First meeting of new NEMO Working Group Sustainability and Climate Action

 This photograph depicts various people sitting around a hexagon-shaped table. They are looking up in the same direction. One person stands and is talking to them.

On 17 February 2023, twenty museum professionals from NEMO member organistions met in the headquarters of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) in Brussels, Belgium to take part in the first meeting of NEMO’s newest working group Sustainability and Climate Action.

After reviewing the foundations and operational procedures of NEMO working groups, the working group leader, Estelle DeBruyn of KIK-IRPA, introduced the substantial ongoing work of KIK-IRPA in sustainable research, management and development. The group also heard from NEMO Secretary General Julia Pagel, about the network’s 2022 survey and report on museums in the climate crisis.  

Following a general discussion of challenges and opportunities for the sector as it contributes to the sustainable transition of Europe, the Working Group heard a presentation from representative of Extinction Rebellion’ Belgian chapter; Rebekka Eschauzier. The group discussed potential and asked pointed questions following the passionate presentation. 

The final presenter, Olde Monnikhof, Director of the Diva Museum (Museum of Jewlery) joined online and described her museum’s first-hand experience of dedicating micro-budgets toward sustainable transition projects and saving their museum from becoming ‘victims of the energy crisis.’ Following the discussion, the group considered best potential ways forward to streamline a successful (and adequately supported) sustainable transition of the museum sector. 

Representatives from 10 European countries were present either in person or online during the hybrid meeting.