It used to be that humans were grouped together into islands that existed in a sea of wilderness. We were surrounded by wilderness and had to carve out our existence from it. Our civilization was contained and restricted by the forests and wide savannahs, hemmed in by raging rivers and guarded by mountain ranges. Industrious and intelligent as we are, we overcame these obstacles and found that we could expand our borders and grow our islands. We travelled further and explored more, using the land and its resources to grow. This human growth has been phenomenal and to fuel it we have had to sacrifice some things. One of these is our wilderness. We are no longer the islands, instead the animals live as islands in a sea of humanity that seems, for the most part, bent on destroying what is left of our wilderness.
So who cares about the environment and our wilderness? There are all sorts of bodies and organizations, trusts, charities and government departments that deal with all aspects of this but there are also environmental warriors that have dedicated their lives to learning, recording and teaching. Two of these warriors are Beverly and Dereck Joubert. They have seen the writing on the wall and are on a mission to make sure that they deliver the message and, more importantly, to make sure that we, the humans, understand it. If we do not act, then our islands of wilderness with their animals will sink. The end!
I attended the discussion and photo exhibition in National Geographic’s store in London on Tues and got to see Beverly’s wonderful collection of black and whites and listen to them speak passionately about the plight of the big cats in Southern Africa. The video footage that was playing in the background was exceptional and graphic. I also got to hang out with a couple of industry mates and have a couple of glasses of wine. It was a great evening but I did come away wanting to know more so off I went to the internet. A good starting point is the National Geographic site, http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/big-cats/ , and Derek and Beverly’s website http://www.wildlifeconservationfilms.com/ . Drop by http://www.greatplainsconservation.com/ as it is all tied in.