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Cornwall Museums Partnership

Peter Lefort joins the CMP Board

I am extremely excited to be joining the Cornwall Museums Partnership board. It comes at a time of change for the organisation, but also for the wider sector. The potential for cultural and heritage organisations to play a key role in our response to the climate and ecological emergencies is only just starting to be understood and explored. This is a perspective I will be bringing to the board of trustees, with my background in grassroots and institutional experience in the environmental world.

At COP26 and in the UK’s Net Zero Strategy, released in October 2021, there are two major themes emerging that museums can play a key role in addressing. One is the current absence of a plan to address climate adaptation, or how we can prepare for the changes we know are coming. In Cornwall, this could include hotter, drier summers, and warmer, wetter winters. Some changes will bring opportunities, some will bring challenges. Our museums can help us hear and share the stories of how local communities will be affected by these changes, and how we can respond collectively and imaginatively.

The other key theme is behaviour change. In the Net Zero Strategy, the UK Government’s plan is to “go with the grain of existing behaviour and trends.” We know, however, that changes in how we live and work are vital if we are to meet our net-zero ambitions. The responsibility for supporting a shift in our behaviour is therefore falling to local organisations, like CMP. Organisations that support people to explore the world around them, and how it is changing.

As well as my new role with CMP, I am on the Steering Group for the Happy Museum Project, a UK-wide initiative looking at how the museum sector can respond to the challenge of creating a more sustainable future. I also bring experience as the current Co-Chair of the Transition Network, the international movement of communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world. I am hugely excited to have the opportunity to bring those perspectives to the fantastic work being done here in Cornwall, and to learn from the passionate and talented community within the partnership.

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