Annual Maura Shaffrey Memorial Lecture 2021

The 23rd Annual Maura Shaffrey Memorial Lecture was held on Thursday, 18th October 2021 at 6:30pm.

The lecture, Cultural Heritage: A Missing Link in Climate Action: Post COP26 – Has the Gap been filled? was delivered by Andrew Potts, with a response from Senator Alice-Mary Higgins. 

A recording of this lecture can be found here.

The lecture was followed by a workshop with Andrew Potts, Will Megarry, and others. The workshop was organised as part of an ongoing series of Climate Conversation Workshops. The Workshop explored the relevant action and application of cultural heritage in supporting national and international objectives for net-zero carbon, just transition, and circular concepts.

Themes addressed in the workshop included:

  • Intelligent strategies for reuse and adaptation;
  • resilient cities/towns/villages;
  • vernacular and intangible cultural heritage

Recordings of all workshops held as part of this series can be viewed here

Both events were generously supported by the Heritage Council.

Andrew Potts
Andrew Potts coordinates the Secretariat of the Climate Heritage Network on behalf of ICOMOS, which hosts the Secretariat. The Climate Heritage Networks links organisations around the world that share a commitment to the role arts, culture and heritage can play in tackling the climate emergency. 

Andrew formerly coordinated the ICOMOS Climate Change and Heritage Working Group (CCHWG). In 2019 the CCHWG released its report The Future of Our Pasts: Engaging Cultural Heritage in Climate Action. The Future of Our Pasts Report scoped hundreds of ways in which cultural heritage can drive transformative climate action and catalogued the myriad impacts climate change is having on every type of heritage.

Andrew holds a legal degree from Indiana University in the United States. He previously served as Associate General Counsel of the US National Trust for Historic Preservation and received its National Trust’s John H. Chafee Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy. He also previously served as ICOMOS Focal Point for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins
Alice-Mary Higgins is a progressive, independent Senator. Elected to Seanad Éireann on the NUI Panel, she leads the Civil Engagement Group. As a member of the Oireachtas Committee on the Environment and Climate Action, she played a leading role in the parliamentary scrutiny of Ireland’s Climate Act. She also sits on the Oireachtas Committee on Finance and Public Expenditure and the Oireachtas Committee on Disability. She is a member of the Irish delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and one of four Irish parliamentary representatives at the Conference on the Future of Europe. 

She has participated in a number of the UN COP meetings on Climate Change. Senator Higgins is chair of the Oireachtas All-Party Group on the Sustainable Development Goals, a founding member of the Parliamentarians for the Global Goals network and part of the Parliamentarians for Peace initiative.  

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