Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Museums & UN Sustainable Development Goals: II #MuseumsforParis and We Are Still In, #17 a partnership for the UNSDGs

(C) Sarah Sutton 2017
On Earth Day, April 22nd, the World Wildlife Fund and its many partners making up We Are Still In will announce a new sector of contributing non-state actors in support of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Cultural Institutions.

Last June, on the day President Trump announced the planned withdrawal of the United States from that critical agreement, I created #MuseumsforParis to align the individual efforts of museums, zoos, aquariums, gardens, and historic sites in support of public education and engagement around sustainability and climate change action, and to promote and expand operational efforts to reduce negative impacts and even become climate positive.

Recognizing that added value and power would come through its collective abilities and performance in partnership with other sectors, I looked for a way to leverage our field's public engagement impacts and our operational commitments for the good of the planet and all its living beings. We Are Still In is that opportunity.

Early signatories in the Cultural Institution sector include open air history museums, children's museums, science centers, aquariums, and gardens. They agree that regardless of political alignment or federal government practice, as part of this sector they have a responsibility to their mission and communities to contribute to the upholding of the US agreement.

In the coming months each will learn how to name a set of institutional goals and approaches to supporting that work.
  • This may be energy use reduction in operations and transportation to cut Greenhouse Gas contributions. 
  • It may be participating in a community risk assessment to understand and manage climate vulnerabilities in partnership with residents, emergency planners, and government. 
  • Or they may wish to learn how to shift to socially-responsible investing in the next few years. 
Every institution and every commitment is welcome and so very important to creating the change needed for a healthy planet and healthy communities.

In the next three months Sustainable Museums will provide a series of webinars introducing new and potential signatories to this work, and helping them develop the goals and pathways needed to move forward. I hope you will join us in this work and encourage your peers to do so as well.

It's your mission; what will you do with it?

You can reach me at sarah@sustainablemuseums.net and 978-505-4515 to discuss this further. All questions welcome.You can sign up now via the www.wearestillin.org website.

I look forward to meeting you there.

No comments:

Post a Comment