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Nigeria to harness cultural heritage in action against climate change – ICOMOS

The National Committee of the International Committee for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS-Nigeria) says it will lead a project to harness cultural heritage to support climate action in Nigeria.

Mohammad Abubakar
Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar

Mallam Aliyu Abdu, the President of ICOMOS-Nigeria, made this known in a statement on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 in Abuja.

According to him, the initiative will be driven under the CVI-Africa – Project that will involve a global team of experts led by institutions in Nigeria, Tanzania and the UK.

He said that the project would focus on climate impacts on Africa’s cultural heritage by piloting the application of the Climate Vulnerability Index for World Heritage property in the continent.

Abdu said that the CVI-Africa project would be implemented for the first time in Africa at two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nigeria and Tanzania.

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“The two are the Sukur Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site in Adamawa State being managed by National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) and the Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara World Heritage Site in Tanzania.

“This project is timely for the north-eastern part of Nigeria where climatic changes have resulted in depletion of resources leading to socio-cultural changes and increased tendencies of social conflicts which sometimes support insurgent outbursts.

“The CVI-Africa project will support communities in their efforts to safeguard cultural heritage, respond to climate change and seek sustainable development options thus contributing to achieving the ambitions of the Paris Agreement.

“The CVI-Africa project will provide foundational training in the CVI method to six African heritage professionals and in Nigeria, it will culminate in a workshop at the Sukur Cultural Landscape.

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“The workshop will involve the six heritage professionals, local and national experts, stakeholders and international partners with the workshop and  Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments as key partner,”  he said.

The ICOMOS-Nigeria president said that CVI-Africa project was made possible through a generous grant awarded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Global Challenges Research Fund.

He said that the grant was funded through a demonstration scheme arranged by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

Abdu said that ICOMOS-Nigeria was being supported as well by Climate Heritage Network (CHN) as its member.

“The CHN was formed in 2019 to promote the critical role which arts, culture and heritage organisations can play in moving toward a low-carbon, climate resilience future.

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“Other CHN members partnering in the CVI-Africa project include the International Committee on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), Historic England, the International National Trust Organisation (INTO) and the Union of Concerned Scientists,” he said.

The ICOMOS-Nigeria, a member of International Committee for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), is a professional conservation body that promotes appreciation and understanding of cultural heritage in Nigeria.

The body focuses on policy and practice, information and opportunities that abound in cultural heritage.

By Joshua Olomu

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