The impacts of climate change on cultural heritage in the Netherlands

A preliminary assessment of exposure

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Cultural heritage provides a wide range of economic, socio-cultural and environmental benefits for current and future generations. Globally, scientific evidence shows that climate change is adversely affecting diverse tangible and intangible cultural heritage [1; 2]. Yet, in the Netherlands, there is a need for a greater understanding of the cultural heritage vulnerability to climate change hazards. Understanding the vulnerability of cultural heritage to climate change hazards is of paramount importance to inform and guide proactive climate change adaptation planning and to reduce the potential damage or loss of heritage [3; 4; 5].
The aim of this study is to evaluate and visualise the potential exposure of nationally significant cultural heritage (national monuments or Rijksmonumenten) to multiple climate change hazards in the Netherlands. The climate change hazards assessed in this study include coastal and river flooding, urban pluvial flooding, drought and heat. The assessment is presented in a series of tables, graphs and maps for ease of use. Importantly, the presented exposure of monuments to climate change hazards is not a measure of actual risk or impact, but the first scan of different levels of exposure of monuments to climate change hazards using a scientific database of Climate Impact Atlas.