The effects of climate change in the Arctic is threatening Cultural Heritage Sites. How can Arctic states improve the monitoring, management, and preservation of those sites?
Committee on Culture and Education I
Chaired by Miguel Bustorff (BE). Covered by João Silva (PT)
Executive summary
Cultural heritage sites in the Arctic face significant challenges due to climate change causing the sea levels to rise and increasing wildfires. These sites are of significant cultural and historical value to Indigenous people in the Arctic region. However, the resources for preserving these sites are limited and general knowledge is lacking. Many stakeholders such as the Arctic States, the Arctic Council, the Saami Council, the EU and UNESCO are trying their best to optimise the protection and management of these sites.

Taking into account existing initiatives such as the Arctic Policy of the EU, the efforts of the Sustainable Development working group in their Assessment of Cultural Heritage Monuments and Sites in the Arctic project, and the World Heritage List from the UNESCO, what further steps should be taken to perverse such important sites in the Arctic?
Listen to the audio Topic Overview
The term Cultural heritage sites can refer to a monument, a landscape, a settlement, an historic route, a natural feature with particular cultural meaning, a series of sites, or a cultural environment. In the Arctic, such sites are under attack, and the ravager’s name is Climate Change.

Rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and wildfire are only the tip of the iceberg regarding the challenges such sites face. These sites represent the cultural and historical legacy of the Arctic and its inhabitants. Therefore their importance cannot be overstated. However, preserving these cultural heritage sites is a challenging task. Limited resources, complex governance structures, and limited understanding and awareness of Arctic heritage sites pose challenges. Inaction could well mean the loss of many of these historical fragments and the disappearance of vital parts of human culture.

The time to act is now. We must first understand these sites' challenges and work to identify new solutions. Only then can we hope to succeed in our efforts to preserve the cultural heritage of the Arctic.

Fundamental challenges
Phenomena of the volume of water expanding as its temperature increases.
This village had been designated as a cultural heritage site by the Russian government.
Permafrost is any ground that remains completely frozen for at least two years straight. Most commonly found in regions with high mountains and in Earth’s higher latitudes.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2018), An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C, Link
Nature Climate Change (2017), Delays in US mitigation could rule out Paris targets, Link
U.S Climate Reliance Toolkit (2021), Relocating Kivalina, Link
Benjamin W Abbott et al (2016), Environmental Research Letters 11, Link
Zhang, H., Hao, Y., Yang, J. et al. (2011), Genome-wide functional screening of miR-23b as a pleiotropic modulator suppressing cancer metastasis,  Link
United Nations (2022), Climate and Environment, Link
Gül Aktürk (2022), A systematic overview of the barriers to building climate adaptation of cultural and natural heritage sites in polar regions, Link
U.S Climate Reliance Toolkit (2021), Relocating Kivalina, Link
The Arctic Institute (2022), Investigating the Barriers to Building Climate Adaptation of Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites in Polar Regions Link
Arctic Council (2013), Assessment of Cultural Heritage Monuments and Sites in the Arctic, Link
Geosciences (2018), Adapting Cultural Heritage to Climate Change Risks: Perspectives of Cultural Heritage Experts in Europe, Link
Arctic Council (2013), Assessment of Cultural Heritage Monuments and Sites in the Arctic, Link
Key stakeholders
Local, regional, national and international governments play a significant role in preserving cultural heritage sites in the Arctic. They can provide funding and other resources to support conservation efforts and implement policies and regulations to protect these sites.
Arctic States' Governments
NGOs are involved in preserving cultural heritage sites in the Arctic and may provide funding, technical assistance, and other support to local communities and governments. The Saami Council can be considered an NGO. Another example is the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU)15, which has multiple ongoing projects to promote and preserve cultural heritage in Norway and beyond.
Indigenous communities
Indigenous communities in the Arctic are often the primary stewards of cultural heritage sites and are strongly interested in preserving them. Many Indigenous communities established organisations or committees to advocate for the preservation of these sites and to work with other stakeholders to find solutions to the challenges posed by climate change. For example, the Saami Council was created to promote the rights and cultural heritage of the Sámi people.

