The Joint Programming Initiatives on Cultural Heritage and Global Change (JPI CH) and on Connecting Climate Knowledge for Europe (JPI Climate), and the Belmont Forum launched the joint call, or“Collaborative Research Action (CRA)” titled “Climate and Cultural Heritage: Collaborative research to address urgent challenges” (CCH 2023) in April 2023. The aim is to support transdisciplinary and convergent research approaches on cultural heritage and climate change, foster collaboration among the research community across several regions, contribute to knowledge advances and policy change at the global level.

Applicants were invited to submit research proposals that address at least one of the three CRA themes: 1) The impact of climate change on cultural heritage; 2) Cultural heritage as a resource for climate mitigation and adaptation; and 3) Sustainable solutions for heritage.

The participating countries to this CRA are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, Thailand, and Türkiye.

The CRA received 42 eligible proposals upon the submission deadline in September 2023. Following the evaluation by the Panel of Experts, sixteen projects have been recommended for funding to the national funding agencies. The diversity in their subject matter reflects the complex challenges at the interface of cultural heritage and climate change.

The notable selection rate of 38% demonstrates the commitment of the CRA funding agencies to support transnational research. The sixteen consortia will receive funding worth circa 14,6 million in total from the funding agencies involved in the CRA.

The proposals recommended for funding, in alphabetical order, are:

Acronym Full Name Countries
Adaptation Traditions and Climate Change Biocultural adaptation of resource management traditions under the effects of climate change CH, US, UK
AGREE Advancing Cultural Heritage Governance for Resilient Climate Adaptation IT, NO, UK
ARCA Biocultural Heritage in Arctic Cities: Resource for Climate Adaptation? AT, FR, NO, US
ATLAS Studying symbiotic scenarios linking Heritage assets and green areas to prepare Historic Cities to face Climate Changes FR, IT, ES
Coastal TALES Telling Adaptations; Living Environmental Stories for Coastal Resilience IE, US, UK
CuHeMo Cultural Heritage in Motion: Indigenous Knowledge and Mobile Livelihoods in Changing Climates AT, NL, TH
FIRECULT Wildfire Resilient Cultural Heritage IE, IT, TR, US, UK
Pasture Adaptation Mitigation and Adaptation in Cultural Heritage Landscapes: Lessons from Transhumant Pastoral Systems for Managing Novel Climate Risks FR, NO, ES, CH, US
REFRESH WateR cyclE For RESilient Heritage BE, FR, IT, UK
RETRACE ResilienceS to climate risks: lessons from arctic and pacific communities FR, NO, US
ReVerDi Real Versus Digital: Sustainability optimization for cultural heritage preservation in national libraries NL, CH, UK
SASCHA Multiscale approaches and scalability within climate change–heritage risk assessments IT, NO, US, UK
SCENTinel Climate Changes and Scent Heritage: The Urgent Need for Capturing and Preserving Olfactory Landscapes in a Changing World CZ, IT, NO
SEA-CCHange Socio-Ecological Archiving: Coastal Communities’ Heritage in times of climate change IE, NL, UK
SUSTHERIT Transformative urban heritage. Strategies for a sustainable European historic housing stock. AT, CZ, FR, UK
WRENCH Whispers of Time: Heritage as Narratives of Climate-Change IT, ES, TR, UK

The final funding decisions will be made by each individual funding organization for the funding requested from them by the recommended applicants.

Background of the CRA

Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) were established to pool national research efforts and foster the implementation of the European Research Area (ERA) to address grand societal challenges. JPIs are flexible intergovernmental partnerships with the aim of better aligning the research and innovation investments spent at the national level. They involve countries that voluntarily agree to work in partnership towards common visions encapsulated in Strategic Research and Innovation Agendas and implemented through joint activities.

The Belmont Forum is a group of funding agencies from around the world that support transdisciplinary, globally-representative research groups and coproduction/participatory methods to address various global environmental change topics. Topics are addressed through Collaborative Research Actions (CRAs).

The CRA results from a White Paper jointly developed and published in March 2022 by the two JPIs and from joint workshops held in June and September 2022 aimed at identifying and incorporating research priorities from Africa, the Americas and Asia.