Placed in the “In critical danger of extinction” category, the orangutan is at strong risk of disappearing from its natural habitat within a few decades. Its population decline is due to the inexorable destruction of its habitat and to poaching.

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5 actions for biodiversity

A disaster foretold

For a few decades now, scientists have been taking the pulse of our old Mother Earth, who is growing worse and worse. Biodiversity is deteriorating, desertification is on the increase, forests are disappearing, pollution is on the rise, and drinking-water resources are diminishing.

That is no surprise. We have long been well informed of why our planet is deteriorating. The high-intensity economic system, which engenders over-consumption and waste, is amongst the main causes of the disaster.

The ecological footprint of an inhabitant of the USA, Canada, or Europe is far greater than the Earth can bear. If nothing changes, in 2050, we shall need four planets like ours to support our way of life! For lack of change, conflicts are in the offing over access to natural resources.

The politics of the worst

Since the Rio Summit of 1992, our successive governments have still not made the right political choices. Short-term economic interests systematically trump ecological challenges, which are matters for the long term. Whether it is a matter of risks linked to climate change, which have debated in a number of international conferences since the one held in Kyoto, or of national initiatives, like the ones sketched out during the Grenelle de l’Environnement (Grenelle Environment Forum) in 2007, environmental protection has, at the end of the day, never been put into action. Everything is a series of half measures, and, on the contrary, it favours a society model based on infinite growth. Even biodiversity winds up being looked at through the economic prism of “services rendered”: cynically, we offset carbon, we set a price on nature.

The urgency of a cause

The modest mission of “L’arche photographique is to engage with, to inform, and to raise awareness amongst the general public on the worrying degradation of ecosystems and biodiversity. Preserving the environment is a matter of urgency; the challenges linked to biodiversity are vital for humans.

We need to up-end the table!

We need to take our destiny in hand on a democratic basis, not just by using the right to vote, but by getting involved, by militating, and by demonstrating.
Only the pressure of thousands of people expressing their discontent in the streets or on social networks will bring a response from political systems that protect the interests of big multinationals to the detriment of the planet and of human populations.

A daily commitment

Like the hummingbird made famous by Pierre Rabhi, we each have a part to play in the necessary transition that we are embarking on. It is a transition that involves energy sources, agriculture, the economy, democracy, education, and more. Relocalise the economy, consume green and local, re-think education, promote energy-saving, re-invent democracy, call oneself into question… each of us, at her / his own , humble level, can contribute to the re-enchantment of the world and the emergence of collective intelligence. Photography, in the “artivist” sense of the term, has the dual merit of being a source of wonder and a peaceful weapon. May it serve that noble cause far beyond the beauty that it defends.

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by Gilles Martin
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