International organisations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Arctic Council also play a role in preserving cultural heritage sites in the Arctic.

The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum that promotes cooperation, coordination, and interaction among the eight Arctic states, as well as with the Arctic Indigenous communities and other organisations such as the EU.

International organisations
Private companies
Private companies that operate in the Arctic, such as oil and gas companies or mining companies, may also be stakeholders in the issue of preserving cultural heritage sites in the region. These companies may be involved in conservation efforts or must adhere to specific regulations or guidelines for preserving cultural heritage sites.

The Sámi are the Indigenous people of the northernmost parts of Sweden, Finland, Norway, and the Kola Peninsula of Russia.
Niku (2023), Cultcoast, Link
Measures in place
The EU is highly invested in Arctic matters. In October 2021, the EU updated its Arctic policy.16 This policy aims to strengthen EU engagement with Arctic matters for a peaceful, sustainable, prosperous Arctic. One of the critical targets of the policy is to “take strong action to tackle the ecological, social, economic and political impact of climate change and environmental degradation [...] by pushing for oil, coal and gas to stay in the ground, including in Arctic regions”.17 Such a target could help reduce the exposure of cultural heritage sites to climate change. The EU can also fund projects in the Arcti, mainly through its Regional Policy and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).18

The Arctic Council has a working group for Sustainable Development (SDWG).19 One of the targets within its strategic framework is the heritage and culture of the Arctic. The working group aims to identify and promote heritage sites and areas of cultural significance in the Arctic by proposing and adopting steps to be taken by the Arctic States.
Several types of mammals in the Beaufort Sea are being impacted by climate change. Perhaps most importantly, polar bears, the Arctic Oceanʼs apex predator and therefore crucial for the food chain, have been declining in numbers due to the sea ice melt and reduced food availability. One animal so far seemingly unaffected by the changing habitat are bowhead whales. However, this may be a false observation, as the speciesʼ recovery aer decades of intensive whaling may obscure the effects of climate change.
In the Chukchi Sea, more moderate water temperatures have created a viable habitat for invasive copepods, a type of crustacean. Moreover, seabird species typically found in more southern waters, such as albatrosses, have migrated here from more southern areas such as the Bering Sea, separating Russia and Alaska.
As in the Barents Sea, the beluga population in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago has been declining in the past few years. Another species heavily affected by climate change in this area is the ivory gull, a seabird species which in the past 20 years has lost up to 90% of its population. This is mainly due to sea ice melt, as the birds breed and raise their chicks on sea ice.
Countless species in the Barents Sea are being impacted by climate change, both individually and on population level. Beluga whale numbers are declining, while the individual health of harp seals is being threatened by reduced food availability and longer travel times to hunting grounds. Moreover, increasing water temperatures are enabling non-local predators such as killer whales to enter the Barents Sea, threatening both seal populations and polar bears, who so far have been the Barents Seaʼs apex predator.
Other invasive species include boreal copepod, a type of crustacean which is migrating north and increasingly endangering both the local crustaceans as well as predators who rely on the
more nutritious local species.
Fish numbers, such as capelin or polar cod, a species crucial to the food chain, have also been declining, partly due to an invasive predator, the Atlantic cod.
Water temperatures in the Greenland Sea have been steadily on the rise and causing sea ice melt, significantly threatening the local population of hooded seals. As hooded seals are important prey for both polar bears and killer whales, these species are also impacted by climate change, demonstrating the cascading effects of habitat changes. Several seabird
species in this region are also under threat.
Several species in Hudson Bay have changed their behaviour due to climate change resulting in cascading effects for the food chain surrounding them. The beluga whales in the area have
been observed adapting the timing of their annual migration to the extended and warmer Arctic summers, in turn affecting their preferred prey, such as crustaceans and Greenland halibut. Some types of seabirds inhabiting northern Hudson Bay have also adapted their
hunting behaviour to changes in their habitat, now feeding on capelin, a fish species that has been expanding northwards with rising water temperatures.
The Kara Sea is inhabited by only a few marine mammals or seabirds and is generally monitored only sporadically, resulting in a lack of data for this region.
Similarly to its neighbour, the Kara Sea, the Laptev Sea is not the subject of continuous monitoring and, therefore, there is a lack of data on the fish, seabirds, and mammals living here and how they are affected by climate change or human activity.
Several species of seabirds, for instance ancient murrelets, which typically inhabit more southern regions, have been migrating into this region, following their prey attracted by warmer water temperatures. However, for other groups of animals, such as mammals, there is
only little data available for this region.
The Arctic Basin is a deep basin at the centre of the Arctic Ocean and is the habitat of only relatively few species, mainly different types of plankton, invertebrates, for instance crabs or
shrimps, and algae that lives directly on the ice. This may however change with climate change. Since the 1980s, the sea ice algae inhabiting the Arctic Basin, the basis for the Arcticʼs marine food chain, has come under threat due to the sea ice melt. The rising water temperatures may also enable some fish species such as the Greenland halibut, typically found further south, to migrate into the Arctic Basin, which could threaten local species. Circumpolar marine Arctic, the seas surrounding the Arctic Basin:
Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve
A remarkably isolated island that has been spared the worst glaciations of the latest Ice Age, the Wrangel Island Reserve is a haven of biodiversity and a record of the Arctic's natural history. These characteristics include:

