On 5th June, to mark World Environment Day, Airbus, the National Geographic Society and the UNEP Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are launching a world-reaching biodiversity communication campaign, ?See the Bigger Picture?. With combined commitment, the three partners aim to stimulate and raise awareness on biodiversity among young people, families and educators worldwide. The campaign comes in the run-up to the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010. In July 2008, Airbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the CBD Secretariat ? part of the United Nations Environment Programme ? to join forces and support The Green Wave
, a worldwide educational initiative raising awareness on the importance of biodiversity. ?See the Bigger Picture? calls on children and young people to illustrate the diversity of nature around them and to consider their role in conserving it via a worldwide photo contest. The contest encourages the world?s youth to step outside, explore the variety of life and take a picture of what biodiversity means to them. Uploading it to www.seethebiggerpicture.org
will give them the unique opportunity to share their biodiversity experience with people from all over the world. The five best pictures will be rewarded with a trip to Washington, D.C., visiting, amongst other places, National Geographic?s headquarters.
The loss of biodiversity and climate change are some of today?s main environmental challenges. Airbus is fully committed to tackle aviation?s 2% contribution to man-made CO2 emissions. However, there are major sources of emissions and environmental threats that lie beyond the aviation industry. Deforestation accounts for 17% of global greenhouse emissions and is thus one of the main causes for climate change and reason for the continuing loss of biodiversity. Tom Enders, CEO and President of Airbus says: ?In the future, aviation's licence to grow will also depend on the industry's contribution to raise awareness of the facts, realities and challenges in the field of environmental changes. We must be seen as what we are: a contributor to the solution, not to the problem. This is why we join forces with the UNEP/CBD and National Geographic to support the United Nation's mission on biodiversity with the ?See the Bigger Picture? campaign.? The campaign will be featured in the various language editions of National Geographic magazine, National Geographic Kids magazine and the National Geographic Channel. Benefiting from the far-reaching distribution channels of the National Geographic Society, one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations in the world, ?See the Bigger Picture? has a potential reach of over 260 million people in more than 190 countries.
"National Geographic is delighted to partner with Airbus to encourage children to get outside and observe the variety of plants and animals around them. Submitting photographs illustrating what biodiversity means to them is a great way to get kids excited about the natural world and for them to appreciate the importance of biodiversity," said Declan Moore, Senior Vice President, National Geographic. Ambassador of the campaign is National Geographic?s wildlife photographer Joel Sartore, renowned for his expertise in searching for and photographing the most endangered species on this planet. He sees ?the bigger picture? with his camera and through his participation will animate children and young people with his impressive photographs in order to get them involved in exploring biodiversity. Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the CBD said, "Biodiversity is being lost at unprecedented rate. The capacity of ecosystems to continue sustaining life on Earth is being seriously jeopardized. One of our biggest priorities is to help raise awareness worldwide and educate all segments of society focusing on the children of today, the citizens and leaders of tomorrow. Devised for the sake of our children and for the benefit of all life on Earth, this is what The Green Wave
is about. I commend Airbus, management, staff and families, for joining forces with the Secretariat of the convention on ?Life on Earth? to establish the most far-reaching biodiversity education initiative for children, youth and their families". In addition to the partnership with National Geographic and the CBD, Airbus has also committed its Corporate Foundation to focus on biodiversity issues, as one of the foundation?s three key topics. As an eco-efficient enterprise, Airbus provides leadership by delivering responsible solutions that address today?s concerns, so the aviation sector can continue to prosper with less impact on the environment. Airbus is the first aeronautics company in the world to have earned the ISO 14001 environmental certification for all production sites and for the entire life cycle of all products.