Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition Among International Climate Heritage Network Members
Charenton-le-Pont, France –The Climate Heritage Network is pleased to announce that an additional 45 organisations have become network members. The announcement was first made on 11 February at a meeting of the network’s International Steering Committee held in Abu Dhabi, UAE during the 10th World Urban Forum (WUF10) organised by UN-Habitat, the United Nations’ cities and human settlements program. A full list of the new members is available here.
The Climate Heritage Network is a voluntary, mutual support network of local and city, state/provincial and regional, Indigenous Peoples’, and national arts, culture and heritage governmental and quasi-governmental boards, offices, ministries and site management agencies as well as NGOs, universities, businesses and other organizations committed to aiding their communities in tackling climate change and achieving the ambitions of the Paris Agreement.
This immense power of arts, culture and heritage to drive just and transformative climate action often goes untapped. The Climate Heritage Network was launched in October 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland by over 70 arts, culture and heritage organisations committed to unlocking this potential. Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) and Kwame Sha of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition were part of the global environmental leaders that took part in that launch.
The Network is expanding rapidly, as evidence by the 45 new members. The impact of the expanding Network will further be strengthened under the terms of a new cooperation memorandum with UN-Habitat that was also signed during WUF10.
The Climate Heritage Network aims to unite diverse actors across the arts, culture and heritage spectrum as part of the climate action movement.
The 45 new CHN members reflect this diversity and include national, regional and local government bodies; cultural institutions and indigenous peoples’ organisations, as well as NGOs, universities, businesses and artists. The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition is proud to be the indigenous organization representing the Gullah/Geechee Nation in the CHN. Several of the new members are themselves international networks, including NEMO – Network of European Museum Organisations and the International Music Council.
Climate change is a global phenomenon. The CHN works to connect groups around the world and to promote solidarity with communities on the frontlines of climate change. Reflecting this global commitment, the 45 new CHN members represent the Gullah/Geechee Nation, Australia, Canada, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Greenland, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan and Zimbabwe, as well as the USA, United Kingdom and countries across Europe. Collectively, they draw from each of the CHN’s five regions: North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and CIS, Africa and the Arab States, and Asia-Pacific.
One hallmark of the CHN is the members’ commitment to working collaboratively. In 2019 the CHN released its first action plan at an event held in Madrid at COP25, the 2019 UN Climate Summit. Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation was one of the CHN members that was part of this release session:
Dubbed the Madrid-to-Glasgow Arts, Culture and Heritage Climate Action Plan, the plan’s release kicks off a year of culture-based climate action that will culminate in 2020 at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. The plan’s activities will be implemented by volunteer working groups made up of CHN members. Dr Ewan Hyslop, Head of Technical Research & Science at Historic Environment Scotland and a Co-Chair of the Climate Heritage Network describes the value of the CHN approach this way:
Successfully transitioning to a low-carbon future and adapting to environmental changes already underway requires individuals, organisations, governments and communities to work together. The Climate Heritage Network provides an opportunity to develop new and creative partnerships, strengthen those that already exist and pool expertise and knowledge from all corners of the world. Together, we can demonstrate what meaningful climate action looks like, and share our experiences and perspective with others.
Climate change is one of the most significant and fastest growing threats to people and their cultural heritage worldwide. 2020 will be a critical year for climate action. The CHN aims to foreground the cultural dimensions of global climate action and to create a roadmap that will allow every arts, culture and heritage-related organization to do its part. The 45 members added today contribute immeasurably to that cause.
“With every conversation, every new partner, every opportunity, we advance greater solutions into action. Cultural heritage supports communities towards a low carbon, resilient future. Further, faster, together,” said Julianne Polanco, California State Historic Preservation Officer and a CHN Co-Chair.
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