  • Up to 100,000 Pacific walruses congregating here every year.
  • Over 100 migratory bird species nesting grounds.
  • A high diversity of habitats and climates, allowing for continued evolution of the species present here.
  • The status of the island as a breeding and feeding ground for thousands of species, including endemic plant populations and Mexican Gray whales.

It was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004.
Þingvellir National Park
A National Park containing the remains of the original open-air assembly - the Althing - of citizens representing the whole of Iceland, first assembled in 930.

It was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004.

Smeerenburg and Virgohamna
Cultural sites in the Norwegian island of Svalbard:
  • Smeerenburg: a 17th century Dutch whaling station. The settlement's name means "blubber [whale fat] town" in Dutch. The settlement was based in the processing of whale carcasses for the purposes of obtaining and marketing whale oil. It was abandoned due to increased territorial disputes with Danish settlers, technological innovations allowing for bubbler processing at sea, and the decimation of the whale population near the coasts.
  • Virgohamna: a base for pioneer, but ill-fated attempts by Swedish explorer Solomon August Andrée to reach the North Pole by means of hot air baloon, in the years 1896-1909. Later, American explorer Walter Wellman also used the area for similar purposes, even establishing a hangar for his baloon

Eastern Midsommersø and Jørgen Brønlund Fjord
The fjord area includes the northern-most settlements of the planet, made by the first human inhabitants living in North-East Greenland.

These settlements were made by cultures dubbed Independence I and II (after a nearby landmark), and included evidence of nomadic, hunter-gatherer lifestyles, namely small stone blades, tent rings, and accumulations of over 2000 animal bones - indicating long-term human settlement.

It is estimated the Independence cultures lived in this area in two separate periods: 2400-1900 BCE and 700-80 BCE. These pre-Inuit peoples likely disappeared due to the harsh conditions limiting their diets to muskox, the dwindling populations of which might have made their continued settlement impossible.

Kangeq and Illuerunnerit
Kangeq and Illuerunnerit and their surrounding archipelago contain remains from periods ranging from the Saqqaq (2500-1500 BCE) and Dorset cultures (500 BCE-1500 CE) to Inuit (who arrived in 1400 CE) and colonial settlements (Kangeq itself, established in 1854).

Houses and facilities of domestic life are among the most common in this area, which also relate to local Inuit legends and stories.
Lake Tasersuatsiaq

More than 300 structures stand in the shores of Greenland's biggest lake - most of them related to Thule (proto-Inuit) and Inuit cultures' practices of caribou hunting (from 1300 CE onwards), although some do date back to 2000 BCE, linked to the Saqqaq culture (who are the longest continuous historical inhabitants of Greenland).

The structures include graves, shelters, observation spots, and animal tracking facilities. The structures have proved to be markers of sociological, spiritual, and survival-oriented practices of the Inuit peoples.

Fort Conger, Nunavut
Scientific base used for exploration by British and American (19th century), as well as Canadian, British and Danish (20th century) expeditions. It was first established by the US Army in 1881-82, the first International Polar Year.

