A global review of developments in policies and programmes related to culture and environmental sustainability has been published this week by key international organisations Julie’s Bicycle and the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA).
The aim of the report, D’Art Report 34b – The arts and environmental sustainability: an international overview, was to inform international arts leaders about good practice and resources in this key policy area, and how such policies impact on national arts and cultural organisations.
This ground-breaking international overview is the result of surveys and interviews with arts funding agencies from around the world carried out by Julie’s Bicycle and IFACCA between November 2013 and May 2014 and supplemented with additional research. It follows D’Art Report 34, released jointly in 2009 by IFACCA and Arts Council England that presented examples of good practice in the arts and sustainability.
D’Art Report 34b provides a snapshot of arts and cultural engagement with environmental sustainability with an emphasis on policies, not on artistic content or wider arts practice. The report shows varied preoccupations and priorities according to social, economic, political and geographical context of the respondents.
The findings demonstrate that most respondents believe environmental sustainability to be relevant to arts funding agencies and funded organisations and that there is widespread interest in future development in this direction. However, tangible and applied mechanisms to support environmental sustainability both within agencies and in the organisations they fund are still uncommon and there is little practical and focused guidance for arts funders, workers, or practitioners.
The report, which financially supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and Arts Council Ireland, includes early examples of good practice; identifies agencies already embedding environmental sustainability in their country or region; and makes recommendations for enhancing the level of inclusion of environmental sustainability in cultural policymaking and action.
“The arts and cultural sector, in the main, has well-articulated values that promote equality, inclusion, diversity and community and strong arguments around social and financial sustainability. The sector is well-placed to integrate the environmental dimension with the social and financial dimensions: in part, the narratives have already been written. It is up to the sector itself to take up this leadership opportunity, developing greater cultural environmental literacy and an evidence base to articulate its contribution and value to sustainable development and the shaping of our future.”
– Alison Tickell, CEO, Julie’s Bicycle
“This report is particularly pertinent in the context of the current campaign to include culture in the post-2015 sustainable development goals, championed by IFACCA and five other international networks in consultation with UNESCO. It highlights the potential benefits of giving greater attention to culture’s fundamental role in achieving development outcomes.”
– Sarah Gardner, Executive Director, IFACCA
The full report is available at: www.ifacca.org/topic/ecological-sustainability/and http://www.juliesbicycle.com/resources/ifacca-dart-report .