[groups_non_member group=”premium”]

Last December, world, corporate, and environmental leaders from around the globe met in Paris for COP21.  Together, they sought to create some sense of order amidst the chaos humans have engendered because of our dependence on fossil fuels with an agreement that lays the groundwork for international cooperation on addressing and mitigating against climate change.  As aspirational as this document is, I believe that its long-term successful implementation will be in great part due to the contributions of conservation photographers from around the world who strive tirelessly to document the state of our planet.  How can this be?

Well, we know for a fact that the average person is not going to wade through dense reports analyzing years of rising CO2 levels.  Because let’s face it, though they are critical for providing scientific proof of climate change, they are not exactly thrilling reading for most of us.  And yet, successful conservation depends on humans changing their behavior, and change at a scale large enough to have any real impact on climate change is going to take action by millions of everyday people – folks like you and me who aren’t likely to read those reports.

So how can we best educate global audiences about the chaos we are imposing on the beautiful, complex, and inherent order of nature? Whether on the web, television, or in print – it is only through still and video imagery that people can best understand what is happening to our planet.

This is where the International League of Conservation Photographers comes inOur league comprises an elite international cadre of wildlife, nature and culture photographers, each of whom has demonstrated a deep commitment to saving the special species and places that grace our planet.

If you are a subscriber click here to login and read the complete article.  For more information about the JSFB click here  or contact us to learn more about Cornerstone’s research and service offering.

[/groups_non_member]

[groups_member group=”premium”]

Last December, world, corporate, and environmental leaders from around the globe met in Paris for COP21.  Together, they sought to create some sense of order amidst the chaos humans have engendered because of our dependence on fossil fuels with an agreement that lays the groundwork for international cooperation on addressing and mitigating against climate change.  As aspirational as this document is, I believe that its long-term successful implementation will be in great part due to the contributions of conservation photographers from around the world who strive tirelessly to document the state of our planet.  How can this be?

Well, we know for a fact that the average person is not going to wade through dense reports analyzing years of rising CO2 levels.  Because let’s face it, though they are critical for providing scientific proof of climate change, they are not exactly thrilling reading for most of us.  And yet, successful conservation depends on humans changing their behavior, and change at a scale large enough to have any real impact on climate change is going to take action by millions of everyday people – folks like you and me who aren’t likely to read those reports.

So how can we best educate global audiences about the chaos we are imposing on the beautiful, complex, and inherent order of nature? Whether on the web, television, or in print – it is only through still and video imagery that people can best understand what is happening to our planet.

This is where the International League of Conservation Photographers comes inOur league comprises an elite international cadre of wildlife, nature and culture photographers, each of whom has demonstrated a deep commitment to saving the special species and places that grace our planet.  We believe that the best way to understand the extent of desecration of forests by clear-cutting in places like southwest Oregon is through an extraordinary aerial image.

Similarly it is only through macro photography, an extreme close-up technique, that we can show the fragile interdependence between the tiny and highly threatened rusty-patched bumblebee and the plants that depend on it for pollination.  Whether at vast or minuscule scale, the natural world relies on a system that has taken millennia to develop, and photography is one of the best tools to help us appreciate the important role of each creature and place in it.

Of course, our photographers also point their lenses to the beautiful order of nature as it exists in places that we have not yet damaged or that have been protected through sound conservation practices.  Who of us could imagine the fantastical beauty of mangroves below the water’s surface? After all, most of us will never snorkel amongst their tangled roots to witness the incubation of thousands of baby fish or how mangroves protect seashore communities from the ravages of violent tropical storms.

Batasan Island, Danajon Bank, Bohol, Philippines © Michael Ready / iLCP

iLCP is best known for our Conservation Photography Expeditions, which we undertake with local, national and international conservation organizations to produce images that fully capture the threats and opportunities faced by communities whose environments and cultural traditions are in peril from activities like mining, clear-cutting, poaching, overfishing, or any other behavior that is ruled by a basic disregard for the fundamental order that exists in the natural world.  Our partners use these images to communicate the need and value of their efforts to donors, funders, beneficiaries, local communities, and the general public.

There is no doubt that politicians and policy makers must lay the groundwork to enable all of us to cope with, adapt, and address human impact on a large scale.  In the end, however, it is everyday people who are going to have care enough to do the heavy lifting.  But, as it is really hard for most of us to care about something we don’t know – and we can’t know everything firsthand—we must rely on images to help us grasp what is at stake, whether in our immediate neighborhood or somewhere on the other side of the world.

iLCP ensures that conservation imagery can be used to inspire caring and even more importantly, action.  We do so not only through our Expeditions, but also with our Image Licensing Services and with WiLDSPEAK, an annual symposium in Washington, DC, which explores how extraordinary visual media can contribute to impactful science communications and positive conservation outcomes.

Alexandra Garcia is Executive Director of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

 

[/groups_member]