Building global awareness about the importance of our natural world and changing people’s behavior to protect it is one of the conservation community’s greatest challenges. In today’s fast past world, it is increasingly difficult to create an emotional connection to the plants, animals and communities struggling for survival in our Earth’s most remote jungles. An unprecedented communications effort is needed to awaken our society to the vast treasure of biodiversity we are at risk of losing.
Conservation International has joined with BG Group plc to launch the Conservation through Photography Alliance to demonstrate how the power of photography can be harnessed as a critical tool for protecting the environment. The Alliance will support this effort by arming field conservationists with greatly needed tools, resources, and training to use imagery to tell their stories and educate thousands of people around the globe through traveling photo exhibits.
Photography is essential in documenting conservation actions, challenges and success, especially for people who have never experienced a tropical forest, coral reef or wetland. Images are also an important tool for building pride among local communities about their natural heritage, motivating the general public to change their consumption habits, and influence international leaders in order to take actions that support conservation and sustainable development.
The Conservation through Photography Alliance will focus on four key areas:
- Training field conservationists in photography. Training seminars will be developed to enhance the photography skills of field biologists, communicators and other conservationists to better document their conservation work in the field.
- Enhancing coverage of undocumented places and species. While important conservation work is being done around the globe to protect the world’s most environmentally important regions, many of these areas remain poorly documented. The partnership will expand the available imagery of plants, animals and communities to support conservation communication.
- Building a library of conservation photography. CI makes its database of photography available to a wide range of stakeholders including partner environmental organizations, governments, companies, and media to support global communications strategies. Through the partnership, CI will enhance its current capacity to further support these efforts.
- Disseminating conservation messages through international photo exhibits. The partnership will develop a series of traveling conservation photography exhibits. These photo exhibits will be held in several locations around the world in order to raise awareness about conservation efforts in biodiversity hotspots and wilderness areas. The first photography exhibit is planned for early 2007.
Support of the Conservation through Photography Alliance is made possible through BG Group’s Energy for life portfolio, which consists of three additional programs, the International Triathlon Union (ITU), BG Energy Challenge, and the 2006 BG US Challenge.