How the People of Rapa Nui Are Using Technology to Address Conservation Issues

Taking action against the effects of climate change

Easter Island by Carl MydansLIFE Photo Collection

Daniela Merchant

Daniela Marchant, Curator of the Archeology Department of Ma'u Henua:“If we review images and records from 50 years ago, we see that in 50 years the alteration has advanced a lot, with respect to records that exist 100 years ago..."

Moai Scattered Across the Landscape of Rapa Nui (2019-01) by CyArkCyArk

"...So we see that in the last 30- 50 years all these alterations and deterioration have increased and have been happening in a shorter period of time.

LiDAR Being Used to Document Rapa Nui (2019-01) by CyArkCyArk

Rafael Rapu, Head of the Department of Archeology of the indigenous community Ma'u Henua "We must first conserve to investigate. Nothing helps us if everything is already destroyed and we can not carry out research on the subject."

Alberto RapuCyArk

Alberto Rapu, Geomatics, Department of Archaeology of Ma'u Henua: “The Ovahe Crematorium is one of the many examples of our heritage that is being lost due to the action of the sea..."

Rapa Nui shorelineCyArk

"...Climate change is accelerating the natural erosion processes of the island specifically, the coastal edge..."

Rapa Nui workshopCyArk

"We want to monitor the best possible registered and see which areas are being affected the most as time goes by to take action on that.”

Teaching a Local of Rapa Nui how to Fly a Drone (2019-01) by CyArkCyArk

Alan Haoa

Alan Haoa, Artist and oral tradition expert, Department of Archeology of Ma'u Henua:“I think technology is very important to apply in conservation issues and through the scanner, you can do many more things related to the care of our monuments.” 


Merahi Etam

Merahi Atam, Archaeologist at the Rapa Nui Heritage Technical: “From my childhood I have been a participant in seeing how sites are losing material every year, and the idea is that with this technology - we can record this information..."  

Documenting Rock Art in Rapa Nui (2019-01) by CyArkCyArk

"...And learning  to use this information, to be able to make comparative analysis helps us make technical decisions with a foundation.”

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3D model of Ahu Nau Nau - Rapa Nui by CyArkCyArk

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Find out more about ICOMOS' efforts to increase engagement of cultural heritage in climate action here.

Credits: Story

Professor Jane Downes, ICOMOS Working Group on Cultural Heritage and Climate Change, and Archaeology Institute Director, University of the Highlands and Islands UK.  

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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