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  • Mediterranean UNESCO World Heritage at risk from coastal flooding and erosion due to sea-level rise
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Mediterranean UNESCO World Heritage at risk from coastal flooding and erosion due to sea-level rise

Source(s):  Nature Publishing Group (NPG)

UNESCO World Heritage sites (WHS) located in coastal areas are increasingly at risk from coastal hazards due to sea-level rise. In this study, Mediterranean cultural WHS at risk from coastal flooding and erosion under four sea-level rise scenarios until 2100 are assessed.

Based on the analysis of spatially explicit WHS data, an index-based approach that allows for ranking WHS at risk from both coastal hazards is developed. Here it is shown that of 49 cultural WHS located in low-lying coastal areas of the Mediterranean, 37 are at risk from a 100-year flood and 42 from coastal erosion, already today. Until 2100, flood risk may increase by 50% and erosion risk by 13% across the region, with considerably higher increases at individual WHS. The results provide a first-order assessment of where adaptation is most urgently needed and can support policymakers in steering local-scale research to devise suitable adaptation strategies for each WHS.



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  • Mediterranean UNESCO World Heritage at risk from coastal flooding and erosion due to sea-level rise
  • Publication date 2018
  • Author(s) Reimann, Lena; Athanasios T, Vafeidis; Brown, Sally; Hinkel, Jochen; Tol, Richard S. J.
  • Number of pages 11 p.

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