Saturday, June 20, 2009

See the Bigger Picture

While watching Diego Buñuel’s Don’t Tell My Mother I’m in Pakistan over National Geographic Channel (8 PM Saturday Sky Cable Channel 41), I spotted an ad of See the Bigger Picture promoting the Biodiversity Partnership.

Photogapher Joel Sartore talks about the value and beauty of biodiversity and its threat of extinction. See the Bigger Picture aims to bring together young people from around the world to raise awareness about biodiversity and the need to reduce its loss. It is part of the Green Wave campaign which encourages tree planting, as a symbol of caring for the planet.

To participate, it asks kids from 6 to 16 years old to grab their cameras and show what biodiversity means to them.
General mechanics are: Submit an image that you think captures the spirit/idea of biodiversity. It could be a favourite tree or a plant, an animal or an insect, even a whole ecosystem (from your own back yard to somewhere you've visited on vacation) - your images should show people why biodiversity is a good thing which we should try to preserve.
Criteria for judging are: 1) Creativity 33% 2) Quality of Photograph 33% 3) Effective illustration of what biodiversity means to the entrant 34%

The Philippines is a rich source of endemic species with a high risk of extinction. Through the international programs of Green Wave campaign and the See the Bigger Picture contest and our own local programs, it should press us to see the value of our species and the urgent need to act on preservation now.

Joel Satore says it well. "Biodiversity is beautiful. The spectacular variety of life on Earth keeps our planet healthy and balanced. When I travel the world as a photographer, I see that the intricate connections between all species-from the smallest insects to the largest trees-are fragile and threatened. When we lose species we lose connections and that can trigger chain reactions reaching all the way to you and me...The one thing we can't lose is hope. We still have time to turn things around ... My photos are my way of asking us all to stop, look, and care."

Going back to the National Geographic feature on Pakistan, Diego ends his journey in Swat, the Switzerland of Pakistan. It once was a tourist delight for its lush green valley, snow capped mountain and gushing ice cold waters from the river Swat. Now due to security threat, this paradise has virtually become a ghost town. Can we still turn things around?

Fotos of unidentified floras courtesy of Larry Honoridez

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