Water en erfgoed
‘Land of Water’ is one of the most important world heritage themes in the Netherlands. ICOMOS-Netherlands together with the Centre for Global Heritage and Development adopted this theme as its main focus from 2013-2017. An important reason for this adoption was the increasing challenge water poses to (world) heritage sites worldwide, due to climate change. Awareness raising is an important step in protecting deltas and their historic values. And, water related heritage can play an inspiring role in planning and policy development for the future. ICOMOS-Netherlands is now working on the creation of an International Scientific Committee on Water and Heritage.
Water and Heritage Shield
The goal of the Water and Heritage focus group is to implement a holistic approach to the relationship between water and society. Water in the natural environment is often taken for granted, or not given the thought that its all-too fragile relation to society and the built environment deserves. Especially in terms of heritage, looking towards the future can fall by the wayside, as experts in the heritage field often focus on the relationship between the past and present. However, in this day and age, when the changing climate requires a changing society, being future-thinking is vital to working towards solutions that can mitigate the impact of climate change.
The Water and Heritage Shield symbolises the holistic approach that this multifaceted challenge necessitates. The red stands for the need to reflect on heritage – becoming aware of the continuum of heritage from the past into the future. The blue stands for the rising water and the threat of changing climate’s impact on the world as we know it. Whereas the white in-between represents the wisdom that we need to overcome these challenges and work towards solutions for safeguarding heritage in a changing water environment.
This sign is the water and heritage awareness shield, designed for the first conference on Water and Heritage in Amsterdam, ICOMOS Netherlands, 2013. The red symbolises cultural heritage and the blue symbolises water and climate change, meeting each other in a focal point. The white symbolises the wisdom we need to get from the inspiring past to a sustainable future. Both finding mutual beneficial solutions for a common future. Relevant examples of this can be honoured with the enamel shield.