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Earth Day Celebrated with Negotiations, Activism, and Art Shows – Plastic Not Allowed

A day to honor the Earth was first proposed in 1969 at a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Conference in San Francisco. Since 1970, “Earth Day” has been celebrated globally on April 22  by a billion people, with Earthday.org coordinating events in more than 193 countries. For 2024, the theme is "Planet v. Plastic" to demonstrate support for environmental protection from plastic pollution.  

UN Plastics Treaty Negotiations

This Earth Day, the Global EPS Sustainability Alliance (GESA) and Plastic Pollution Coalition will be in Ottawa, Canada, to advocate for a strong UN Plastics Treaty. As the fourth of five negotiating sessions for the UN Plastic Treaty, it is a key moment to ensure a chance to drastically reduce plastic pollution and its toxic impacts and prioritize human, land, and ocean health, especially for communities on the frontlines of the plastic pollution crisis.

"Preserving marine ecosystems is a shared responsibility, demanding a commitment to scientific rigor and transparency in our fight against plastic pollution.

Our delegation looks forward to attending the forthcoming negotiations, providing critical information, and supporting the treaty’s development. We hope that the plastic pollution treaty incorporates pragmatic solutions and viable policies.

We stand firm in advocating for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), as well as the disclosure of chemical substances in materials, including those in proposed alternatives. Such transparency is crucial for public trust in material safety and sustainability, worldwide.

The UNEP treaty holds promise as a catalyst for change, guiding us toward an ocean with abundant life and diversity. Its successful implementation promises a brighter future for our oceans, the species that inhabit them, and our planet as a whole"

~ explained Betsy Bowers, Executive Director of the EPS Industry Alliance (EPS-IA), Spokesperson for the Global EPS Sustainability Alliance (GESA).

Cultural Events – Plastic Not Allowed

Selva Ozelli - Healing Waters
Selva Ozelli - Healing Waters.

As an Earthday.org artist, I will participate in four Ocean themed art show openings with talks to draw attention to the ocean's damage from plastic pollution. Because over 400 million tons of plastic are produced every year for use in a wide variety of applications.  And at least 14 million tons of the plastic waste ends up in the oceans every year. Plastic makes up 80% of all marine debris found from surface waters to deep-sea sediments. As part of Earth Day events with my three UN Ocean Decade Endorsed art shows:

  • Reef Dwellers 1 launched at CUHK Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change Hong Kong (watch on YouTube)
  • Orcas & Reefs launched at Whaling Museum Cold Spring Harbor, NY (watch on YouTube)
  • Healing Waters Art Show launched at Havre de Grace Maritime Museum (watch on YouTube)

And my two new art shows, Healing Waters 2 and Blue I hope to draw attention to the fact that restoring wetlands and oceans from plastic and other pollution needs to gather urgent momentum around the world.

1. Healing Waters 2 Art Show Hosted by HAVRE DE GRACE MARITIME MUSEUM, HAVRE DE GRACE, MD, launching with a talk by me.

Selva Ozelli - Healing Waters
Selva Ozelli - Healing Waters.

My Healing Waters 2 art show will launch on April 20th at Havre de Grace Maritime Museum located at 100 Lafayette Street, Havre de Grace, MD 21078, with a talk by me. My talk will focus on how I got interested in environmental issues, from personal[1] to professional experiences including serving as Pete Seeger, the folk singer and environmental activist’s accountant early on in my career[2].

“We are pleased to re-host award-winning artist Selva Ozelli. Ms. Ozelli’s work is cataloged by the United Nations, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, and the Berlin University of Art as part of the project titled Climate Summit Art and Political Event, 1972 – 2022. She has exhibited at United Nations Climate Change Conferences COP 26, 27 & 28, Auckland Climate Festival, London Climate Action Week, Florida Climate Week, New York Climate Week, the United Nations Biological Diversity, and the United Nations Oceans Decade has endorsed three of her Ocean themed art shows.”

~ said Jennifer Havre de Grace Maritime Museum Director.

My Blue art show will launch on April 22nd at Broome Street Art Gallery located at 519 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013, with a talk with Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Mun Chong, who explained,

"We understand the value and importance of art in our society; however, we also know that everything we love is at stake if we don’t tackle the ocean emergency with the urgency it deserves. The disruption caused by activists is far less harmful than the devaluation that ocean breakdown will have on the world’s art masterpieces."

Watch the interviews Art Activism Talk with XR Spokesperson Ms. Mun Chong and Artist Selva Ozelli at Broome Street Art Gallery part 1 and part 2.

3. UNESCO OCEAN DECADE Tides of Change and Waves of Hope & Art to Save the Planet Art Shows Hosted by Art on Ave NYC featuring a panel discussion between environmental artists and XR Activists

Izzy Church & Matty Austing Plastic Monster
Credit: Izzy Church & Matty Austing.

The Tide of Change Waves of Hope & Art to Save the Planet Art Shows, hosted by Art on Ave NYC, will hold an opening event on Earth Day at 6:30 p.m. at 33 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038 (the Federal Reserve Bank Building). 

Barbara Anderson, Founder of Art on Ave NYC, explained

“We are proud to be launching these art shows that are open to the general public attracting the attention of over 15 million people who visit New York City’s financial district.”

Both art shows were curated by Izzy Church, who said

“My production company, 3rd Culture Productions, was endorsed by UNESCO Ocean Decade. This endorsement enabled me to curate the transformative world of the Tides of Change Waves of Hope and Art to Save the Planet Art Shows, where art intertwines with advocacy.

Through captivating exhibits by 26 artists, -- Alfons Rodriguez, Annette Solakoglu, Craig Anthony Miller, David Scott Halloway, Fatma Kadir, Fina Yeung, George Goodridge, Gustavo Fernandez, Hava Mizrachi, Ian Hutton, Ilhan Sayin, Izzy Church, Jim Richards, Leslie Jean Bart, Luca Goly, Marten Kayle, Matty Austin, Mehmet Kuran, Melody Brenna, Mene Liondos, Rose Studer, Selva Ozelli, Semine Hazar, Stirling Brenna, Yana Toyber, and Zinnia Gutowski-- the exhibition seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline of the state of the ocean system."

Ian Hutton, a gifted Photographer and the Curator of Lord Howe Island Museum, who has worked with universities, botanic gardens, and museums from around the world, contributing to numerous documentary films and research papers on the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island’s unique ecology, pointed out that

“With my photographs of colorful sea slugs I would like to draw attention to the fact that marine species, including sea slugs, which live,  ingest or are entangled by plastic debris, are subjected to severe injuries and death.” 

Ian Hutton’s Work

The Earth Day opening event will also feature a panel discussion between environmental artists and XR activists on why environmental activists have been targeting famous art, including throwing soup at Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, to draw attention to the climate and ecological emergency and to protest government inaction.

These protest methods—whether the soup-throwing tactic works or not—will be debated. Environmental artists will not be allowed to wear or use plastic protective gear to protect themselves or their art against any soup attacks by XR activists during this debate on plastic-free Earth Day.

Happy Soupy Earth Day Everyone!

[1] - Tired Earth Interview Part One and Two.
[2] - The Sloop.

Selva Ozelli Esq, CPA is a legal and finance executive with diversified experience dealing with highly complex issues in the field of international taxation and related matters within the banking, securities, Fintech, alternative and traditional investment funds. Her first of its kind legal analyses involving tax laws, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), blockchain technology, solar technology and the environment and have been published in journals, books and by the OECD. Her writings have been translated into 15 languages.

Selva Ozelli
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