Africa Day 25th May saw African countries observing and celebrating the day in
various ways through different activities. These activities included, webinar
sessions, panel discussions, speeches by pan-Africanists and political leaders,
cultural entertainment, rallies, poetry, special university lectures, symposiums and
many more. This year this significant day was celebrated throughout the continent
under the theme, the “African Union (AU) Year for Arts, Culture and Heritage:
Building the levers for the Africa we want
”. The African World Heritage Fund
(AWHF) in partnership with the Climate Heritage Network and the International
Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) hosted a webinar on Climate Change
titled, “Supporting Climate Action in Africa through Arts, Culture and Heritage”.
The webinar aimed to raise awareness about the impact of climate change on
Africa’s rich heritage.

The programme of the day featured varied speakers comprised of representatives
from, ICOMOS Nigeria, Climate Heritage Network, Tanzania Wild life Management
Authority, Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport, Union of Concerned
Scientists, Queens University Belfast, International National Trusts Organisation,
Arts and Humanities Research Council, the University of the Highlands and Islands
and the Historic England and Historic Environment Scotland.

The platform, as part of the proceedings, also introduced the launch of the Climate
Vulnerability Impact, CVI Africa Project, which is a rapid systematic process that
looks to analyse issues around climate change for natural and cultural world
heritage. The most important factor about it, is that it is science driven and
community focused. Ms. Marie-Laure Lavenir, Executive Director of the ICOMOS,
shared about the importance of interdisciplinary. She alluded that, “The CVI Africa
project fully reflects interdisciplinary by bringing together heritage professionals,
climate scientists and others to address one of the greatest threats to heritage
which is climate Change”. Additionally, the CVI Africa project will provide
foundational training to African heritage professionals in climate change
vulnerability assessments of cultural heritage sites. The project will be used at two
World Heritage Sites in Africa, namely, Sukur Cultural Landscape in Nigeria and
Kilwa Kisiwani in Tanzania. Dr. Albino Jopela, AWHF Head of Programmes
expressed that, one of the benefits of this project is the creation of more
opportunities for Africans to learn and share culture-based solutions for tackling
the causes and effects of climate heritage. “Climate Change impacts many natural
and cultural heritage sites in Africa negatively. It is a threat multiplier that increases
vulnerability and may exacerbate conflict over resources. In addition, the CVI Africa
project is a long-term capacity building framework and an innovative technique
approach within the heritage community “, concluded Mr. Souayibou Varissou,
Executive Director
of the Fund.

AWHF wishes to extend sincere gratitude to all the partners who made the webinar
possible and further wishes the launch of the CVI Africa project, the best of luck
and success.