Wildfires Highlight the Danger Posed by Climate Change to Heritage around the World

World Monuments Fund (WMF) is deeply saddened by the news of the fires on the Hawaiian island of Maui. We extend our deepest sympathies to families who have lost loved ones and to those who have been forced to flee their homes. The fires have devastated Lāhainā, a port city that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Hawai`i and whose old center is a National Historic Landmark District. While the precise scale of the damage is not yet known, a number of historic buildings—including Waiola Church, where several members of the Hawaiian royal family are buried—are confirmed to have been destroyed.  

The wildfires, fanned by winds from a hurricane and exacerbated by drought conditions, are only the latest in a series of recent extreme natural disasters fueled by climate change—events which disproportionately impact Indigenous communities and their heritage.  

WMF will continue monitoring the situation as events develop. To learn more about our efforts responding to disasters that threaten heritage around the globe and support us in this work, visit our crisis response program page

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World Monuments Fund safeguards cultural heritage around the globe, ensuring our treasured places are preserved for present and future generations. 

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