UN and Coachella Artists Fight Climate-Induced Hunger
United Nations representatives from Kenya, Sudan, Guatemala, and the Netherlands traveled to Coachella Valley during its historic festival to meet artists and build support to combat climate-induced hunger.
According to CORE, a crisis response non-profit founded by CEO Ann Lee and actor Sean Penn following the Haiti earthquake of 2010, 45 million people are on the brink of starvation.
Last year, Rolling Stone reported that a Columbia University-led study found that crop production today is 21 percent lower than it would have been without climate change; while a separate study, in Nature Food, projects that a decline in staple crops like corn and rice — which, along with wheat, provide half the world’s calories from plants — may begin as early as 2040.
Reena Ghelani, the UN’s Famine Prevention and Response Coordinator, and Lee tackled discussions on sustainable solutions for the growing food crisis, which has been escalated by climate change.
“What we’re witnessing today in the world is a fast acceleration of climate change impacting the number of people that are now literally starving,” said Ghelani.
When speaking about how music can influence meaningful change, musician and producer Pauli Lovejoy said that he believes “we’re at a point where we can galvanize communities and get people mobilized so that they can collectively create change.” He added, “I think there’s a magic in music in that it brings people together.”
“[Music can] wake up and excite a whole future generation to be with us, to change perspectives and mentalities,” said Jupiter Bokondji who performed at Coachella as part of Jupiter & Okwess.
Arcade Fire’s Paul Beaubrun, singer-songwriter Ali Sethi, Grammy-nominated producer Nabeyin, and Nigerian DJ Sydney Love also joined the UN at Coachella in support of the joint initiative.