For its tenth edition in 2019 the COAL Prize will, in collaboration with the Platform on Disaster Displacement and DISPLACEMENT: Uncertain Journeys, tackle an essential subject: displacement related to disasters and climate change.
Since 2009, an estimated one person per second has been displaced following sudden-onset disasters. Disasters such as droughts, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis have left many victims without shelter, clean water and basic necessities. Meanwhile, slow changes, such as desertification and sea level rise, also force people out of their homes. Environmental factors are often intrinsically linked to the same political, economic and social factors that cause migration. Consequently, we find ourselves facing an “ordeal common to all: the ordeal of finding oneself deprived of land. […] We are discovering, more or less obscurely, that we are all in migration toward territories yet to be rediscovered and reoccupied” (Bruno Latour, Down to Earth, 2018).
A World Bank report released in March 2018 indicates that 143 million people around the world could be displaced by 2050 as a result of these impacts if nothing is done to halt climate change.
However, significant progress has been made in recent years to address the gap in international law for cross-border disaster-displaced persons and to improve protection of internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to disasters and climate change. The challenge lies in ensuring the political commitments made in the Global Compact for Migration, the Global Compact for Refugees, the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, the UNFCCC Task Force on Displacement, and the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda turn into concrete action in the areas most impacted by climate change.
In September 2018, UN Secretary-General António Guterres delivered a passionate speech calling upon world leaders and policymakers, who for too long have “refused to listen,” to come out of denial. He emphasized that they have the power to change the game.
Tackling the enormous challenge we face begins by making it visible. Thus the COAL association, in this special edition of the COAL Prize, invites artists from all over the world to share their testimonies and visions for a world more respectful of ecological balance and climatic justice. Through their creations, they can encourage policymakers to understand and act on the reality of displacement caused by climate change. Presented at COP25 in Chile, the COAL Prize will be present at the negotiating table to help ensure that political decisions translate into concrete changes for a shared and livable Earth.
With the support of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition and the sponsorship of the Ministry of Culture, the Museum of Hunting and Nature, the François Sommer Foundation, the Platform on Disaster Displacement and its cultural program DISPLACEMENT: Uncertain Journeys.
Address any questions to : CONTACT@PROJETCOAL.FR
Image credit : Alex Hartley, Nowhereisland, winning project of 2015 COAL Prize.