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Festival to raise environmental awareness through art

Event will support UNEP's climate change campaign and the UN Millennium Development Goals

Nairobi, 20 February 2008 - A weekend-long art festival will bring together 120 performers from around the world in Kenya to raise environmental awareness. The Earth Festival will take place on 22-24 February at the Laikipia Nature Conservancy, a nature and biodiversity oasis in Kenya's Rift Valley. The event is being organized by Kenya-based environmentalist Kuki Gallmann in support of the climate change awareness campaign of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

UNEP welcomes the aims and aspirations of this ambitious event, which is the first of three shows on the theme of water as part of the AQVA Project. Proceeds will go to water projects to help communities in the Great Rift Valley and Laikipia region, and especially areas which have suffered as a result of the recent unrest in Kenya.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: "Science informs the head, music the heart and art the spirit?three unique human qualities that must all be motivated if we are to answer the sustainability challenges of the 21st century."

"UNEP, through its own Art for the Environment Initiative, is therefore proud to support the Trust and the Foundation and publicize its latest creative endeavor," he said.

The objective is to raise environmental awareness through art with the participation of musicians, dancers, and other artists from Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Following the premiere, the show will tour capitals around the world. A group of young Italian, Kenyan, Serb, German and American documentary makers will film the making of the event.

The organizers hope that after the post-election violence which has erupted in Kenya, the event, by bringing together people from across the world and having a strong environmental focus, will contribute to the restoration of peace and bring a positive image of Kenya to the world.

Notes to editors

Project AQVA is organized by the Great Rift Valley Trust and the Gallmann Memorial Foundation, in association with the Italian Fondazione Ipazia and with support from the Italian Ministry of the Environment. The aim of the project is to create three live open-air shows involving major outdoor-theatre companies: Compagnia di Valerio Festi in 2008, Fura del Baus in 2009 and Franco Dragone in 2010.

The event is part of the Great Rift Valley Earth Festival, which started in 2005 and brings together artists from around the world every year. In 2007, the Trust with the Gallmann Memorial Foundation embraced the UNEP-federated Billion Tree Campaign and fulfilled their commitment to plant one million trees through the festival.

For more information visit http://www.gallmannkenya.org/earth/ or email event@gallmannkenya.co.ke

Or contact: Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson/Head of Media, on +254 733 632755, when traveling +41 79 596 57 37 or E-mail: nick.nuttall@unep.org

Or Anne-France White, Associate Information Officer, on Tel: +254 20 762 3088, Mobile: +254 728 600 494, or e-mail: anne-france.white@unep.org

AQUA The Source of Life
Laikipia Nature Conservancy, Northern Kenya



Further Resources

Earth web site

Art for the Environment

UNEP's Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum

Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign,

UNEP Resources on Climate Change


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