UNEP Champions of the Earth Profile: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Nairobi, April 22 2009 - His striking, aerial photos have awakened the imaginations of millions, and his new film "Home", illustrates the beauty of our planet, and the urgent need to sustain it. Meanwhile his non-profit organization, GoodPlanet has made strides at sensitizing the public on how to lead a more environmentally responsible life. For this demonstrated commitment to environmental causes, UNEP is proud to designate Yann Arthus-Bertrand its Goodwill Ambassodor for 2009.
Born in France in 1946, Arthus-Bertrand always had a passion for nature and, at the age of 30, he moved to Kenya with his wife, Anne, to study the behaviour of lions in the Masaai Mara Reserve. While there the budding photographer discovered a unique way of capturing the stunning landscapes - flying miles above the earth in a hot air balloon.
Years later in 2000, Arthus-Bertrand a budding photographer no more, entered the public limelight, following a large-scale public art exhibition titled "Earth from Above". Premiering in Paris to unprecedented success, the exhibition soon traveled to cities around the world to reach over 130 million visitors across every populated continent by 2008. The idea was to inspire people to think globally about sustainable living while admiring locally images that show our planet in all its fragile and stunning splendor. To date, the book has sold millions of copies in over 21 languages.
By 2005, Arthus-Bertrand created the association GoodPlanet. This international NGO develops numerous projects whose shared objective is to educate about sustainable development and request individuals across every background, culture and border to think beyond the development of our planet and, instead, toward the future of all of its inhabitants.
Now, in his new film "Home" scheduled for worldwide release on June 5, 2009, Arthus Bertrand takes viewers on a unique journey all around the planet to contemplate and understand its workings and show us that the marks we leave behind are having a negative impact on its well being. The film is a travel notebook showing only landscapes captured from above. In this sense "Home" calls for a new awareness, because as we observe ourselves from the air, we see our world in a whole new light.
Arthus-Bertrand's latest project is 'Vu du Ciel', a documentary series broadcast on French TV station France 2. The programme is filmed on High Definition video and uses investigative journalism to document environmental degradation around the globe. In addition, the show celebrates scientists, environmentalists and members of the public who are engaged in the fight to save our planet.
As UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Arthus-Bertrand's prestige, talent and passion will raise and reinforce public awareness of environmental issues and the solutions to these. In his new role, it is expected that Arthus-Bertrand will engage in public advocacy, fundraising and participate in relevant UNEP events, among other duties.
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