In the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, in Chiapas, Mexico, a young boy from the Tzotzil community lies in the long grass, his face painted in a smile filled with happiness and gratitude. The idea of “enoughness” allows happiness to be tied with sustainability. As we take moments out of our life to appreciate what the world has given to us, we find peace with nature. I will be heading back home to Mexico in the next coming days to launch a new book that highlights the importance of islands and their biodiversity.
I am thankful to everyone who signed my new book, Amaze, at the @unfoundation Step Up World program for climate action at the recent #GCAS2018 in San Francisco. I love that all the guests on the show signed it, including Dr. Jane Goodall (@janegoodallinst), actor Aidan Gallagher (@aidanrgallagher), Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley (@mamottley), Oxfam Executive Director Winnie Byanyima, actor and activist Alec Baldwin (@alecbaldwininsta), California Governor Jerry Brown and many more.
Swipe left to see Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Coordinator of the Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad, as she flips through the book, landing on this image of the Mandrare River, Madagascar. Amaze is available through independent bookstores everywhere!
Being immersed in a rainforest is like travelling through a kaleidoscope of colours, textures, and creatures. At the heart of our Earth’s biodiversity, rainforests breathe life into our planet; which is why we must do everything in our power to protect them. Every day, we make decisions about what and how we consume the resources we interact with. It can be difficult to trace the consequences of our actions, but being unconscientious consumers collectively can have a significant negative impact on some of the world’s most important ecosystems. How are you helping the rainforest? A simple way you can help mitigate threats of the rainforest like climate change and deforestation is to look for Rainforest Alliance certified products. The Rainforest Alliance works to protect rainforests and their extensive range of biodiversity. One way they accomplish this is by increasing awareness of sustainable options while promoting a sustainable lifestyle. Check out @RainforestAlliance to find out more about how you can help the rainforest and win prizes through the #FollowTheFrog contest happening until September 24th.
Want to experience the majesty of sperm whales up close? Come join me and @PaulNicklen on our sperm whale expedition to Dominica! Support @Sea_Legacy and ENTER for your chance to win through the link in my bio or at omaze.com/oceans.
In order to safely observe bears in the Fishing Branch River, one must sit quietly, every day, in the same spot, and wait for the bears to approach in their own terms. This big male wanted to fish right next to us and it was cute to watch him peek over the reeds to make sure he was safe to be so close to us. In this bear haven near the Arctic Circle, grizzlies roam free and safe from hunters. Ni’iinlii Njik Territorial Park, a 2,500-square-mile ecological reserve, is a sacred place for the Vuntut Gwitchin indigenous community. For years, their leaders worked closely with the Yukon government, establishing this reserve in 1999. Known as “the place where salmon spawn”, this protected habitat is home to grey wolves, lynx, wolverine, caribou, bald eagles, and moose, as well as a significant population of grizzly bears. We spent hours watching bears like this explore the river, more interested in a fresh salmon dinner than us and our cameras.
Back in the mid-1980s, scientists were alarmed by data showing a growing hole in a segment of the atmosphere and they began waving a red flag. Soon, the story made the six o'clock news and the daily papers. The public heard the warnings and quit buying products containing the ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Industry noticed and eventually removed the chemical compound from their wares. Today the ozone hole is healing. It goes to show that behaviourial shifts, thanks in part to social media, can take place with remarkable speed. On #WorldOzoneDay, I challenge you to be proactive in helping to heal the ozone further. Share in the comments how you are making a difference.
Yesterday, there was a massive victory at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) for whales throughout the world. Japan's proposed package of measures that would have effectively lifted the global ban on for-profit whaling failed to pass with a vote of 41 to 27. Whales face a wide array of mounting threats, ranging from climate change and ocean plastics, to vessel strikes and noise pollution. Allowing even limited commercial hunting of these mammals would push them further to the brink of extinction. This week, legaSeas presented the petition with your signatures at the IWC meetings. To have over 205, 000 people acknowledge the ecological importance and the extreme intelligence of whales, and to promise to only visit Iceland if they end commercial fin whaling, is heart-warming. Thank you!
Next, Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has a tremendous opportunity to lead change in her country and among whaling nations by following through on her promise to conduct an investigation into Iceland’s whaling industry. #StopTheHunt#StopIcelandWhaling
Climate change is personal. It is going to affect each and every one of us personally - if not today, then tomorrow. And we all have the personal power to start creating change though the choices we make: from what we buy - to what we eat - to the way we stand up for the future of our planet. We already have access to solutions that can make a difference. We just need to choose to support them in our every day lives. Fisherman are becoming ocean farmers. Scientists are growing new reefs. Communities are protecting their oceans for the generations to come. Together, we can ensure the future vitality of our oceans.
The village of Yimas, along the shores of the mighty Karawari River, in the Sepik region of Papua New Guinea, is nothing more than a handful of grass huts. With very little in terms of economic activity, it is not surprising that women have little power. If we want to solve the big issues of our generation, like climate change, we need to make sure that the 50 percent of the population of the planet, who are currently disenfranchised to participate in the solutions, is empowered to lead change.
My love affair with whales began when I was a just a teenager. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would one day have a chance to swim with blue whales, like this one I photographed this year, or fin whales, or humpback whales. The more time I spend in the water with these gentle creatures, the more distressing it is to know that in this day and age they are still being hunted for their meat. Please go to the link on my bio and help me stop the slaughter of whales. Grateful for your help. #bluewhale#love#stoptheicelandwhalehunt
Every other breath we take comes from the oceans. The ocean is critical to the global fight against climate change and to all life on Earth. It plays a central role in absorbing human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and provides myriad other services that underpin the world’s economic, political, and cultural systems. To help secure global health and prosperity, I am joining a collective challenge to governments and all sectors of society to commit to accomplish the goals in the Ocean-Climate Action Agenda. I am moderating a panel, Implementing the Ocean-Climate Action Agenda, at the Global Action Climate Summit in San Francisco on Friday, September 14th. I’ll share more later on how you can tune in live. #OceanClimateAction delegation at @GCAS2018#GCAS2018#StepUp2018
The reviews are coming out for my new book, Amaze, published by TeNeues, and I couldn't be more thrilled. "A sumptuous, mesmerising book ... As much an ode to the planet as to the people who strive to live harmoniously with their environment. Whether Mittermeier is capturing people, landscapes or animals, there is such beauty and enlightenment in this book." - Indulge Magazine. I will be in San Francisco for a book signing event at @bookpassage on Thursday, September 13th 6pm. You can purchase copies there, or online through TeNeues or Amazon. #IndulgeMagazine#amaze@teneuespublishing