FIHRM 2019 Museums, human rights and climate change: Listen. Lead. Educate.

As part of  our annual meeting in Kyoto we held a workshop on museums, human rights and climate change. The session was generously hosted by Soka Gakkai Kyoto International Center and we would like to thank them again for their warm welcome and support.

During the workshop we looked at how museums should respond to the growing calls for action for environmental change.  What is the role of the museum and how should it contribute to positive change. The aim of the workshop was to understand the challenges and opportunities for positive change for museums and arts organisations in addressing the climate change emergency. We looked at clarifying the responsibility of the museum, taking into consideration its collections, its audiences and wider society.  Participants discussed these different areas and came up with a brief list of suggestions to take forward in further dialogue on this global issues. We will be continuing our conversation at our FIHRM 2020 meeting next year.

You can also  download the outcomes of the workshop as a pdf file here.

FIHRM: Museums, human rights and climate change
4 September 2019

What is the role of museums?

  • Museums are not neutral – acknowledge that this work is controversial
  • Listen and identify concerns
  • Lead the debate
  • Educate
  • Understand your contexts
  • Make links – collaborate

How should museums behave?

  • Be persistent
  • Be consistent
  • Be urgent
  • Be transparent
  • Be relevant, not fundamentalist

Practical solutions (some examples)

  • Create a sustainable checklist
  • Be mindful of your planning process (for example in exhibition design)
  • Use materials from ethical sources
  • Look for ethical sponsorship solutions
  • Re-use materials
  • Offset carbon footprint