Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Change, gave the keynote address at an evening reception to launch Prix Pictet in London on 29 April 2008.
Dr Brundtland, author of the groundbreaking 1987 UN report on sustainable development, said “It is urgent that we help create a broader basis for action. We all need to mobilise public opinion to support the changes we are dependent upon. As a permanent award the Prix will help to ensure that matters of sustainability remain at the forefront of global debate.”
The launch reception, hosted at Pictet & Cie premises in London, drew leading figures of the arts, sustainability and finance sectors. The artist Lucy Orta presented a work that had been commissioned for the launch and in tune with the Prix Pictet’ s 2008 theme – Water.
Guests at the reception were presented with specially designed bottles, one for each nation of the world, each representing daily domestic fresh water consumption in that country.
The event highlighted the Prix Pictet’s intensive global search for photographs that best contribute to public awareness of issues concerning the topic of water and sustainability. Members of the Prix’s global nominations network from London, New York, Tokyo, Paris and Dubai were at the launch, as was Marc-Olivier Wahler, Director of the Palais de Tokyo, where the finalists’ work will be exhibited at the end of October. The shortlist will be announced in early July 2008.