In 1899, Peary restructured the camp under direction from Inughuit guides (from north-western Greenland) for better adaptations to the harsh winter; the base was used for shelter in many subsequent explorations, until 1935.

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Kodlunarn Island, Nunavut
Site of English mining activities and exploration in 1576-1578 (Martin Frobisher), constituting one of the first English attempts to colonise North America.

Oral histories of the Inuit in the area, naming it Kodlunarn at time, or Qallunaat currently (meaning "white man") record these encounters.
Herschel Island, Yukon Coast
Thule (or proto-Inuit peoples) remains of a seasonal base for hunting and fishing, namely houses, cemeteries and archaeological remains, as well as American whaling settlements in Pauline Cove (1890).

Pauline Cove similarly retains structures related to the activities of Anglican missionaries, Canadian authorities and traders after 1890. The island is at significant risk of wave erosion, an issue compounded by climate change.

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Pronounced Saw-you-eh-da-cho.
Two peninsulas (Sahoyue and Edacho) that showcase the connection of the Sahtu Got'ine (a people indigenous to the Great Bear Area, in the Canadian Northwest Territories) to the land.

The melding of Indigeneous oral histories with the geographical landscape, cabin buildings, hunting and walking trails showcase a deep tie to the area they inhabit, which has mostly remain undisturbed by industrial development, or widespread deforestation.

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Beechey Island, Nunavut
Beechey Island is of important historical significance, with many Western expeditions to find the fabled Northwestern Passage (a posited naval passageway through the Arctic to the Pacific) having passed through here, including the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845-48. Search and investigation parties sent to rescue Franklin's ships explored and mapped a large part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

Archaelogical remains of a shipwreck, Inuit settlements, and graves of indigenous people and of members of the Franklin expedition can be found at the site. Beechey Island itself nder significant pressure from climate change, and increasing numbers of tourists.
HMS Investigator and McClure’s Cache
Shipwreck of one of the ships investigating the disappearance of the Franklin expedition (1852). Its remaining supplies were used by Inuit in the area for decades after.
Alpine Ice Patches
Hunting grounds for a wide historical range of indigenous peoples, who took advantage of caribou group behaviour, as these animals fled warm summer temperatures to the ice patches, where they were met by hunters.

The persistence of use of these hunting grounds and large amounts of annual snowfall have preserved a remarkable timeline of hunting artifacts stretching back 9000 years, from a atlatl spear-throwing lever, to a 19th century musket ball.

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Dawson Historical Complex
Center for the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-98, with the equivalent of over $500 million being eventually mined from frozen ground. Over 50,000 people traveled to Dawson in this period. The town is currently home to around 1500 people, and it holds many houses and machines reminiscent of the turn of the century craze in the Klondike River.

The indigenous Han (Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in) people were forcibly removed and their way of life disrupted for the Gold Rush incomers to be accommodated, and moved to Mosehide reserve.

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Agiak Lake archaeological district
Caribou hunting grounds - used by different cultural communities since before 2000 BCE, with over 600 inuksuit (stone landmarks used as points of reference, markings of food caches, or for spiritual purposes) used for strategically corralling migrating caribou into lakes or creeks where they would be easy prey for hunters. Besides the inuksuit, tent rings are also numerous in the area.

Cape Krusenstern archaeological district
Over 1100 marine ridges, containing artifacts dating to 7000 BCE, namely campsites, hearths and animal bones, with a few stone tools and pieces of pottery.

These evidence occupation by the indigenous Inupiat people happening at the time when Siberia and Alaska were still connected by land.

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Ipiutak site, Point Hope
Prehistoric remains from 0-600 CE from a culture considered to be the forerunner of later Inuit societies. Around 100-200 people lived in the site at given points throughout several generations. Evidence of over 600 houses has been found, though from different time periods.

Famous artifacts from the area include a mortuary mask, a human face with an open mouth and larvae in nostrils, and elaborate artistic carvings, created with ivory and iron (imported from Asia around 600 CE), as well as weapons made from walrus tusks.

