WILD9 to Host Gathering of Conservation Photographers

November 6 – 13, 2009 in Mérida, Mexico

World-class photographers will gather in Merida, Mexico during the 9th World Wilderness Congress (Wild9), to discuss their important contributions to conservation efforts.  The catalyst for their participation is WiLD SPEAK, a symposium within Wild9 that will convene leading communications and conservation experts to focus on topics ranging from new trends in photojournalism, to building partnerships with NGOs, to making the most of the new media environment. WiLD SPEAK, organized by Washington-based organization, the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), will feature some 40 distinguished conservation photographers who will contribute to this symposium including luminaries Art Wolfe, Nick Nichols, Tom Mangelsen, Jack Dykinga, David Doubilet, and Jim Balog.

Executive Director of iLCP, Cristina Mittermeier, remarks “Wild Speak will be the largest gathering of conservation photographers in history! They are coming because the Wilderness Congress provides them with a venue to articulate their contributions to conservation issues.” WiLD SPEAK will include plenary sessions and debates to discuss issues relevant to conservation communications, including the role of photojournalism in conservation, the imperative of partnering with the conservation community for general audiences.

WiLD SPEAK will also mark the iLCP’s fourth anniversary. Kathy Moran, Senior Editor for Natural History National Geographic Magazine says, “since the founding of the iLCP in 2005, that magazine has published 55 articles related to conservation by National Geographic photographers who are members of iLCP; that is an extraordinary number of stories, which shows the commitment of the magazine to conservation. This is why we are pleased to be working with iLCP for the World Wilderness Congress, in Mexico.”

The iLCP will also use the World Wilderness Congress as a venue to present the first League Award for Outstanding Achievement in Conservation Photography. The award will be presented by iLCP Board Members, Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Russell Mittermeier and Vance Martin, at an award ceremony during WILD 9 on November 8th. The recipient of the award will be selected by votes from the 61 iLCP Fellow photographers. “Since the winner will be chosen by his or her peers, I can see that the League Award will quickly become the most prestigious recognition of an exceptional conservation photographer”, says Justin Black, iLCP’s Director and Chief of Staff.

About iLCP

Our mission is to further environmental and cultural conservation through ethical photography. The ILCP is a project-driven organization, with a vision to translate conservation science into compelling visual messages targeted to specific audiences. iLCP works with leading scientists, policy makers, government leaders and conservation groups to produce the highest-quality documentary images of both the beauty and wonder of the natural world and the challenges facing it. From poaching to global warming, from habitat loss to cultural erosion, from sustainability to biological corridors, the work of conservation photographers covers the entire range of threats to biodiversity and is indeed a critical component in the conservation toolbox.

The WILD Foundation (www.wild.org) Founded in 1974, WILD is the only international organization dedicated entirely and explicitly to wilderness protection around the world. WILD works to protect the planet’s last wild places and the wildlife and people who depend upon them, because wilderness areas provide essential social, spiritual, biological and economic benefits. We believe that intact wilderness areas are an essential core element of a healthy modern society.