“I fear that future generations will judge us harshly for our failure to place proper value on wildness, diversity, open space, spirit, solitude, and other treasures of the natural world still available to us today. May they at least know that some of us tried.”
How can we support a sustainable environment?
Nature first. Everything starts with a wonder and an experience. With this sentence, I tried to start describing my artistic statement. Every experience with my camera is necessarily connected to nature. It is this experience that is always the most important to me when I go out with my camera. As such, my heart sinks every time when I realize the damage we humans have done to our beloved mother earth. Unfortunately, often photographers are very rude to get their final capture and do not respect our natural environment.
I do believe that our ecosystem provides essential services to human populations and that all organisms are connected and influence each other. Having this said, I try starting with myself to behave in a respectful way that is filled with values and love. For these reasons, I decided personally to support three projects, become a member and commit myself to their general ideas. In the following, I’ll quickly introduce the three organizations:
In 2018, Eric Stensland met up with fellow photographers Sarah Marino, Ron Coscorrosa, Jack Brauer, David Kingham, Jennifer Renwick, Matt Payne, Scott Bacon, Tony Litschewski, Mike Anderson, Eric Bennett and Phil Monson to found Nature First – The Alliance for Responsible Nature Photography. Together they set seven principles to curb our impact on our natural environment.
Personally, I decided to become a member of Nature First in order to actively support and live these seven principles. These principles are as follows:
The Nature First Principles:
Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.
Educate yourself about the places you photograph.
Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.
Use discretion if sharing locations.
Know and follow rules and regulations.
Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.
Actively promote and educate others about these principles.
More information about the principles can be found at the Nature First website.
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the environment. The Leave No Trace program is built upon the premise that conservation of our outdoor resources is possible only when people know how to respect them and prevent impacts from their activities. Being an educator myself, I see the importance of Leave No Trace Education to provide a foundation building an outdoor ethic of critical importance.
The Leave No Trace Principles:
- Plan ahead & prepare.
- Travel & camp on durable surfaces.
- Dispose of waste properly.
- Leave what you find.
- Minimize campfire impacts.
- Respect wildlife.
- Be considerate of other visitors.
More information about the principles can be found the the LNT website.
Eden Reforestation Projects is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide fair wage employment to impoverished villagers as agents of global forest restoration. They hire the poorest of the poor to grow, plant, and guard to maturity native species forest on a massive scale. Their “employ to plant methodology” results in a multiplication of positive socio-economic and environment measures.
“Planting trees provides a natural barrier against flooding, tsunamis, and cyclones, prevents disasters such as landslides by stabilizing soil from the damaging effects of erosion, and protects communities by restoring one of the first lines of defense against natural disasters. Although natural disasters cannot be completely avoided, planting trees and restoring the environment is a key factor in preventing the damage these disasters cause.”
More information about the principles can be found at the Eden Projects website.
I believe in these fantastic endeavours and hope you may share the word if you feel the same.
In nature we believe.