Through the power of images, Conservation International (CI) and BG Group, a global natural gas business, have entered into a partnership to build universal awareness of the importance of our natural world and to demonstrate how photography can be used as a tool to conserve it.
Recognising the importance of photography for conservation in the world's biodiversity hotspots and wilderness areas, the Conservation through Photography Alliance will focus on creating unique opportunities to acquire, capture, store and disseminate conservation imagery.
Photography is essential to document conservation actions, challenges and success, especially for people who have never travelled to a tropical forest, coral reef or wetland. Images are a powerful tool for building pride among local communities of their natural heritage, motivating the general public to change their consumption habits and influence international leaders to take action to support conservation and sustainable development.
"As an organisation that works closely with the Earth's natural resources, we are committed to making a positive contribution to the protection of the environment," said Charles Bland, Executive Vice President, BG Group. "Our partnership with Conservation International will provide funding to research and document biodiversity hotspots, using the power of photography to raise awareness of the beauty, diversity and fragility of the natural world, and to serve as a reminder of the importance of preserving this precious heritage for future generations."
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 alliance will expand the available image library 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 organisations, governments, companies, and media to support global communications strategies. Through the alliance, CI will enhance its current capacity to further support these efforts.
Disseminating conservation messages through international photo exhibits. CI and BG Group will partner with the International League of Conservation Photographers and other key photographers and institutions to develop a series of travelling 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.
"Through the leadership of BG Group, the Alliance will advance conservation of our natural world," said Russell Mittermeier, president of CI. "This partnership will allow those that do not have the opportunity to travel to these beautiful, yet threatened, places, the opportunity to see why it is so important that we protect our planet's biodiversity. Nothing does more to inspire people to protect and conserve like a vivid photo image."
The Alliance will focus its efforts on documenting the people, places and animals within the world's biodiversity hotspots, wilderness and marine areas.
The biodiversity hotspots are 34 regions worldwide where 75 percent of the planet's most threatened mammals, birds, and amphibians survive within habitat covering just 2.3 percent of the Earth's surface (roughly equivalent to the combined areas of the five largest U.S. states). This habitat originally covered 15.7 percent of the Earth's surface, an area equivalent in size to Russia and Australia combined.
Wilderness areas are identified as the Earth's most pristine and untouched regions. These 37 areas include habitats on every continent, ranging from the Amazon rainforest, teeming with more than 30,000 endemic plant species, to the barren deserts of the Sahara. Only areas greater than 10,000 km sq. with at least 70 percent of their original vegetation intact qualified.
About Conservation International (CI):
CI applies innovations in science, economics, policies and community participation to protect the Earth's richest regions of plant and animal diversity and demonstrate that human societies can live harmoniously with nature. Founded in 1987, CI works in more than 40 countries on four continents to help people find economic alternatives without harming their natural environments. For more information about CI, visit www.conservation.org
About BG Group:
BG Group plc is a global natural gas business. Active on five continents in over 25 countries, it operates four business segments – Exploration and Production, LNG, Transmission and Distribution and Power. BG Group seeks to support the social and economic development of the communities where it does business by providing structured funding for community initiatives that match its skills transfer theme. For more information, visit www.bg-group.com
BG Group's sponsorship portfolio is called Energy for life. The Conservation through Photography Alliance is one of four partnerships that make up the Energy for life portfolio. For further information visit www.bg-group.com/about/sponsorship.htm
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