Kijik archaeological district
A collection of Dena'ina Athabascan villages from around 0 CE to the early 1900 CE. It is composed of a multitude of different settlements, notably Kijik, established in the 1600s. This settlement was occupied by Russian colonisers in the decades prior to the Seward Purchase of Alaksa, by the US, evidenced by the continued presence of a Russian Orthodox Church.

In 1910, an influenza pandemic led to the collapse of the settlement. Remains of houses with extra rooms and sweat-baths, as well as 1000 fishing storage sites are some of the most significant archaelogical finds in the area.

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Shaw Creek Flats archaeological district
A sprawling archaeological terrain, containing 3 of the oldest sites in Alaska - Broken Mammoth, Mead, and Swan Point. The oldest artifacts are dated 12 400 BCE, and feature good preservation of stone tools, and organic materials, such as mammoth ivory.

The technology found in the archaeological sites is an important transitional stage in mapping the history of the early peopling of the Americas, particularly by establishing a transitional stage between the Dyuktai culture in the present-day Russian Far East (14000 BCE), and the Denali complex (10000-7000 BCE), mapping the first migration of peoples from Siberia to North America.

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Ceavccageađgi and Noidiidčearru
Two archaeological sites in Varanger Peninsula, the traditional territory of the Varanger Saami. The two sites showcase the tradition of Europe's longest-lasting hunting culture, as well as Saami practices of nomadic reindeer herding, namely stone fences (in some cases extending for kilometers) for guiding reindeer to trapping corrals.

The Ceavccageađgi site shows signs of human occupation since 11 000 BCE, namely a burial ground used for 2500 years, a standing offering stone (for which the site is named; Ceavccageađgi meaning "fish oil stone"), surrounded by 13 stone rings and a sacred mountain.

Noiddiidčearru (meaning Shamans' Block Field) consists of two large reindeer trapping systems, namely two stone corrals, one of them 130 meters in diameter, as well as several meat caches.
Kanozero petroglyphs
More than 1000 images carved in rock, estimated to be from 4000-2000 BCE in one period, and the Middle Ages in another, many of them unique in Northern Eurasia. They often feature hunting scenes and animal-based scenarios, as well as spiritual symbols.

Vaygach Island
Vaygach Island is an island in the Barents Sea that has for centuries held sacred or spiritual meaning for indigenous communities in the area, namely the Nenets people in the Russian Far North.

Notable archaeological finds in the island have included totems of two divinities, as well as several coins and arrows from 200-100 BCE from Scythia and the Near East, thousands of kilometers away from Vaygach.

Mangazea Town
Mangazea was the first Russian town founded in the 17th century above the Arctic Circle. The settlement soon saw an economic boom after its creation, given its central position in the Northern Sea Route trade, as Mangazea was the stocking location for furs and ivory (from walrus tusks) Russian coastal settlers then transported to Arkhangelsk during the Summer, trading with Norwegian, English and Dutch merchants.

However, increased competition from other trading hubs, a crackdown by state authorities on the remote route, and a large fire, forced the town to be abandoned in 1678, and its population evacuated. In the 20th century, remains of wooded buildings, such as a Kremlin, a market center, and houses built from the remains of ships, were unearthed.
Zhokhov archaeological site
The Zhokhov archaeological site are the remains of a hunting site dated to 6000-7000 BCE. Several instruments and artifacts attest to the usage of stone, driftwood, and bones by the peoples there.

The faunal remains indicate the island was linked to the continent, or much larger, as the remains are those of deer and polar bears. The island therefore contains importance as an archaeological and geological importance.
Whale Alley
The Whale Alley is an Inuit construction where parallel rows of skulls and jaws of Greenlandic whales are dug into the earth. It consists of 50-60 skulls and 30 jaws and hundreds of specially arranged stones, and dates to 230-300 CE. The Inuit hunters of the Bering Sea likely placed spiritual importance in the site.
Gold-prospecting related sites on the River Ivalojoki
The sites are historical gold-prospecting mines and related facilities, dating back to the Northern European gold rush of 1868; many machines and devices remain from the original time of the phenomenon, and physical remains are myriad, from mine shafts and test pits, mine rail, claim boundary marks, and many other alterations of an otherwise predominantly untouched land.

