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RescueME Launches for More Resilient Cultural Heritage and Cultural Landscapes 

3 March 2023

RescueME Launches for More Resilient Cultural Heritage and Cultural Landscapes 

Protecting Our Common Heritage from Climate Change and Other Hazards  
RescueME, a brand-new project funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme, has launched in order to protect shared cultural heritage and landscapes from climate change and other hazards. RescueME centers on data-driven, heritage-centric and community-led approaches to boost the resilience of shared heritage. 
Climate change poses a significant threat to communities across Europe, which also means that our shared cultural heritage and landscapes are vulnerable. Subsequently, the significant contributions these cultural assets make are at risk, including our shared well-being, social cohesion, identity, local economy, territorial attractiveness, and environmental sustainability. To protect cultural heritage and landscapes is a key part of the conversation around climate change adaptation and disaster risk management, alongside other challenges facing heritage assets, like pollution and over-tourism.  

RescueME will equip communities, especially those in coastal areas, with enhanced paradigms and supporting tools for protecting cultural heritage and landscapes. An Actionable Resilient Historic Landscape (RHL) Framework will help to guide communities in a just transition to protect shared heritage. At the same time, RescueME partners will develop a Decision Support System, a “One-Stop Shop” for digital tools, and a meta-repository of resilience solutions and culture-focused strategies, among other resources.  
Resilience landscape laboratories, or “R-Labscapes,” have been established in coastal communities across Europe, and will test and co-create cutting-edge RescueME approaches: Psiloritis in Creta (Greece); Neuwerk in Hamburg (Germany); Portovenere, Cinque Terre & the Islands (Italy); València (Spain); and the city of Zadar (Croatia).  

Protecting cultural heritage and landscapes must be a key part of a transition to a sustainable future; one which supports nature-connected communities, social cohesion, and inclusion. In the words of RescueME coordinator Aitziber Egusquiza Ortega (Tecnalia); “In line with both the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change and the Historic Urban Landscapes Recommendation from UNESCO, RescueME proposes a call for action to protect our common heritage, broadening the scope of what is considered cultural heritage, triggering action and mobilizing resources through the quantification of the impact of climate change in our coastal cultural landscapes at European level.” 

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