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21 January 2010
21. January 2010 Commercial Aircraft

Airbus kicks off International Year of Biodiversity with touring photography exhibition


Airbus kicks off International Year of Biodiversity with touring photography exhibition

See The Bigger Picture takes to the road

Leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus is launching the first of its 2010 activities to support the United Nations' International Year of Biodiversity with a world touring youth photography exhibition. The Airbus 'See the Bigger Picture' exhibition can be seen from today in the French capital, Paris, and will go on tour to various cities in the world throughout this year.

The exhibition comprises a magnificent selection of amateur photographs taken for an international competition, by young people up to the age of 16, launched by Airbus in partnership with National Geographic and the Secretariat of Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The images, depicting the importance of preserving biodiversity, will first be displayed on railings outside the headquarters of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) until February 24th.

Andrea Debbane, Vice President Public Affairs and Communications at Airbus, said, "Aviation is already putting a huge effort into reducing the 2% it contributes to manmade emissions through research and technology designed to increase aircraft efficiency, reduce fuel burn and develop alternative fuels. The International Year of Biodiversity however, allows us to look beyond our core activity and use our international outreach to help raise awareness of the vital role biodiversity plays. In this important year we are asking others in our industry to join us in taking responsibility and ensuring this message is as far reaching as possible. Biodiversity is also vital for the future of aviation and economic development. The natural world has been, and continues to be, a source of inspiration to engineers in creating eco-efficient aircraft. Biologically inspired engineering or 'biomimicry' is the future, and we need to ensure this is preserved."

The exhibition is running in tandem with a major UNESCO biodiversity exhibition which will be displayed inside UNESCO Headquarters from January before it begins its international tour.

This initiative is part of Airbus' support of The Green Wave, a youth engagement programme of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Notes to editors:

See the Bigger Picture: The images on display in the exhibition are the winners and honourable mentions from the See the Bigger Picture photography competition, launched in 2009 by Airbus in partnership with National Geographic and the Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Young people from 99 countries around the world submitted their interpretations of biodiversity for the chance to win a trip to the National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The competition was launched as part of Airbus' commitment to The Green Wave, an ambitious youth engagement programme of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Images from the competition also feature in UNESCO's touring biodiversity exhibition Visit: www.seethebiggerpicture.orgThe Green Wave: The Green Wave is a global biodiversity campaign to educate children and youth about life on Earth and its importance for their futures. The CBD is a United Nations intergovernmental treaty, whose objectives are the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the CBD is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme. 2010 is the United Nations' International Year of Biodiversity. On May 22 2010 (The International Day of Biodiversity), as part of The Green Wave initiative, young people are invited to plant a tree at 10:00 to celebrate biodiversity. This will create a 'green' wave of tree planting as the activity passes through each time zone across the world. Photos and stories from the moment can then be uploaded to The Green Wave website to create a virtual wave on the internet. Visit greenwave.cbd.intAirbus-specific notes: Airbus believes that growth in air travel is a global need and that the essential social and economic benefits derived from a more connected world can still be unlocked and deliver a greener world, if everybody plays their part. Airbus acknowledges the 2% that aviation contributes to global man-made CO2 emissions, but believes that it also has a responsibility to support others in tackling the remaining 98% of CO2 emissions. Deforestation alone, for example, generates nearly 20% of man-made CO2, so Airbus is working with the CBD and using its global outreach to raise awareness of the importance of the need to preserve the variety of life on earth. Biomimicry' - the study and imitation of nature's best ideas to solve human problems - continues to inspire designs for greener flight and a more connected and sustainable world. Losing biodiversity means losing the potential to find innovative solutions to future problems faced by humankind. This is why Airbus has committed to support the CBD's The Green Wave initiative.

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