Sea turtles inspire acclaimed designer to act for WED

Geneva – The plight of endangered marine turtles in the Mediterranean Sea has inspired a renowned American graphic designer to lend his support to World Environment Day (WED).

Alan Peckolick has combined his work as an active member of MEDASSET, the Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles, with his award-winning design talent to create a striking poster with a biodiversity theme for WED 2010.

The poster, tipped to become a collector’s item, is being distributed internationally ahead of the 5 June day of environmental action, and is also available for download from the WED 2010 website.

The urgency to better manage the world’s wealth of species and ecosystems is a key theme of WED 2010.

Sea turtles are one of the longest living species, having roamed the earth for approximately 200 million years, but human interference is now threatening their survival in many parts of the world.

MEDASSET has been a partner to UNEP’s Mediterranean Action Plan since 1988, working to reverse the decline in sea turtle numbers.

“Populations of marine turtles in the Mediterranean have been decreasing steadily over the past several decades because of incidental catches in fishing gear, sea pollution and the loss of nesting beaches and other vital habitat,” the Officer-in-Charge of the UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan, Maria Luisa Silva, said.

Mr Peckolick said he had seen examples of environmental change first hand, including witnessing melting ice caps in Antarctica, but it was sea turtles which captured his imagination and inspired his commitment to the environment.

“I reached a point where I became impassioned by what I saw and realized that my entire design career had been about ‘selling’ products, so why shouldn’t I sell moral commitment to help save the planet?,” Mr Peckolick said.


“The good news is that through MEDASSET and others, conservation efforts to bring sea turtles back from the brink are working, but we need to do more,” he said.

Led by the United Nations Environment Programme , WED is the largest, global celebration for positive environmental action and is marked annually on 5 June by a cross-section of civil society.

Officer-in-Charge of UNEP’s Regional Office for Europe, Gaetano Leone, urged individuals and groups across Europe and beyond to follow Mr Peckolick’s example and decide how they could contribute to their time to support World Environment Day and biodiversity protection.

“This is a classic example of how the efforts of an individual can make a real difference by empowering others to take the future of the planet into their own hands, and that is what WED is all about,” Mr Leone said.

“This kind of collaboration with accomplished members of the artistic community is welcomed by UNEP because it helps attract attention to key environmental issues.

The official WED 2010 poster series was created by UNEP Graphic Designer Enid Ngaira. When determining how to represent the importance of biodiversity, Ms. Ngaira was intrigued by the emerging field of biomimicry. She successfully created a poster series which is thought-provoking, informative and visually appealing. The Biomimicry Institute assisted with the content for the series.

Ms. Ngaira commented on the creative process - "I learnt not just about the science of biomimicry - I rediscovered and was insipred by nature's vast and rich array of colour, shape and texture - beautiful and creative solutions present in the natural world."

For more information please contact:

Julie Marks, UNEP Regional Office for Europe, +41 22 917 8404 or
Luisa Colasimone, UNEP/MAP, +30 210 7273 148 or
Jenny Loannou, MEDASSET Communications Officer, Tel: +302103613572,


Alan Peckolick


Mediterranean Action Plan

The Biomimicry Institute