September 20th, 2021, Brussels –– The first of fifty murals to be displayed in major cities around the world to raise awareness and trigger action for the protection of the environment is being officially unveiled on September 29 in Brussels. 

Street Art for Mankind (SAM) is joining the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global effort led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations  (FAO) to halt climate change and restore ecosystems by 2030, by creating a series of #RestorationMurals around the world over the next ten years. Culture and art can play a vital role in inspiring a #GenerationRestoration that calls for the protection and revival of ecosystems across the planet. 

This initiative kicks off on September 29 in Brussels, where a large 40 meter high “Ecosytem Restoration” mural has been created by artist Lula Goce on Avenue Louise, 375. The mural raises awareness and invites people to join the rally for the future of our planet. It was originally inspired by UN75, the global conversation initiated by the United Nations in 2020 for their 75th anniversary, where 1.5 million people spoke out about issues that mattered most to them. The protection of the environment came out as the number one long-term priority. 

A free mobile app called “Behind the Wall®” published by SAM enables the public to scan the mural to hear the story, learn about the artist and take action from anywhere. 

This mural has been created with the support of the UN Regional Information Centre in Brussels (UNRIC), the City of Brussels and Parcours Street Art. It was made possible by Solvay, a UN Global Compact member.

 

This mural is a metaphor for Mother Nature. She is trying to protect biodiversity and life from climate change and the degradation of natural spaces by humans. We are part of Nature and it is up to us to be responsible with the planet. It is our duty as human beings to preserve and take care of the environment.

Lula Goce, the artist

Scientists tell us we only have ten more years to switch from exploiting ecosystems to reviving them instead. This can be achieved – but #GenerationRestoration needs support from across society. Artists play a central role in spreading the message. This is why we at UNEP are proud to launch a ten-year collaboration for restoration murals with street artists from across the globe, and we thank the City of Brussels for hosting this very first mural of its kind.

Veronika Hunt Safrankova, Head of the Brussels Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

We are truly honoured to partner with the United Nations Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization to raise awareness and unite a new generation of environment activists with our murals. We have been tasked by UNEP to create 50 spectacular and inspiring murals across the world to reflect on where we are, create a conversation locally and globally and to ensure we are on track to restore our ecosystems. We sincerely hope that this first mural painted with the artist Lula Goce, on the iconic Avenue Louise in Brussels, will move people and create new vocations to engage in the restoration of our ecosystems. The City of Brussels holds a central part in the European Union and its actions. It made a lot of sense for us to start our mural series here, in the heart of Brussels. Next stop, Houston, the energy capital of the world!

Audrey and Thibault Decker, Street Art for Mankind co-founders

Our world is facing environmental challenges like never before. In the new world, more doesn't always mean better, and better does not necessarily mean better for all. The quest for sustainability shared by all starts with each of us as individuals, supported by private and public partnerships and bolder ambitions - that is the story behind this artist's work. I see street art as a powerful and unique vehicle, helping us to get closer to each citizen, to persuade each heart and mind to embrace change and to convey the message that we need to bond people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress for a bigger impact on the world.

Ilham Kadri, Solvay CEO

About the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 is a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems across the world, for the benefit of people and nature. It aims to halt the degradation of ecosystems and restore them to achieve global goals. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the UN Decade, which is led by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The UN Decade is building a strong, broad-based global movement to ramp up restoration and put the world on track for a sustainable future. https://www.decadeonrestoration.org/ 
 

About Lula Goce

Lula Goce is a Spanish contemporary urban artist who lives by the sea in Galicia. Lula brings powerfully evocative and huge photorealistic scenes characterized by bright colors and a strong expressiveness. She merges people with nature adding fresh inspirations and “poetry” to her creations. Lula lived a long time in Barcelona where she studied a PhD as well as a Master in artistic creation at The Fine Art University of Barcelona. Her spectacular work can be seen all around the world on walls, in art festivals and in prominent art centers. 
https://www.lulagoce.com/about

 

About Street Art for Mankind (SAM)

SAM is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization working with prominent street artists from all over the world to raise awareness on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and child trafficking through the power of art. The Brussels Ecosystem Restoration Mural is the first of this new #RestorationMurals series.  https://streetartmankind.org/

 

About Solvay 

Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 23,000 employees in 64 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet plan crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering  better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities and delivered net sales of €9 billion in 2020. Solvay is listed on Euronext Brussels (SOLB) and Paris. Learn more at www.solvay.com.