Nearly 200 Years of Delay
Lamarck, a French biologist (1744 – 1829), who, in 1809, proposed the first formal theory of evolution, wrote in 1817: It seems that man is destined to exterminate himself after making the world uninhabitable.
Elisée Reclus (1830-1905), a renowned French geographer, wrote some years later, in 1869: The truly civilised man, understanding that his own interest is bound up with the interest of all and of nature itself, acts quite differently. … On becoming “the conscience of the earth”, the man worthy of his mission thereby assumes his part of responsibility in the harmony and beauty of the surrounding environment.
And Reclus was forced to admit that: Human activities unfortunately still produce the fatal outcome of impoverishing the soil, defacing nature and spoiling climates. Considered as a whole, humanity has not advanced beyond primitive barbarism.
Almost 200 years later it seems to me that we are even in worse conditions. We are in a dead end, trapped in the Myth of constant Growth.
What can we do in front of the deplorable state of Nature?
If we want to struggle against that situation we need to think seriously about who we are, what we love, where we live, so that we can generate sustained individual and collective actions.
As this site is related (or attempt to be) to Landscape Photography, as a recreational photographer, I joined the association Natur First – The Alliance for Responsible Nature Photography.
Today, nature photography has undergone a dramatic transformation with the rise of Social Media platforms, instant access to detailed location information, and faster means of transport that make photo-taking much easier. Unknown or inaccessible locations in the old days, are now listed as the top “thing to do” on Social Media. In less than a decade, a truly hidden and difficult to access location is now a top tourist attraction.
As a result of these factors and others, we have reached a point in which visitors generally and photographers specifically are causing tangible, extensive, and progressively worsening negative impacts on nature.
Some of the Earth’s greatest landscapes and treasured natural areas are threatened by increased visitation and general lack of care. Nature First aims to preserve these places by building an alliance of responsible photographers and cultivate a community of advocates and partners to help spread the word.
Nature First is built on seven core principles that help communicate how each of us can enjoy nature photography responsibly. The Seven Principles of Nature First Photography were developed to help educate and guide both professional and recreational photographers in sustainable, minimal impact practices that will help preserve nature’s beautiful locations.
Help conserve the places we love and photograph through wise use, education, outreach, community, and research