Kultala crown station, one of the principal sites, was a state controlling post, where taxes were applied and claims inspected, is also a remainder of Russian rule over the region in current-day Finland.
In 2013, the SDWG initiated the Assessment of Cultural Heritage Monuments and Sites in the Arctic project.20 It was the first project to create an international list of recognised important cultural heritage sites in the Arctic. Although each Arctic state already had its cultural sites, it was deemed essential to establishing a set of international criteria that members of the Arctic Council could agree upon. The result is a list of 30 sites followed by explanations of the site description, its physical condition and legal status and a description of the international criteria met. Additionally, the report from the SDWG contains a Statement of Best Practice for Site Management which gives site managers a framework to preserve them effectively.

The World Heritage Committee21 implemented UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention to promote cooperation among nations to protect cultural heritage sites worldwide by maintaining the World Heritage List 22, describing how the World Heritage Fund 23 is used, and defining the duties of States Parties. The States Parties are encouraged to integrate cultural and natural heritage protection into regional planning programs, establish staff and services at heritage sites, conduct scientific and technical conservation research, and adopt measures that give the heritage a role in daily life. However, such recommendations are, by nature, not mandatory.

The resources of the World Heritage Fund are 5.5 million euros for 2022-2023, which can be seen as a low number considering the number of States Parties and the amount of World Heritage properties, as well as their preservation cost. Furthermore, only a few sites identified by the Arctic Council are present on the List, and their endangered condition needs to be properly recognised.
This is the list of all sites identified as World Heritage by the Convention and its States Parties. The current count is of 1154 "properties" as of January 2023. It was first adopted in 1972.
Fund put together principaly by the States Parties and serving for the services of the Advisory Bodies on one hand, and for International Assistance on the other hand.
 There are 194 State Parties as of October 2020.
High representative of the union for foreign affairs and security policy (2021),  A stronger EU engagement for a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Arctic (Communication), Link
European Commission (2021), A stronger EU engagement for a greener, peaceful and prosperous Arctic, Link
European Parliament (2022), EU regional policy in the Arctic, Link
Arctic Council (2023), Sustainable Development Working Group, Link
Arctic Council (2013), Assessment of Cultural Heritage Monuments and Sites in the Arctic, Link
UNESCO (2022), The World Heritage Convention, Link
UNESCO (2023), World Heritage List, Link
UNESCO (2022), World Heritage Fund, Link
Oxford University Press (2016), Cultural heritage law and policy, Link
Culture is the soul of a community. It is the essence that gives us our identity, sense of belonging and connection to the past, present and future. It is the glue that holds us together and the bridge that brings us together with others.
Irina Bokova,
the Directorate-General of UNESCO
Cultural heritage worldwide is under threat. Climate change, destructive human conflicts and financial greed are the culprits of this “cultural genocide”.24

Therefore, finding a solution requires a holistic approach and bringing together prominent international actors that might sometimes need to be on the same page.

  • How can we ensure that cultural heritage sites in the Arctic are protected and preserved for future generations, despite the challenges posed by climate change and other factors?
  • What role do cultural heritage sites in the Arctic play globally? How do these sites contribute to our shared cultural heritage, and how might their loss impact the broader global community?
  • How can we ensure that the indigenous communities closely connected to these sites are involved and have a say in the decision-making process related to their preservation?
  • How can we address the complex ownership and governance structures surrounding cultural heritage sites in the Arctic and ensure that these sites are managed and preserved fairly and equitably?
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Motion for a resolution
Submitted by:
Maisha Asif (DE), Sien Billen (BE), Natali Buli (Al), Anastasia Cioc (RO), Brigita Džaja (HR), Gevorg Ghazaryan (AM), Holly Helbert (UK), Maryam Imamaliyeva (AZ), Sofia Katsimperi (GR), Hanna Pekról (PL), Karel Petrikovič (CZ), Tina Revheim (NO), Nella-Stina Wilks (SÁ), Miguel Bustorff (Chairperson, BE)
The European Youth Parliament aims to preserve Arctic Cultural Heritage sites of environmental, social, and historical significance. Importance has also been placed on the preservation of Indigenous land, emphasising the difficulties currently faced by the Sámi community. We encourage an approach based on transparency and cooperation between Arctic States, local communities, and other stakeholders, and aims at setting stricter rules for the use of Indigenous land and areas containing Cultural Heritage Sites,

