Geohazards in the climate change era: a shift in thinking in sustainable management and conservation of heritage sites

  • From 26/06/2023 16:15 to 26/06/2023 17:00

Claudio Margottini

Claudio Margottini is the former Scientific and Technological Attaché at the Italian Embassy in Egypt and presently adjunct Professor at UNESCO Chair in the University of Florence (Italy), at Galala University in Egypt and at National Research Institute for Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG) in Egypt. He has served at the Geological Survey of Italy (ISPRA) and, as adjunct Professor at Modena (Italy) University and Huazong University (Wuhan, China). He is currently the President of International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment (Italian National Group). He is trained as an Engineering Geologist (Università la Sapienza, Rome, Italy, 1979, summa cum laudae) and as Engineering Seismologist (Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, UK, 1983).
Extensively supporting UNESCO and other international organizations all his life long, his major field of expertise embraces the development of engineering geological techniques for the conservation and protection of Cultural and Natural Heritages. With projects in 27 Countries worldwide, during his career he received numerous honors and awards in recognition of his services, mainly in less advantages Countries of the world. He is author of more than 350 publications and books.

Cultural heritage represents the legacy of humankind on planet Earth. It witnesses millennia of people adaptation to their environment, as demonstrated in many monuments, sites and cultural landscapes. Such historical landmarks are subjects to continuous changes and to the influence of modern growth and development. Nowadays, cultural heritages clearly demonstrate the relevance of the impact of geohazards and weathering in a new climate change era and call for the need to rethink ‘sites’ conservation and management plans.
Consequently, geosciences discipline and affiliated empirical research studies and innovations in technology may need to bring new paradigm for the preservation of cultural properties providing a resourceful platform for learning. In the past decades, the shift in disciplines from working inward to opening to inter-disciplinary ways of thinking draws special attention to the added value of merging Arts with Sciences, among other disciplines, for better management and preservation of cultural heritage. That is because if earth sciences and geotechnical engineering are essential in understanding the impacting threats, archaeology and history of art are of basic importance in maintaining the integrity and authenticity of the site. In the meantime, any conservation projected dealing with a cultural heritage should enhance, when possible, traditional knowledge and local expertise, to guarantee the long-term maintenance of the work from local population, then to ensure long term sustainable management.