COAL 2020 Prize: an edition on the living

COAL 2020 Prize: an edition on the living

In 2020, the COAL Prize is dedicated to the erosion of biodiversity. This eleventh edition is part of the VIVANT program, a cultural season for biodiversity carried out by COAL and its partners in preparation for the2020 IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) World Conservation Congress, postponed from January 7 to 15, 2021.

The sixth mass extinction that threatens the diversity of life affects both species and ecosystems. In France, at present, 18% of the species, that is to say nearly one species out of five, are already considered as extinct or threatened. The last similar crisis was 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs disappeared. Contrary to the five previous ones, this sixth extinction of the living world is caused by the impact of human activities. Five major causes have been identified: change in the use of natural areas, overexploitation of species, pollution, climate change and invasive alien species. A reaction from public authorities, the private sector, representatives of civil society and citizens is now urgent to halt the decline in the diversity of life.

Stopping the global plastic pollution crisis, reducing the impacts of human activities at sea and on land, adapting to climate change, fighting against imported deforestation, preserving rivers, mangroves, grasslands and tropical coastal marshes, reinforcing protection measures for great apes and marine mammals, and countering organized wildlife trafficking: the heterogeneity and interweaving of biodiversity protection issues require a wide range of actions, from regulation to prevention, adaptation and implementation of nature-based solutions. Transformative changes” in our societies are advocated to restore and preserve nature.

Faced with a situation as complex as it is urgent, the COAL 2020 Prize invites artists from all over the world to mobilize to report on a world that is still alive, to feel and experience biodiversity, but last but not least to act and get involved with those involved in the protection of nature.


Ten projects are nominated by a selection committee composed of professionals from among all the applications received in the framework of an international call for projects. One of them is awarded the COAL Prize by a jury composed of representatives of the partner organizations and personalities of art and ecology. In addition, all the applications considered by COAL and the selection committee allow to introduce artists and projects that can be solicited or promoted according to other opportunities and actions carried out by the association and its partners.


  • Christophe Aubel, Deputy Director General for Mobilization, French Office for Biodiversity
  • Julie Chénot, Director of the Camargo Foundation, Cassis
  • Jean-Max Colard, Art critic, curator and head of the speech department, Centre Pompidou
  • Felizitas Diering, Director of FRAC Alsace
  • Christine Germain, Director of the Museum of Hunting and Nature
  • Fabrice Hyber, Artist
  • Olivier Lerude, Senior official for sustainable development, Ministry of Culture
  • Charlotte Meunier, President of the Nature Reserves of France


The winner of the COAL Prize receives an endowment of 10,000 euros from the François Sommer Foundation and COAL, including an optional residence at the Domaine de Belval, property of the François Sommer Foundation.

The François Sommer Foundation, recognized as a public utility since its creation on November 30, 1966, was created by François and Jacqueline Sommer, pioneers in the implementation of a humanist ecology. Faithful to the commitments of its founders, it works for the protection of a biodiversity where man finds his rightful place, for the respectful use of nature’s resources and the sharing of the wealth of natural, artistic and cultural heritage.


The COAL Prize is supported by the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, the Ministry of Culture, the European Union via the European cooperation program ACT (Art Climate Transition), the French Office of Biodiversity, the Museum of Hunting and Nature and the Sommer Foundation, and a partnership with the French Committee of the IUCN.


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  • About us
    About us

    COAL mobilizes artists and cultural actors on societal and environmental issues and accompanies the emergence of a new culture of ecology through its actions such as the COAL Prize, curating exhibitions, advising institutions and communities, European cooperation, and the animation of conferences, workshops and the first dedicated website


    COAL has been awarding the COAL Prize Art and Environment every year since 2010 and the COAL Student Prize - Culture & Diversity since 2020.

  • Projects

    Major projects linked to the major events in political ecology, in connection with natural or urban environments.

  • Artistic direction
    Artistic direction

    About fifty exhibitions throughout France, cultural actions, works in the public space, and project support to contribute to the emergence of a new culture of ecology.


    Cooperation programs on a European and international scale, support for institutions in their ecological transition through tailor-made accompaniment and training, promotion of arts and ecology issues through publications and numerous conferences and workshops.