A few days back I posted an interesting story about a group of nature photographers from the iLCP who were making an expedition through the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada in an attempt to raise awareness about the place and the threats posed to it from encroaching oil interests. Since I wrote that initial post, the team has returned to civilization and shared their thoughts, as well as a fantastic gallery of photos they took on the journey.
After spending two weeks exploring the rainforest, the group of photographers, who included the likes of Daniel Beltrá, Paul Nicklen, and Joe Riis, returned with some spectacular images, but more importantly they are sharing the message that a pipeline built through that wilderness could be potentially devastating for the animals that live there. Enbridge Inc. has proposed the creation of a 750-mile long twin pipeline to move oil from the Alberta tar sands to Kitimat along the coast. A move that would also introduce tankers to that pristine and remote coast for the first time. It should also be noted that Enbridge is the company that is responsible for the oil spill in Michigan as well.
As you can probably imagine, the expedition recommends against building a pipeline there, with iLCP founder and president Cristina Mittermeier saying “The ecosystems here are so interconnected that an oil spill would devastate not only the landscapes and seascapes but the communities that rely on them for their survival.” While the area is home to the second largest oil reserves in the world, the team feels that at this time there is no safe, and clean, way of tapping those reserves without destroying a natural landscape that is amongst the best on the planet.
The images that the team of photographers captured are some of the best ever from the GBR. They’ve posted an online gallery of more than 90 photos that you can check out for yourself by clicking here. After examining these beautiful shots, you’ll understand why it is so important to protect this place. Not only do they inspire me to want to visit the rainforest myself, they also inspire me to want to be a better photographer. Amazing stuff.
[Photo by Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier]
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