Eco-Artist Diane Burko! ACES for the Environment, Global Environment Facility, World Ocean Network

by | Jun 17, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Eco-Artist Diane Burko! Plus ACES for the environment, plus Global Environment Facility, and discover the World Ocean Network.



Meet the Association for Coastal Ecosystem Services, or ACES. ACES supports community-led protection and restoration of mangrove forests and and seagrass meadows (collectively known as ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems). The group works closely with coastal communities to conserve these vital ecosystems, creating a better future for people and the planet. It offers people and organizations the opportunity to offset their carbon footprint by supporting these projects.

ACES supports communities in developing, financing and managing projects. Its projects are locally governed and coordinated, and are rooted in democratic decision-making that engages the whole community. They are established under co-management agreements with government agencies, giving the communities legal recognition of their powers to govern their natural resources.

ACES supports the projects in high-level management. Day-to-day coordination is conducted by the project staff on the ground. ACES sources and secures funding on behalf of community groups to establish new projects, and facilitate training, research and capacity building. 

ACES supports projects in achieving certification under the Plan Vivo Standard, which allows them to trade carbon credits. Carbon credits are certified units of carbon sequestered and permanently stored. These credits are bought by individuals and organizations as carbon offsets, to offset unavoidable carbon emissions.

It then trades those credits on behalf of the projects, giving at least 94% of income from these sales back to the projects.

DEEPER DIVE: ACES, Carbon Offsets,



The World Ocean Network is a network of aquaria, museums, science centers, educational organizations, and NGOs. It works with a range of partners and public and spans five continents to provide a forum for dialogue, exchange, and action. Its goal is threefold: to inform, to mobilize, and to realize the dream of a Blue Society by cultivating Ocean Citizenship.

The World Ocean Network was mobilized as an extension of the International Year of the Oceans in 1998 and was established officially in 1999. Its first International Meeting featured the program “For the Future of the Blue Planet”, in Nausicaä, France, under the eeegis of the Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission of UNESCO. 

For 22 years, the aim of the World Ocean Network has been to inspire change by raising awareness of the ocean’s importance to the survival of humanity and to the impacts of our actions on the environment, uniting around our common vital element: the World’s Oceans.

The world ocean network matters to us because basically their mission is to teach human beings to stop treating Earth’s oceans as both our kitchen and our toilet simultaneously.

DEEPER DIVE: World Ocean Network



The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, the GEF has provided more than $21.1 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $114 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects in 170 countries.

One of its most recent projects includes a six million dollar grant awarded just last week to fund, “Advancing transboundary cooperation and Integrated Water Resources Management in the Dniester (nee-ster) River Basin through implementation of the Strategic Action Plan. Riiiight.

In lay terms, the GEF funded the Eco-TIRAS (the international Environmental Association of River Keepers, a coalition of 51, environmental, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to manage the Dniester River in sustainable way, using the Integrated River Basin Management Approach.

The Dniester River (length 1352 km, basin area 72,100 km2, populated with about 8 million people) starts in Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains, crosses Moldova and returns to Ukraine near the Black Sea.

It seems obvious, but it’s not. The goal of this project is to

-Establish that water is an environmental resource and it is the basis for social and economic development.

-The Dniester River basin is the paramount source of freshwater.

-To preserve and maintain this precious resource for present and future generations there is a need for sustainable river basin management.

-Political leadership and commitment are crucial, especially where the basin is shared by two or more countries

-Basin-wide planning to balance all user needs for water resources, in the present and for the long term, and should incorporate spatial developments.

-Vital human and ecosystem needs have to be given special attention.

-Local empowerment and public and stakeholder participation in decision-making will strengthen river basin management.

DEEPER DIVE: Eco-TIRAS,, Wikipedia, Dniester River Basin Project



Diane Burko is an American painter and photographer. She’s always been fascinated with landscapes as a geological phenomenon. Throughout her career, she has spent time researching and photographing a range of locations across the globe — from the Wissahickon Valley in Philadelphia to volcanoes in Alaska and Costa Rica.

Since 2006 her practice has been at the intersection of art, science and the environment, devoted to the urgent issues of climate change. Her artistic specialty could be called one that focuses on monumental geological phenomena.

Burko has traveled to locations like the Norwegian islands of Svalbard, the glaciers of Greenland, and the Antarctic Peninsula to capture the catastrophic effects of global warming firsthand.

Currently she’s focusing on the world’s oceans and the dramatic bleaching of coral reef eco-systems. The increased acidification and warming waters caused by rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are the primary reasons for this dire situation.

Burko has two exhibits running concurrently. They are—

-“Entitled Through the Lens: Modern Photography from the Delaware Valley” scheduled at the Michener Museum through August 15, 2021

-Art and Climate Change, Installation at 2400 Market as part of the Fitler Club’s Artists in Residence Program, Philadelphia, PA, May 2021 -June 2022

And coming to American University in Washington, DC, Diane Burko: Seeing Climate Change, 2002-2021, from August 28- December 12, 2021.

Burko had a recent exhibition at Towson State University in Baltimore, MD titled, Diane Burko, Journey to the Subversive Edge: From a Landscape Painter to an Environmental Activist.” I think that says it all, and more importantly, why Diane Burko matters to us.

DEEPER DIVE: The Art Blog, Diane Burko, Wikipedia