Bristol Museum & Art Gallery has joined a global coalition that is raising awareness about the need to protect biodiversity.
The museum, one of five run by Bristol City Council, has become the first UK institution, and seventh museum worldwide, to join the United for #Biodiversity, which was launched earlier this year on World Wildlife Day.
The coalition includes museums, botanic gardens, parks, research centres, zoos and aquariums. Other museums involved include the Zoological Research Museum and the Biotopia – Naturkundemuseum Bayern in Germany; the Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto in Portugal; the Natural Science Museum of Barcelona in Spain.
Ray Barnett, the head of collections and archives at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, said: “We’re honoured to be invited to join the United for Biodiversity coalition. Alongside our work to engage citizens with local wildlife, we also support research and education programmes, wildlife identification and creative practitioners.
"We’re looking forward to continuing working with Bristol’s communities to explore how we can bring more diverse perspectives to our world wildlife displays, and create more inclusive spaces to explore the global ecological crisis.”
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery cares for one of the most significant natural history collections in the UK, with an estimated 1.35 million specimens.
The museum is hoping the coalition will enable it to collaborate with global partners to understand how institutions that preserve global natural heritage resources can take collective action to help solve the nature crisis. This comes at a time when 1 million species are at risk of extinction.
In August 2019, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery launched Extinction Voices – a display featuring animals shrouded in transparent black veils that aimed to highlight the threat of wildlife extinction and gather ideas for collective action.