Theme Lead: Professor Karen Brown (Project Coordinator)

Global warming is affecting island communities in disproportionate ways, making heritage conservation and preservation a critical issue for the twenty-first century. Islands such as those off the west coast of Scotland and the Caribbean archipelago share the global problem of coastal erosion through rising sea levels and storm intensification, as well as economic recession, depopulation and inappropriate tourism development. Increasingly, adaptation for sustainability is understood not only as adjusting to changes through innovations in climate science, but also as a human story owing to the fragility of cultural identities and memories at risk.  

The Scottish Gaelic concept of dùthchas (‘sense of place’; ‘collective heritage’; ‘homeland’) encapsulates ways in which island museums and heritage sites foster a close community connection to the land and sea through tangible and intangible heritage. This connectivity can bring about significant health and well-being benefits to people, leading to impacts such as reduced social isolation, positive emotions, increased self-esteem, and sense of identity. This page tells such heritage and climate stories primarily through recorded stories and 360-degree tours of community museums and heritage sites. We hope you enjoy them!