I’m very pleased to welcome this Memorandum of Understanding which will strengthen our partnership with Irish colleagues and provide new opportunities to share our expertise as we continue working to better understand and address the impacts of climate change on our historic places."

The Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, TD, welcomed the signing, saying: “Ireland and Scotland have long-standing and close cultural, political, economic, and community ties, and both the Government of Ireland and the Scottish Government are committed to deepening Irish-Scottish cooperation.

"It is an action of my Department’s Sectoral Adaptation Plan to cooperate actively with international partners and I welcome the opportunity the Memorandum of Understanding will give us to share knowledge, experiences, data and best practices with our friends and colleagues in Scotland in order to protect our cultural heritage and tackle climate change."

More information is available of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage's website.