[BCMA] BCMA Statement: Why We Need Climate Action Now

Moderated BCMA subscriber listserv listserv at lists.museum.bc.ca
Fri Jul 2 13:00:00 PDT 2021

*We are less than two weeks into the summer of 2021 and we have already
seen destructive, recording-breaking heatwaves
unprecedented droughts
and tragic wildfires
that have displaced entire communities – it is critical that museums,
heritage organizations, and cultural professionals demand climate action
now and that we all do our part to be advocates for change.*

It is no longer a question of if climate disasters will impact our
communities, but when. It took a mere 23 minutes
from the first sign of smoke in the Village of Lytton to the fire becoming
so out of control that the entire community had to be evacuated. As extreme
weather becomes more and more commonplace, it becomes increasingly clear
that all of our communities are mere minutes away from disaster.

The museum sector has an important role to play in creating change. While
as individuals and organizations the scope of meaningful climate action
seems insurmountable, cultural institutions have more power than we often
give ourselves credit for. Museums, galleries, heritage sites, and science
centres are among the most trusted institutions in our society. People
trust museums more than newspapers
more than governments
and more than even schools
<https://news.gallup.com/poll/1597/confidence-institutions.aspx>. And
critically, nearly 75% of people want museums to recommend action

Museums are not neutral. With our sector enjoying a level of public trust
and support that few other institutions even come close to matching, it is
our moral responsibility to use this trust in the best interest of our
communities. It is critical that we help our communities understand the
challenges we are facing and bring people together to take collective

To help our members take action as community climate leaders, the BC
Museums Association, with the support of the Government of Canada, has
launched a new project called Climate Action & Leadership for Museums
(CALM). Through CALM, we will share ideas for taking action, highlight
organizations demonstrating climate leadership, facilitate peer support,
and develop tools and resources to empower our members. CALM will also
allow the BCMA to continue its collaboration with the BC Heritage Emergency
Response Network (BC HERN <http://www.bchern.ca/>) to ensure that heritage
professionals across the province have access to training, tools, and
support in the event of emergencies.

Please visit our website for the full article:

The BC Museums Association office is located on the traditional, unceded
lands of the Lekwungen <https://vimeo.com/275788251> peoples (Songhees and
Xwsepsum Nations). We respect past, present, and future Indigenous stewards
and recognize that we are uninvited guests on this territory.

BC Museums Association || 675 Belleville Street  || Victoria, BC || V8W 9W2

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