30.01.2012 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Report 2. The Ecological Implications of Climate Change on the Lagoon of Venice

©UNESCO and ISMAR-CNR - Book cover

The urban ecosystem of Venice and its Lagoon is among the most studied urban and environmental systems in the world. Acting as neutral broker and facilitator, UNESCO Venice Office has mobilized expertise in the interdisciplinary fields of science and culture to identify and discuss the scientific, environmental, cultural and socio-economic challenges faced by the World Heritage site of Venice and its Lagoon in the context of global change. This document presents a summary of the results and discussions from the second of four thematic workshops that were held to gather the necessary expert inputs needed to evaluate the current situation of Venice and its Lagoon and to contribute to a shared sustainable vision for its future. The Workshop on The Ecological Implications of Climate Change on the Venice Lagoon was organized in partnership with ISMAR-CNR.

The results from this international workshop will form a basis for a better understanding of the vulnerability of the Venice Lagoon, in relation to the climate change scenarios at local level as well as the ecosystem response to global change mechanisms, and may contribute to better define the limits and opportunities of the development of Venice and of the proposed plan for a Regional City.

The results of the thematic workshops will be used by UNESCO to facilitate the vision, strategy and management plan for Venice and its Lagoon, and to prepare in collaboration with the local authorities a follow-up report to the one already elaborated by UNESCO in 1969 after the devastating aqua alta of 1966.

This new report is intended to help guide sound decision-making and further enable sustainable management of not just the World Heritage Site of Venice and its Lagoon, but of urban coastal and lagoon systems worldwide that are facing challenges stemming from global change phenomena, and in particular those in the South-East European and the Mediterranean regions.

Prepared by the participants of the workshop, this report provides a shared overview of the main challenges that are being faced by the World Heritage site of Venice and its Lagoon and significantly contributes to the growing body of knowledge on the effects of climate change on coastal and lagoon cities.

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