03 Feb 2021
Organisation: Geneva Environment Network
Wednesdays for the Planet is a series of online screenings and virtual presentations with experts highlighting the natural world and other environmental challenges our planet faces. The virtual screenings are for educational purposes, non-profit and non-commercial.
World Wildlife Day
For the month of February, we will be showcasing nature documentaries leading up to World Wildlife Day on 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973.
The Earth is home to countless species of fauna and flora – too many to even attempt counting. This rich diversity, and the billions of years during which its myriad elements have interacted, are precisely what has made our planet inhabitable for all living creatures, including humans. Historically, we have depended on the constant interplay and interlinkages between all elements of the biosphere for all our needs: the air we breathe, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the materials we need for all purposes. However, unsustainable human activities and overexploitation of the species and natural resources that make up the habitats and ecosystems of all wildlife are imperiling the world’s biodiversity. Nearly a quarter of all species are presently at risk of going extinct in the coming decades, and their demise would only speed up the disappearance of countless others, putting us in danger as well.
On World Wildlife Day, we celebrate the special place of wild plants and animals in their many varied and beautiful forms as a component of the world’s biological diversity. We will work to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits of wildlife to people, particularly to those communities who live in closest proximity to it, and we will discuss the threats they are facing and the urgent need for governments, civil society, private sector actors and individuals to add their voices and take actions to help conserve wildlife and ensure its continued use is sustainable.
Chasing Coral is an award-winning documentary that follows a team of divers, photographers and scientists out to photograph the elusive process of coral bleaching, a phenomenon happening at an unprecedented rate around the world from warming ocean temperatures. The film took 3.5 years to make, features 500 hours of underwater footage, and submissions from over 30 countries.
This story is bigger than coral reefs, it’s about the collapse of an entire ecosystem and the role we all play in taking action while there is still time. That is why I’m thrilled to see people connecting the film to the local environmental changes people are facing and the local solutions we can start accelerating today.
– Jeff Orlowski, Director of Chasing Coral
The Geneva Environment Network will have two experts who will speak on the conservation efforts and challenges related to coral reefs and the ocean.
Marine Project Officer, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Joao Sousa is a Marine Project Officer at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) where he focuses on collaborative solutions to mitigate plastic debris in the world’s oceans. This involves coordinating research to inform policy, creating platforms to encourage innovation and sharing of best practices, and cooperating with industry to change behavior. Joao also works on conservation and mitigation for the oil and gas industry in the North Sea (decommissioning platforms), as well as private sector engagement for best practices in the production, extraction and transformation sectors in Mozambique.
In the last eight years, within the Global Marine Programme, he developed an extensive network and stakeholder forum leading to the development of the “Close the Plastic Tap“ Programme and projects in circular economy, waste management, plastic debris and waste management policies.
Joao is an experienced biotechnology engineer with 20 years of engineering, biotechnology and project management experience specializing in oil and gas operations, bioenergy, biofuels and biodiversity. His previous work also includes resource efficiency, pilot plant design/construction/operation, reverse engineering and debottlenecking processes, bioprocessing technology development, innovation, research and development in the food, agriculture and pharmaceutical industries.
Senior Policy Specialist, Sea Shepherd Legal
Daniel Kachelriess joined Sea Shepard Legal as Senior Policy Specialist in April 2020, bringing with him extensive experience in building capacity and supporting decision making in ocean conservation and fisheries at the international level. Daniel previously served as Marine Species Officer of the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and led on many technical aspects of the implementation of the Convention for marine species. In this and previous roles, he also contributed to international policy processes at the United Nations headquarters in New York, in particular in the Legal Committee of the General Assembly and negotiations on Sustainable Development Goal 14, as well as the work of other UN bodies. Based on these experiences, Daniel is excited to continue supporting governments in transforming sound science into well-crafted policies, regulations, and laws to advance ocean conservation in his role.
- Chasing Coral | Official Website
- Chasing Coral | IMDb
- Can Coral Reef Restoration Save One of the Most Vulnerable Ecosystems to Climate Change? | United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) | 18 January 2021
- Corals Reefs and Climate Change | IUCN
- Coral Propagation Courses | Sea Shepherd Legal
- Promoting Trade While Protecting Marine Species | FAO
- Refilling the Coral Reef Glass | Science
- Assessment: World Heritage Coral Reefs Likely to Disappear by 2100 Unless CO2 Emissions Drastically Reduce| United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Centre
- Plastic Waste Free Islands | IUCN
- Wednesdays for the Planet | Geneva Environment Network