I would like to thank Prof. Yuan Xikun, UNEP Patron for the Arts and Environment, and welcome his continued commitment to using art to raise awareness about the environment – on this occasion specifically on the ozone layer and climate change. The more than 20 year-old international effort under the auspices of the Montreal Protocol to save the ozone layer ranks among the most successful examples of cooperation and collaboration among nations — the original chemicals, known as CFCs, were phased-out globally in 2010.
Further cooperative action between the Montreal Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change may be the key to fast action, assisting to maintain momentum on recovering the ozone layer while simultaneously reducing risks of accelerated climate change. Prof. Yuan will create a sculpture of the Chinese myth of Nüwa, a goddess who smelted a seven-color stone to block a hole in the sky. Using stones from the continents of the world and water from the polar regions, Prof. Yuan’s work of art will highlight the urgent need to protect the ozone layer and to combat climate change.
I am today recognizing the important contribution that individuals can make – through for example the works of art created by Prof. Yuan – to raise awareness of the urgent need to safeguard the environment. I would like to convey my best wishes to Prof. Yuan for this important project.