A. Alarmed by the global loss of cultural identity and history from different communities due to the destruction of Cultural Heritage Sites,

B. Regretting the limited global recognition of Arctic Cultural Heritage Sites, with only five possessing United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage status,

C. Fully aware that Cultural Heritage Sites in the Arctic are at risk of being damaged by wildfires, erosion, and thawing permafrost as a result of rising sea levels, rising temperatures and drastic weather conditions accentuated by climate change,

D. Alarmed by the degree of damage tourists cause by vandalising, littering and neglecting Cultural Heritage Sites, leading to the loss of the sites’ physical integrity and involuntary degradation,

E. Concerned about inadequate risk assessments and documentation of some Arctic Cultural Heritage Sites leading to ineffective measures regarding their preservation,

F. Disturbed by the development of infrastructure in the Arctic that threatens Cultural Heritage Sites and Indigenous communities’ land,

G. Concerned about the lack of reprimands on unregulated actions of oil, gas, and mining private companies, which have a drastic impact on Arctic Cultural Heritage Sites and on local communities’ land ownership,

H. Recognising the importance of further cooperation between the Arctic States, the Arctic Council, the Sámi Parliament, the Saami Council, and private companies for successful preservation of Cultural Heritage Sites,\

I. Concerned by the insufficient participation of cultural minorities including the Sámi people in decision-making processes on cultural heritage preservation,

J. Noticing the lack of transparency from the Arctic States regarding their budget allocation for projects concerning cultural preservation,

K. Deploring the discrepancy in funding received by different organisations tasked with the preservation of Cultural Heritage Sites leading to some of the Arctic cultural sites not being preserved properly,

L. Acknowledging the lack of public awareness and education concerning the Cultural Heritage Sites in the Arctic and on the effects climate change has on them;

1. Invites UNESCO to expand the World Heritage List by adding relevant sites from the Arctic such as those present in the Arctic countries tentative lists;

2. Encourages Arctic States to implement an action plan to preserve and protect the Indigenous land reflecting on the violations of human rights in Arctic lands;

3. Endorses the Arctic States to further enforce the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of Indigenous people by implementing stricter sanctions on bodies constructing infrastructure putting Indigenous land at risk;

4. Asks the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council (SDWG) to develop a cooperative framework enabling close collaboration between local cultural NGOs and private companies to prevent their damage on Cultural Heritage Sites;

5. Recommends Arctic States to strengthen their sanctions against private companies whose activities have a continuous negative impact on Cultural Heritage Sites in the Arctic;

6. Urges Arctic States to annually examine endangered Cultural Heritage Sites and create adequate infrastructure to mitigate the current and future risks they may face;

7. Asks the SDWG to form an expert group appointed for research, share of best-practices and on-site expeditions in order to assess and document the condition of all Cultural Heritage Sites in the Arctic;

8. Encourages the Saami Council to formulate reports on the need for preservation of Cultural Heritage Sites in Sápmi;

9. Recommends Arctic States to set strict budgetary goals for Cultural Heritage Sites preservation projects and publish annual reports on their respective websites regarding those budgetary allocations;

10. Further invites the Arctic States to enable stricter protective cultural site rules by:
a. increasing personnel allocated to enforce them,
b. issuing more significant fines for visitors disrespecting preservation and integrity of such sites;

11. Calls upon the European Commission in collaboration with Arctic States to create a shared emergency fund for urgent Cultural Heritage Site preservation;

12. Suggests the Arctic States to store artefacts excavated from Cultural Heritage Sites that are at a critical risk of being destroyed by environmental hazards in designated museums;

13. Further suggests the Arctic Council to raise awareness on Arctic Cultural Heritage Sites by:
a. organising seminars given by experts in schools,
b. setting up educational tours of local Cultural Heritage Sites.
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