Yesterday, WWF unveiled the “Together for Forests” mural, a 24-meter-tall piece of street art, in an effort to raise awareness of the destructive impacts European consumption has on nature and wildlife around the world.
The mural depicts the hopes of hundreds of thousands of citizens for an ambitious EU deforestation law, currently being discussed by EU national governments and the European Parliament.WWF
Created on March 14 by the acclaimed urban artist and climate activist, Carlos Alberto GH, it brings iconic wildlife closer to the European quarter in Brussels, on 182 Chaussée d’Etterbeek. Initiated by WWF, the mural has been curated by the art for social change non-profit organisation Street Art for Mankind and comes to life with their free app “Behind the Wall®”.
“With every meal, we’re unwittingly wiping out vital ecosystems such as the Amazon or the Cerrado. These are also home to the main characters of our #Together4Forests mural landscape – macaws, jaguars, pumas – which is about to burst into flames. As consumers, we didn’t choose this destruction, and yet we are responsible. Only a strong EU deforestation law can change this,” said Ester Asin, Director of WWF’s European Policy Office.
Doing this work here in Belgium was a big challenge, however, the satisfaction is even bigger.Carlos Alberto GH, artist and climate activist
Drawing inspiration from the heart of Brazil, and amplifying a message in the heart of Brussels, the mural shows we are all connected. It voices the demand of 1.2 million citizens and almost 200 NGOs who joined forces in the #Together4Forests campaign and stood up for strong EU legislation to curb global deforestation. It draws Europeans closer to spectacular forests, wild savannahs and lush grasslands that indigenous peoples, communities, as well as unique wildlife species call home.
This mural is one of the most significant ones I have ever painted, on nature conservation. It represents the beauty but also the fragility of ecosystems, and how our consumption can be catastrophic for them.Carlos Alberto GH, artist and climate activist
“It is a true pleasure to be back in Brussels and collaborate for the first time with WWF on such an important mission. While our first mural in Brussels was with the UN about ecosystem restoration, this new mural with WWF is about preventing deforestation. They are two sides of the same coin. Our planet needs our help. And we take every opportunity, through our art, to support it”, explained Audrey Decker, Co-founder of Street Art for Mankind.
“Our Together for Forests Mural will immerse the public in the 3D world of the talented artist Carlos Alberto GH, and we do hope that with its incredible setting by Leopold Park, it will inspire people to act in order to protect nature”, added Thibault Decker, Co-founder of Street Art for Mankind.
We hope that this mural will serve as a reminder to them (national ministers and MEPs) every day that we need to get serious about tackling the EU’s footprint.Ester Asin, Director of WWF’s European Policy Office
Ester Asin concluded the inauguration with a message for the EU officials who are preparing to discuss the deforestation law: “As national ministers and MEPs discuss this law, we call on them to defend the strong elements of the Commission proposal such as knowing the origin of products and close all the remaining gaps. The law does not yet cover all the ecosystems that matter, all products that have an impact and leaves loopholes unaddressed”.