Just like in many creative industries, the photography business is a competitive one. Why then, would some of the world's premiere photographers converge in the wilds of British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest? To save one of the planet's most priceless treasures. Photographers including Paul Nicklen, Florian Schultz, Daniel Beltra, Jack Dykinga, Tom Peschak and Cristina Mittermeier will take part in the iLCP's RAVE (Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition) of the area and tell the story of this incredible place and the people working to save it.
"The Great Bear Rainforest is an environmental treasure, and the international exposure that the iLCP is capable of generating will undoubtedly prove a clarion call for its protection," said Ian McAllister, Conservation Director for B.C. based Pacific Wild and recently nominated Associate of the iLCP. "We have everything to lose and very little to gain by allowing oil tankers on our coast."
Overseas oil interests want access to western Canada's tar sands — the second largest known oil reserves in the world — and have proposed the construction of a massive pipeline through the rain forest to get it.
Photo courtesy Cristina Mittermeier, iLCP
Home to white spirit bears, ancient forests, and stunning marine biodiversity, iLCP's team of photographers will showcase the immense ecological importance of western Canada's threatened rain forest and marine environment. The images and stories from the expedition members will be shared with international media and partner organizations and will be featured in a traveling exhibition across North America and Europe.
Enbridge Inc., the world's largest pipeline construction company (and the same one responsible for Michigan's oil spill) has proposed to open export markets for tar sands oil outside the United States — most notably China.
So, how do you go about that? Build a 1,200 km pipeline from Alberta's tar sands and British Columbia's north Pacific coast over more than 1,000 streams and rivers — including some of the world's largest salmon producing watersheds — and introduce super oil tankers (revoking an existing moratorium on large ships) to transport oil through the pristine waters of the Great Bear Rainforest.
"We support this effort to document the lands and seas of our traditional territory," states Ernie Hill Jr., Sn'axeed, Gitga'at Hereditary Eagle Chief. The indigenous First Nations who call this area home unanimously oppose this project. "Enbridge's pipeline and oil tanker proposal will destroy our way of life and we must do everything possible to show what we stand to lose."