This year, the ICOMOS Advisory Committee will organise its Scientific Symposium online from 10 to 12 November 2021 on the theme: Living Heritage and Climate Change.

Living heritage provides people with their sense of identity and is continuously regenerating in response to their environment.  But we live in a time of rapid environmental change accelerated by the current climate crisis. Our responses to this crisis have the potential to strengthen our living heritage or destroy it.

This is the first of the series of annual Scientific Symposia that are part of the Triennial Scientific Plan (TSP) 2021-24 Climate Change Reboot focusing  proposed ICOMOS meetings and Scientific Symposia on how climate change impacts on specific heritage places and issues.

In the 2021 Scientific Symposium you are asked to look at how these inter-related considerations play out in the context of living heritage amidst climate change, including how they affect the heritage communities as well as understanding, assessing and managing of places directly or tangibly associated with living traditions, ideas, beliefs, and/or artistic and literary works.

You can download the full call  of the ICOMOS 2021 Scientific Symposium in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

Proposals for the Symposium should be submitted by members to the address and should cover one or more sub-topics:

  1. INTERCONNCTIONS. Exploration of the interconnected relationship between people, place, heritage and sustainability. This could include conservation practices and innovative strategies that respects and preserves this dynamic relationship in view of the current climate emergency;
  2. EXAMPLES. Case studies that benchmark and share strategies for the integration of inter-connected values in evaluation, management, and revitalisation of living heritage;
  3. COMMUNITIES. Studies that consider the roles and actions of communities, groups and individuals, and their experience of sustaining their living heritage both as a means of mitigating climate change but also in response to climate change, through their livelihoods, conservation and development policies, good governance and application of useful tools;
  4. METHODOLOGIES. Successful methods and tools for the identification, documentation and interpretation of living heritage in its fullest sense, that develop and support appropriate policies at all administrative levels, and to raise awareness among all actors on its value;
  5. PARTNERSHIPS. Collaborative work of ICOMOS, ICCROM and IUCN, and other national and international organisations which identify ways of bringing forward broader actions on behalf of the global wealth of living heritage – with a focus on People-Centred Approaches;
  6. SUSTAINABILITY. Transformative practices that tackle sustainable development issues of living heritage and supports inclusive social development and environmental resilience for urban and rural communities.

Panels and papers, often using example cases, knowledge cafés, and poster presentations, will create a platform for a rich dialogue concerning living heritage in both urban and rural settings, culture-nature intersections, conservation challenges, opportunities for applying the Principles, and next steps to sustain and support living heritage .

We welcome regional sessions or posters.

To submit your proposal before 22 May and for further questions, please email

For more, please visit the ICOMOS.