The Minister of Culture and Sports participates in Rome in the meeting of Ministers of Culture of the G20
MADRID, 30 Jul. ` –
The Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, has defended the role of culture in the fight against climate change at the G20 Culture Ministers’ Summit, which has been held since yesterday in Rome (Italy). Specifically, Iceta has intervened this afternoon in the second panel of the day, dedicated to analyzing the contributions from culture to the fight against climate change.
In his speech, the minister highlighted the need to face the climate crisis from the perspective of culture. In this sense, he has pointed out how its impact threatens the heritage of the new generations. “Our lifestyle is being threatened,” he insisted. “It does not seem an exaggeration to affirm that climate change is a challenge for the international community, for our economic models, and for the way in which we have been understanding culture until very recently,” he explained.
For this reason, Iceta considers that “governments, international institutions and civil society” must give “an urgent response to help curb global warming.” The minister has opted for measures that “are not only aimed at mitigating the impact of unavoidable damage.” He has defended that, through culture, it is necessary to “adapt everyone’s behavior to achieve a social and economic model that is increasingly respectful of diversity, more inclusive and more sustainable.”
The minister recalled the steps taken by Spain in this direction. On the one hand, he recalled how concern for the interaction between climate and cultural heritage was reflected in the organization in Madrid of the Climate Summit 2019 within COP25, in which the Institute of Cultural Heritage of Spain (IPCE) organized the conference ‘Climate change and Heritage’ in order to detect concrete actions to protect Heritage more effectively, and define the implementation of the mandate of the 2030 Agenda.
He has also referred to the National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change 2021-2030. It is a cross-cutting plan for all sectors, started in 2020 and which seeks to avoid or reduce the economic, social and ecological risks of climate change and, simultaneously, favor the necessary preparation for the best possible recovery after climate impacts and disasters.
CONSERVATION OF CULTURAL HERITAGE
The minister recalled that the Plan identifies the most vulnerable elements of cultural heritage, determines their current status and introduces climate change projections in current cultural heritage conservation plans. It also seeks to collect and transfer the knowledge accumulated in the autonomous communities in which it has been useful as a means of adaptation to climate variation.
On the other hand, he has detailed that the Plan does not ignore cultural tourism but wants to design a low-carbon model and is committed to improving international cooperation, through the transfer of knowledge, for the protection of cultural and architectural heritage.
Iceta has referred to the need to achieve a greater impact on public opinion. For this, it is planned to communicate the risk situations of the cultural heritage, so as to increase the climate awareness of the citizens. As for the managers, it is proposed to promote the maximum visibility of the examples of excellence in the entire cultural field.
On the other hand, Iceta has explained that it is intended to influence the climate by acting through the National Plans for Cultural Heritage. “It is about preventing the risk that affects cultural heritage in a broad sense,” he explained.
Finally, the minister stressed that “the most recent far-reaching action in Spain” is part of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of the European Union, in component 24 dedicated to Culture. The Government has included the Culture and Rurality Plan, which aims to highlight and develop the role that culture can play in territorial and demographic development policies, and define policies for environmental sustainability and ecological transition.
These programs are aimed at promoting innovation and cultural entrepreneurship in rural areas. To achieve this, it helps to finance projects that, in addition to modernizing the sector and making sustainable management and, where appropriate, reuse of cultural infrastructures, helping to achieve the commitments of the Paris Convention.
At the end of the morning’s work session, the minister held bilateral meetings with representatives of various countries, including the ministers of Germany, Michelle Müntefering, and France, Roselyne Bachelot, with whom he shared experiences on patronage, the protection of the heritage or the presence of Spain as Guest Country of Honor at the 2022 Frankfurt Fair.
In addition, he has met with the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Nasser Kamel and the Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, with whom he has discussed linguistic diversity and have shared full support for underwater archeology.
The minister also held a meeting with the director of Cultural Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Enrique Márquez Jaramillo, with whom he agreed to defend the language as a link of union, cooperation and dialogue.